Pierce County sergeant charged with first-degree assault

TACOMA, Wash. — A Pierce County sergeant was charged with felony first-degree assault on Wednesday, accused of stabbing a man outside a marijuana shop in Tacoma after the man took his handgun.

Charging documents state when police arrived at the pot shop on Pacific Avenue just after midnight on Oct. 5, they found a man in a vehicle screaming: "Help me! He is killing me!" Click here to read more.

The man told investigators that he took the gun because Sgt. Robert Glen Carpenter lifted his shirt and showed it to him in what the victim perceived as a threat.

“I believe that this criminal matter needs to be handled by the justice system in the same manner as it would be handled for any other citizen,” Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor said, adding that he had issued a notice of intent to terminate Carpenter’s employment.

Charging documents state the incident began when 48-year-old Carpenter met three men at a bar, Top of Tacoma, and offered to buy them a round of drinks.

At one point, the documents state, one of them realized that Carpenter had a gun and Carpenter “showed them a sheriff’s badge,” making comments at one point that he was a “man with power.”

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Prosecutors said Carpenter and two of the men planned to go to a marijuana dispensary and then get a hotel room, with the intent of performing “sexual acts with Carpenter.”

They said the three took two vehicles to the marijuana dispensary, where Carpenter purchased edible marijuana and one of the men stated “he wanted smoking marijuana” because edibles did not get him high.

Charging documents state that Carpenter “lifted up his shirt, exposing his handgun,” and the victim decided it was "fight or flight time."

The charges said that the man grabbed Carpenter’s gun and ran toward the other man’s vehicle, but Carpenter made it to the open passenger side window and “began slashing and stabbing” with a knife while demanding his gun back.

Prosecutors said the victim needed more than 15 stitches to his hands.

Carpenter served in the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office for 25 years.