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Man charged with arson, assault in Buckley rampage

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on Aug. 29, 2012 at 6:05 am |
August 29, 2012 6:05 am

A 52-year-old man is accused of lighting a Buckley woman’s garage on fire and chasing her with a baseball bat.

Lonnie Leroy Tate pleaded not guilty Tuesday to two counts of second-degree arson, second-degree assault and obstructing a law enforcement officer.

Pierce County sheriff’s deputies were called Saturday to the victim’s house in the 6800 block of 245th Avenue East after someone called to report Tate was “on a rampage.”

As deputies approached, they saw smoke coming from the area and Tate holding two baseball bats. They ordered him to drop the bats. Tate allegedly put one bat down and threw the other at the deputies while telling them to shoot him.

Deputies used a Taser twice on Tate but they were ineffective. After Tate ran into the woods, a K-9 team unsuccessfully tried to track him. He later turned himself in.

The victim told deputies she was gardening when Tate began yelling at her. When she fled inside her house, Tate allegedly poured gasoline in the garage and lit it on fire.

Authorities said the blaze caused $18,000 in damage to the car and damaged a van that was parked nearby. The woman was not injured in the incident.

Charging papers do not say how Tate and the woman know each other, or what prompted the incident.

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