The WSBeat: On the run but not on the run; laptop grabber…

EDITOR’S NOTE: Though some categories of crime are down, that doesn’t mean local police aren’t busy. This is the seventh weekly installment of this new WSB feature, and now it has a name. If nothing else, some of the summaries may answer questions you had about police responses you saw in the past week or so …

By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog

From reports on cases handled recently by Southwest Precinct officers:

*Around 6 p.m. Saturday, a call came in to 911 about a man running near 35th and Juneau with a large knife. Officers quickly found the man, who was fairly easy to spot, seeing that he was dressed in fatigues and carrying a machete. He was handcuffed and taken to the SW Precinct. An investigation soon showed that he was part of a group of military aficionados engaged in a scavenger hunt through the neighborhood.

*After placing an online ad to sell her computer (a MacBook Pro), a woman agreed to meet a potential buyer on Saturday evening at a fast-food restaurant at 35th SW/Avalon. As she pulled the computer from her bag so that he could examine it, the “potential buyer” grabbed it from her grasp and fled in a large dark-colored sedan driven by a woman.

(8 more summaries ahead:)

*Sunday around noon, officers in The Junction were alerted to be on the lookout for a
woman who had threatened to jump from one of the buildings. Shortly
afterward, 911 operators received numerous calls about a woman on the ledge
of the West Seattle Bridge — and the car nearby matched the description of the woman who had threatened suicide. Officers hurried to the span and were able to convince the 40-year-old to step away from the ledge. She was transported to the hospital for care.

*Around 3 a.m. Monday, a citizen called 911 to report a woman walking around inside an abandoned house in the Admiral area that was being used for training by the Seattle Fire Department. She admitted to officers that she was “scrapping” — searching the premises for “piles of metal.” The 42-year-old Arbor Heights resident was booked into King County Jail for investigation of criminal trespass.

*Around 4 a.m. Tuesday, at 32nd and Roxbury, someone in a group of young males threw a beer can at a passing car, causing it to swerve into oncoming traffic. When the driver stopped to question the suspects (who ranged in age from 18-21), they ran off. Officers found them hiding in the 9200 block of 32nd SW. The four had a variety of stories about what had happened and why. Two of the suspects were released. One had resisted being stopped and was booked into King County Jail for investigation of obstruction. The fourth — whose denials (“We were never on Roxbury”) — were in complete contrast to his companions’ stories—was booked into King County Jail for investigation of reckless endangerment.

*Saturday afternoon, officers responded to a Gatewood Hill address regarding a fight with a knife. The primary suspect recognized one officer and walked directly toward him, yelling that he hated him and would not comply with orders. As his friends told him to “chill out and quit resisting,” the 18-year-old had to be forced to the ground and handcuffed. The other alleged combatant followed officers’ instructions without incident. Although no knife was found, the angry young man was booked into King County Jail for investigation of obstruction.

*A 26-year-old resident of the Morgan Junction earned a trip to jail Tuesday evening after repeatedly threatening to kill another resident of his apartment building. He denied making the threats and said that the victim was 1) his dad and 2) God, and that he, himself, was Satan. He has a history of mental illness and also admitted to officers that he was carrying a needle in his pants pocket for his heroin habit. He was booked for investigation of harassment.

*While a mom walked her older kids to school, she left dad in charge of their 3-year-old. When she returned, dad was gone, along with some of her belongings (including a car). The child was found asleep and unharmed.

*An older gentleman with a black eye requested police assistance on Friday, saying that his son hit him frequently. The officers questioned him extensively, just to make sure that he was lucid and consistent. They found him to be quite competent and felt there was cause to arrest the son. When it was clear that his son was going to jail, the victim suddenly changed his story, claimed to have a bad memory and stated that perhaps someone else had caused his injuries. The 46-year-old son was booked into King County Jail for investigation of non aggravated domestic violence assault. Dad was transported to Harborview for an evaluation, and social services have been alerted to the situation.

*Around 3:30 a.m. Sunday, an Alki-area resident was taken to Harborview for an evaluation after being found yelling, screaming, and breaking windows. An officer noticed that inside his house, the man — who has a history of threatening police — had turned all of his pieces of furniture onto their sides. Just before he was transported by ambulance, the man was asking the officer why all of those people were hanging out in the back of his patrol car. The car, of course, was empty.

Now that this feature has a name, it has an archive category of its own, though we’ll still link the weekly reports on the WSB Crime Watch page, so you can catch it there if you miss it in the main news stream.

15 Replies to "The WSBeat: On the run but not on the run; laptop grabber..."

  • austin November 17, 2010 (7:55 am)

    Is it illegal to have a machete? Or was the guy brandishing the machete in an unusual way? What about using a machete for yard work? If my neighbors didn’t like the looks of me hacking away at my decorative grasses would the cops come and get me?

  • bridge to somewhere November 17, 2010 (9:05 am)

    @austin. sorry, but i think it’s perfectly reasonable for the police to stop someone walking around a neighborhood in fatigues and a machete.

  • ellenater November 17, 2010 (9:12 am)

    Again, LOVE this new addition to WSB. In addition to being informative, it’s hilarious at times and also heartening. Bravo!.

    Glad that woman was talked down!

    Fav: “…who was fairly easy to spot, seeing that he was dressed in fatigues and carrying a machete… An investigation soon showed that he was part of a group of military aficionados engaged in a scavenger hunt through the neighborhood”

    SO good!!!!

  • austin November 17, 2010 (10:00 am)

    I agree. This guy was handcuffed and taken to jail however, much more than a “stop”. I have no argument that he was doing something unusual verging on suspicious but what was he doing that was actually against the law? I know that fatigues are legal, as is walking or running on the sidewalk. My question is in regards to the machete, and if they are legal or not. And if so, what was the crime here?

  • D November 17, 2010 (10:04 am)

    @bridgetosomewhere. sorry, but it’s not perfectly reasonable to handcuff and take a person into custody for participating in a scavenger hunt in his own neighborhood.

  • HolyKow November 17, 2010 (10:05 am)

    Wow austin, time to change out the aluminum foil on the windows…the black helicopters might be able to see you now…

    If you are transporting a weapon (and walking down the street in full fatigues with a machete looking like you are “Hunting” for something ain’t hackin at your decorative grass!) then you need to have the common sense to be discrete. If you do not, the sheeple will call the cops and you will be questioned. Doubt if they held him more that for a little basic questioning, but come on! Common sense is not so common it would seem these days….

    be smart, be safe.


  • austin November 17, 2010 (10:21 am)

    And when did we start addressing people with the “@” prefix? Obnoxious.

  • umm November 17, 2010 (12:19 pm)

    What is with all these kids being left alone? A toddler left wandering in the street, now a father up and leaves his kid alone when the mom is taking the others to school? That’s some sad parenting we’ve got going on around here.

  • waterworld November 17, 2010 (12:53 pm)

    Austin: Turns out it is unlawful under the Seattle Municipal Code, 12A.14.080, to carry a “dangerous knive,” whether concealed or unconcealed. I’m not going to take the time to look into whether a machete qualifies as a dangerous knife. My hunch is that it does. There are some exceptions to the rule in 12A.14. Given that there’s a general criminal code section covering this, the officers would be entitled to make an arrest and detain the guy for a short period of time to determine that he is not engaged in a crime.

  • Andy November 17, 2010 (1:13 pm)

    “…whether a machete qualifies as a dangerous knife.”

    Have you seen ANY of the Friday the 13th movies?

  • Baba November 17, 2010 (1:45 pm)

    i can’t even imagine the public outcry if the cops just talked to the guy and left….and then he did hurt someone with that machete…Not to mention the millions of $$$ the victims family would have sued the police for.

  • austin November 17, 2010 (2:48 pm)

    It’s pretty amazing that people would attack me for asking a simple question. I’m glad I could help you feel superior, I hope the view is nice from up there.

  • carolyn November 17, 2010 (3:26 pm)

    i love love love this section of WSB- nice job Megan!

  • RG November 17, 2010 (4:14 pm)

    Austin, I read your question earlier today; I had wondered the same thing.

    I just now came back to see what folks would say. Just ignore the scathing diatribes of others. You’re right, it’s a superiority thing.

  • waterworld November 17, 2010 (6:00 pm)

    Austin: I didn’t mean to attack you — I was reasonably confident that there is no state statute prohibiting carrying a machete, and I was somewhat surprised at the breadth of the city code provision. I just wanted to find, and post, what the law says. If I offended you, I’m sorry.

    (Oh, and it’s “knife,” of course, not “knive.”)

Sorry, comment time is over.

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