Tacoma mom arrested for pepper-spraying two boys

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TACOMA — A Tacoma mother and her son were arrested in Centralia on Saturday afternoon after an alleged exchange of words with a Tumwater man escalated into a fight and pepper-spraying incident outside a Nike outlet store.

Tamala J. Summerhill, 53, of Tacoma, was arrested on suspicion of assault of a child in the third degree, while her son, Jesse E. Summerhill, 22, of Tacoma, was arrested on suspicion of assault in the fourth degree.

According to Centralia Police Sgt. Kurt Reichert:

About 3:15 p.m. Saturday, the 38-year-old Tumwater man and his two sons, ages 8 and 9, were standing in line at the Nike store when the suspect, Jesse Summerhill, told the man about an open cashier. That led to an alleged exchange of words that developed into a fight outside the store.

"The instigator (Summerhill) was losing (the fight), so mom pepper-sprayed him," Reichert said.

The Tumwater man then ran to his car where his two boys were waiting, but Tamala Summerhill chased after him and continued to use her streaming-style pepper spray on him and the boys, he said.

The Tumwater man said there was no exchange of words before the fight, but the suspect says there was, Reichert said.

"I don't know where the truth lies in that," he said.