Alcohol relapse blamed for behavior leading to brother seeking to evict brother

James told the police dispatcher: "Thomas has been drinking."

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Lacey police received several calls regarding an intoxicated man who allegedly threatened to accuse his brother of molestation because he was being evicted from his brother’s house on June 6.

Thomas Painter, 50, generated three different dispatch calls to Lacey police at the 4900 block of Cottage Ln SE, due to alcohol issues. According to the police report, Thomas had recently gotten out of rehabilitation but had relapsed to drinking heavily.

The first call came at 2:03 p.m.  Thomas’ brother James advised Lacey police that he wanted to evict Thomas. James told police that when Thomas had been informed of his eviction, Thomas told James “well, I’ll call the cops and tell them you molested me.”

At 2:40 p.m., while police were interviewing James Painter at his home, Lacey police received a call from Thomas Painter accusing his brother James of assaulting him. 

Thomas advised the police dispatcher that he was at the Lowes store on 5610 Corporate Center Ln SE. Police attempted to meet him there but were unable to find him.

Police found no proof of assault allegations by Thomas against his brother James.

At 4:31 p.m., police were dispatched to the residence about a verbal disturbance and had been advised that Thomas had been drinking.

As LPD interviewed James, Thomas drove up in his Nissan to the 4900 block of Cottage Ln SE residence. The Nissan’s front undercarriage had damage and some grass was stuck in the front bumper. A piece of the front passenger wheel had been broken off. Thomas told LPD that he had ran over a curb near Lowe’s while being contacted by LPD earlier.

According to the police report, Thomas’ eyes were “very watery” and he had “loose” chewing tobacco spread throughout the front of his entire mouth. His speech was repetitive, and his balance was unsteady.  He said “well, arrest me then” when LPD asked about drinking and driving, and “acted” as if he was going to place his hands behind his back.

After conducting the field sobriety test and Thomas’ failure to pass, LPD grabbed Thomas’ right arm to place him under arrest. Police say Thomas yelled “no!” and “began to pull away with his right arm and back away” toward the car. Thomas resisted for about a minute until he was de-escalated.

When inside the patrol car, Thomas told LPD that he had spent four years in the Marines and would knock the officer out.

Escorted to the Draeger machine at the Lacey Police Department, Thomas blew a 0.258 BAC. The legal blood alcohol limit in Washington state is 0.08.

Thomas was booked into the Nisqually jail for driving under the influence.

Two recorded statements by witnesses to the arrest are below this story. 

  • Courtesy of Lacey Police Department

    This is the June 6, 2021 interview recorded by Lacey police of James Riker, who witnesses the arrest of Thomas Painter that day.

  • Courtesy of Lacey Police Department

    This is the June 6, 2021 interview recorded by Lacey police of Rebecca Riker, who witnesses the arrest of Thomas Painter that day.

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