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March 20, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Massacre suspect Bales arrested in 2002 fight in Tacoma

The Army staff sergeant accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers was arrested and prosecuted in 2002 for a fight while he was drunk at a Tacoma casino.

A police report released Tuesday by the Tacoma Police Department detailed an incident in which Robert Bales charged a security guard with a garbage can lid and slugged the guard in the chest with his fist.

He was wrestled to the ground and held until police arrived, according to the report.

The report said Bales was drinking in the bar of the Silver Dollar Casino about 1 a.m. on July 14, 2002, and had threatened another customer, who called security.

Two guards arrived and “told Bales to leave the casino,” according to the report.  Bales left and got into a cab, but then got back out.  The guards again told him to leave but Bales “picked up a trash can lid and came at” the guards, punching one of them in the chest.

The guard, identified as Joe Hanna, told the News-Tribune newspaper in Tacoma that he doesn’t recall the incident.

According to Tacoma Municipal Court records, Bales represented himself against a misdemeanor charge of simple assault.

The case was dismissed in February 2003 after Bales agreed to pay $300 in fees and obtain an anger management assessment, which he successfully completed.

Comments | More in General news | Topics: Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, Tacoma police

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