Cowlitz County deputies on Tuesday tackled a 50-year-old Longview man who twice tried to eat a child’s birthday cake at the Cowlitz County Hall of Justice, authorities said.
Cake and frosting flew as a deputy took Robert Eric Frederickson to the ground just before 1 p.m. The courthouse lobby erupted with shouting. A table flipped and crashed loudly to the brick floor. And more deputies rushed in to restrain Frederickson.
Authorities said Frederickson, who was due to appear in court on an indecent exposure charge, was passing through a metal detector at the Hall of Justice’s security checkpoint when he mushed his hand into a frosting-covered chocolate cake sitting on a table. A deputy asked him to stop. But, authorities said, Frederickson again lunged for the cake.
That’s when another deputy manning the security checkpoint grabbed Frederickson, yanked him over the top of the plastic folding table and pushed him to the ground, authorities said.
A Daily News reporter, who was among about a dozen people in the lobby at the time, heard the crash, then saw Frederickson face-down on the floor with deputies restraining his hands and feet behind his back.
A woman who entered the building with Frederickson insisted that he was not high.
The cake’s owner, Michelle Flavin, who doesn’t know Frederickson, said the dessert was for her daughter’s 9th birthday party. She said she came to the Hall of Justice on Tuesday to help her sister, Tina Ghee, with a legal matter and brought the cake inside to keep her dog from devouring it in her car.
But Flavin, 32, of Longview said the she saw Frederickson plunge his hand into the frosting shortly after the cake passed through the metal detector.
“I got pissed when he stuck his hand in it the first time,” Flavin said. “I was like, ‘Hey!’”
“Then he went back for seconds!” Ghee said.
Frederickson’s face was smeared with white frosting as deputies lead him from the Hall’s lobby and booked him into the jail on suspicion of third-degree theft. Just after the incident, deputies hustled through the lobby, their uniforms smeared with purple frosting.
Frederickson also faces charges of resisting arrest and third-degree assault from a previous case.
A local Safeway store offered to replace the birthday cake for free, Flavin said.