From the police files: Blue-light special, and more

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the fourth weekly installment of this new WSB feature – if you missed the explanation/introduction with which we prefaced the first one, you can see it here.

By Megan Sheppard
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

From reports on cases handled recently by Southwest Precinct officers:

*A Westwood-area resident had lots of rationales for why his black BMW had a set of blue lights on the top portion of windshield—lights that looked suspiciously like those that might be used in an undercover police car. (An officer had pulled the man over after seeing the lights activated.) The officer told him that although he was not writing a citation, he was writing a report with the driver’s name and license plate in case there are problems or cases of “mistaken identity” in the future.

*Early Friday, 911 operators received noise complaints about three vehicles loaded with people in the 4400 block of 26th SW. Four people in two vehicles were identified and released. In the third vehicle, two of the three people inside refused to identify themselves and became hostile with officers. It might be because the two were wanted on warrants: The driver was wanted on a $500 King County warrant for hit and run and was turned over to the custody of Renton police. His passenger had two warrants —$1,100 from Renton and $1,500 from Des Moines — for failure to appear on charges of driving with a suspended license. He was booked into King County Jail.

7 more reports ahead:

*Southwest Precinct officers had a good weekend roundup: While driving in the Junction late Friday, an officer spotted a known felon on the street and did a routine computer check of his name. The report showed that the man was wanted on a no-bail felony warrant for escape from the Department of Corrections. The fellow got a quick ride downtown to King County Jail. A second officer had the same experience in North Admiral while doing a late-night check of Hamilton Viewpoint. In that case, the felon turned out to be wanted on an Olympia escape warrant. He, too, was escorted downtown to be booked.

*Sunday evening, the driver of a black SUV yelled at a woman in the 35th/Morgan Walgreens parking lot: “I hate your f*’n country and what you are wearing. I wish I had my gun. I will shoot you whenever I see your car or anyone from your country.” The victim was dressed in a head covering and body shawl at the time of the incident. The suspect was described as a heavyset white female.

*Around 4 a.m. Saturday, a man approached a woman near California and Dakota and asked her the time. She responded and kept walking. As she got to California and SW Oregon, the man suddenly reappeared from the side “out of nowhere” and grabbed her right arm and breast. She yelled, “Don’t touch me!” and found her cell phone to dial 911. The man walked off westbound on SW Oregon. He was a light-skinned black male, aged 22-29, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and had a mustache. He wore a black skull cap, a black and white shirt, and black pants.

*Saturday afternoon in the Fauntleroy area, a couple got into a domestic disturbance. When she asked him to leave, he allegedly shoved her into the wall and head-butted her in the nose, shoved stereo equipment at her, jumped on her back and tried to take the phone as she called for help. He also made death threats toward her and her friends, turned on the stove and placed some of her clothing on the element in an effort — his girlfriend says — to burn down the apartment. The boyfriend was booked into King County Jail (where the pair had first met during a jail visitation session) for investigation of harassment.

*Last week, a local 38-year-old took three trips to Harborview Medical Center: Saturday night, after trying to get himself run over on Delridge Way; another time after trying to get himself run over on the Alaskan Way Viaduct; and a third time after slitting his wrists and drinking bleach at the home of a friend. The friend told police that the man is bipolar and unmedicated and had recently used cocaine and meth.

*Early Friday, a Gatewood man called 911 and asked to have a male removed from his residence. When officers arrived, the caller was busily searching for his dogs who had escaped from the home. He simply pointed to the guest and said “Take him away.” He refused to provide any additional information to officers, saying he wanted to focus on finding the dogs. A records check showed that the intoxicated guest was wanted on a $20,000 DUI warrant from Kent. He was turned over to the custody of the Kent Police Department. There is no word on the status of the caller’s dogs.

A 51-year-old Delridge woman is unhappy that a young woman she let stay for one evening is taking advantage of the situation. The door opened recently, and in came the girl, who said she was bringing in one of her “Johns” to conduct a little business. The older woman has been advised to get her door locks changed.
Till this feature gets a name (and therefore an archive category) of its own (someday!), we’ll link it on the WSB Crime Watch page, so you can catch it there if you miss it in the main news stream.

26 Replies to "From the police files: Blue-light special, and more"

  • celeste17 October 27, 2010 (7:56 am)

    I think it should be called WS Crime Beat.

  • 35this35mph October 27, 2010 (9:16 am)

    I have to say that I was always uncomfortable with this feature in the Herald and I continue to be here. The trouble is that these stories often seem to be framed as amusing “newsbites” parading the foibles of our dysfunctional neighbors.

    I’m sure someone will be along to put me in my place as a wet blanket/ PC/ killjoy. But I can’t imagine I’m the only one who feels this way.

  • mitch October 27, 2010 (9:25 am)

    35this35mph – I couldn’t agree with you more.

  • HolyKow October 27, 2010 (9:32 am)

    Another great installment.

    You can not like it…don’t read it…free country and all…


  • SJ October 27, 2010 (10:07 am)

    I think these are funny, but would prefer any that involve people trying to harm or kill themselves be left out.

  • D.C. October 27, 2010 (10:15 am)

    “Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow.” – Oscar Wilde

  • Anne October 27, 2010 (10:31 am)

    I agree with HolyKow-if you don’t want to read/watch something-then don’t–if you do then go ahead.

  • West Seattle Art Attack October 27, 2010 (10:43 am)

    I have to say that I was always comfortable with this feature in the Herald and I continue to be here. The great part is that these stories often seem to be framed as amusing “newsbites” parading the foibles of our dysfunctional neighbors.

    I’m sure someone will be along to put me in my place as an uncaring / un-PC / libtard. But I can’t imagine I’m the only one who feels this way.

  • MB October 27, 2010 (10:49 am)

    I too agree that if it’s not something you are comfortable with, then you could always skip reading it. And I’d like to add that though some of the stories are silly, there are legitimate incidents that I personally want to know about. The woman being grabbed by the man on California for instance.

  • MargL October 27, 2010 (11:09 am)

    Actually – this was the only part of the Herald I -did- read regularly.

  • busser October 27, 2010 (11:22 am)

    Look at it this way: sometimes these reports can fill in ‘the rest of the story’ of an incident you saw but wasn’t major enough to be a whole headline. With as much active living as we do in our neighborhoods & community, seeing something weird/strange/suspect when we’re out & about can give us pause. I feel like it’s adding more awareness than judgment. Personally, living very close to the Dakota/California grabbing incident, it serves as another reminder to always be aware.
    WSB: Please keep this feature. Thanks.

    • WSB October 27, 2010 (11:34 am)

      Nancy, that is actually how we see it. The guy with the three trips to Harborview, for example, is related to a query that someone posted on a local neighborhood mailing list asking for more information about a certain incident that wasn’t on my radar when it happened. Again, I was familiar with Megan’s style when I told her, after hearing she’d left the newspaper, “hey, if you ever want to do this kind of thing again, our door’s open” and so as editor the buck stops with me – and I appreciate hearing the ongoing opinions, but I do feel that it is an addition and enhancement to our existing coverage of crime/police – I used to go to the police station myself and go through reports and just do not have the time any more, so it is great to have an experienced person doing that, and looking for “the other stories.” Thank you all for taking the time (a) to read and (b) to comment … TR

  • megan October 27, 2010 (11:35 am)

    Maybe I am an idiot, but what exactly does one have to do to get an escape warrant? I would have thought escape from jail but there seem to be quite a few people in these last few installments picked up on escape warrants and I doubt they are all escaping jail.

    • WSB October 27, 2010 (11:38 am)

      Megan – I’m not familiar with the specific incident but there are a lot of “failure to meet terms of probation” (community custody) type warrants that I see when perusing the jail register looking for certain suspects, fwiw … TR

  • WSWAGuy October 27, 2010 (11:42 am)

    Great neighborhood reporting IMHO, please continue.

  • CitizenR October 27, 2010 (1:19 pm)

    I also have always liked reading the Police Reports … like to know what is going on, who we should look out for (in good or bad situations) It helps to know when there is someone hurting themselves or someone else so we can be aware of what is happening in our neigborhoods even if it’s the general area.

  • Rod October 27, 2010 (1:55 pm)

    You should call the feature “Blue Light Special!”

  • Juan October 27, 2010 (2:42 pm)

    It’s best to be informed of the goings on in the neighborhood. I’d hate to be blind thinking I’m in a safe neighborhood when I’m not.

    For those that don’t like it, just as on TV or Radio when you don’t want to see or hear something change the channel.

    Your feelings are not being ignored and you are not made out to be wet a blanket/ PC/ killjoy and there are more people that feel the way you do. But where one feels that way others feel the information to be useful and informative, not just entertainment. Although I’m sure there is a small percentage that enjoy the latter.

    On the naming of the news story, I’d call it WSBlotter Its simple and everyone will know right away what subject they are reading from.

  • KBear October 27, 2010 (3:14 pm)

    A recent report involving a lost German Shepherd in West Seattle Herald’s Police Blotter had the word “Shepherd” misspelled two different ways in the print version. I guess when they lost their Sheppard, the column went to the dogs.

  • Amy October 27, 2010 (8:56 pm)

    I enjoy a well written paragraph, regardless of the subject. I hope those who are unfortunate enough to be the victims in these situations do not suppose any of us find humor in the actual event. I know Megan does not find anything amusing about crime in West Seattle, and would be heartbroken if her blog only served as a gossip column rather than a vehicle to raise awareness.

  • Huh? October 28, 2010 (5:42 am)

    Rod, love it. Great name idea.

  • 35this35mph October 28, 2010 (9:29 am)

    Just to be clear, I have no desire to censor or censure. And I appreciate the reportage on the events listed (thus I *want* to read the blotter). So, I like the content, but I sometimes cringe at the tone.

  • Adam R. October 28, 2010 (4:40 pm)

    I don’t even live in West Seattle and I love reading this blog. (Full Disclosure: I worked with Megan at the Ballard News-Tribune.) And I think the tone is right-on — serious when it needs to be, tongue-in-cheek when appropriate. Keep up the good work.
    And to the editors of WSB: Great job on the entire blog.

  • sun*e November 3, 2010 (9:12 am)

    You just can’t make this stuff up. News is news… the good, the bad, and the funny. I think this new feature is a great addition to the WS Blog and I WILL be an avid weekly reader. Thanks Megan!

  • Al November 5, 2010 (1:40 pm)

    Around 1:15 PM Friday
    Contractors working in the 5600 block of 41st SW
    just noticed an expensive skill saw missing from their truck. Possibly after a white van drove by it.

  • Parislady November 11, 2010 (8:41 pm)

    Hi 35this35mph, Just wondering what you think the proper “tone” or “voice” that discussions related to crime should should be? For instance, what does the following really mean?:

    It’s a proven fact that Capital Punishment is a detergent for crime. – Archie Bunker

    Crazy/funny/stupid/bigoted/scary/doesn’t take the dire subject seriously…?

    As a rule, said Holmes, the more bizarre a thing is the less mysterious it proves to be. It is your commonplace, featureless crimes which are really puzzling, just as a commonplace face is the most difficult to identify.
    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


    The real significance of crime is in its being a breach of faith with the community of mankind.
    Joseph Conrad

    IMHO, Megan’s sometimes tongue-in-cheek or satrical voice used to inform her neighbors about what might be considered featureless-commonplace crimes, the crazy bumps in the day or night events that frighten us and mold us, the sadly comic, violent or stupid breaches of faith within our community is, well, spot on. It is difficult to find another source for a weekly, local, heads up as to what one should be aware of in our community, things to be considered on many different levels of awareness.

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