By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog
From reports on cases handled recently by Southwest Precinct officers – first case includes an update on a reader-reported incident earlier this week
*A watchful neighbor prevented the theft of a package from a 35th Avenue front porch on Monday. She scared off the thief, who had apparently been following a UPS truck on its route and making off with the deliveries. Followup since 1st WSB story on this: The suspect’s car was found later that day run off the road into the brush at Fairmount and Admiral Way SW. There were no keys in the ignition and no sign of the driver. Its license plate had been stolen in North Seattle, and the car, itself, had been reported stolen somewhere in Seattle on December 22nd.
*An officer driving by a construction site on Avalon Way early Monday was suspicious when he passed two men carrying bundles of pipe along the road. He became more suspicious when, after pulling a U-turn to observe the pair, he discovered that one of the men had disappeared. (He turned out to be a transient with a history of copper-wire theft, found later, out of breath, and carrying the same type of electric tape that had been used to bind the pipe bundles.) The remaining fellow’s story didn’t check out, and a grocery cart nearby was filled with a hacksaw, gloves, and welding ground cables (which contain copper). The pair was interviewed and released from the precinct pending location of a victim.
Nine more summaries ahead:
*Earlier in the month, after using several pool balls as weapons, a man was booted from a North Admiral bar and told never to return. Early Sunday he reappeared and repeatedly refused to leave (that is, until officers arrived, when he apparently scooted out a back door). He was spotted and detained, but his friend joined in the festivities, raising his fists in a fighting stance and screaming at officers to let him go. After ignoring several warnings to desist, the friend was arrested for obstruction. The original suspect was arrested for trespassing. And managers of nearby establishment who happened to witness the fracas asked that both men be officially trespassed – formally ordered to stay out – from their premises as well.
*A man driving a car with three passengers (and a defective headlight) sped northbound down 35th on Sunday night ignoring lights and sirens. After winding around a neighborhood arterial, he eventually came to a dead end near West Seattle High School, where the officer saw him making furtive movements as if hiding or reaching for something under the seat. At first refusing to exit, he was eventually forcibly removed at gunpoint and handcuffed. He continued to struggle and made “disgusting sexual comments” about a female officer and about the three Bellevue teen girls who were passengers in his car. (They were picked up by their parents at the Southwest Precinct.) Their 19-year-old pal—also a Bellevue resident — was booked into King County Jail for investigation of refusal to stop, obstruction, no valid operators license, speeding, no proof of insurance, and the defective headlight.
*Last Thursday, while running random license plate checks, an officer got a hit on a car whose owner was wanted on three misdemeanor warrants. Though a West Seattle resident, the 51-year-old man was located at the local motel (where the car was parked), and was detained at King County Jail for later pickup by Kirkland police. The warrants: $25,000 DUI from Kirkland, $3,000 hit and run from Redmond, and $10,000 for violation of a domestic violence no-contact order from Bainbridge Island.
*A passing citizen saw a man slapping a woman repeatedly in an apartment building in the 4800 block of California Ave. SW early Sunday and called 911. Responding officers heard the couple engaged in a loud argument, but by the time they knocked the couple had spotted them outside the window and decided to sit demurely on a couch. The two were separated and interviewed. Both denied there was any problem, though the woman’s face was red and tears welled in her eyes as she spoke. Officers determined there was probably cause to arrest the man for domestic violence assault, which caused the woman to become hysterical and blame officers for “ruining her life.” Both parties admitted they had been drinking. And one officer remembered the woman from a DV incident last year in a different apartment in the same building. Then, as now, she had denied that there was any problem.
*Friday afternoon, a man walked into the Southwest Police Precinct lobby and said he wanted to turn himself in, as he was wanted on several outstanding warrants. He was booked into King County Jail for a $25,000 warrant for two counts of domestic violence assault.
*In the Charlestown neighborhood, concerned neighbors called 911 to report a foul odor and to say they hadn’t seen their elderly neighbor in months. Fearing the worst, officers responded to the apartment. The door was answered by a 41-year-old who said her mother was out of town. Entering to perform a welfare check, officers found garbage, old food, animal feces and used maxi pads scattered all over the floor. Flies were everywhere, and plastic bags covered the windows. A dog was locked in the bathroom. Neighbors said that three cats also lived in the residence, but officers found no evidence of them. Reached by phone, the apartment resident confirmed she was out of state and that she’d clean up her daughter’s mess when she got home (though she didn’t say when that would be). Both the Health Department and Animal Control have been alerted to check on the situation.
*A 26-year-old was booked into King County Jail on Sunday for investigation of harassment after he and a 17-year-old buddy spent part of the evening yelling epithets and threats of sexual assault at customers and employees of two Westwood Village stores. When placed into handcuffs, the juvenile “threw a fit” and flung himself on the ground. Several officers had to carry him to a patrol car. He was released from the Southwest Precinct pending possible charges and was trespassed from Westwood Village for one year. The older man denied talking to any females and claimed he was being harassed by security guards for racial reasons. He, too, was trespassed from the shopping center for one year.
*Saturday evening, a 21-year-old used a table to shatter a window and jump two stories to escape a local mental facility. There on a court order, he was described as being assaultive, on suicide watch and on escape watch and suffered from multiple delusions. He was last seen in dark blue scrubs and had no shoes, though he did have access to a letterman’s jacket and a dark blue Abercrombie hoodie sweatshirt. No word yet on whether he has been found.
*In the past four months, 911 operators have received over a dozen calls for medical assistance from a 49-year-old West Seattle woman. Four calls have come in this month alone—most recently a threatened suicide which involved officers, medics, and a S.W.A.T. Unit. Monday saw a fifth call — a hang-up call to 911. Officers found a darkened residence, and there was no answer to repeated knocks and calls. Concerned at the prospect of injury, officers forced entry and found the woman lying on her bed, confused and flush with mood swings and a variety of health complaints. She denied having called 911. Once again, she was transported to Harborview while officers secured the residence.
24-hour suicide-prevention hotline: Crisis Clinic, 206.461.3222
WSB Editor’s Note: The WSBeat has an archive category of its own, though we’re still linking the weekly reports on the WSB Crime Watch page, so you can catch it there if you miss it in the main news stream. We also continue to publish crime reports the rest of the week, when we get tips or hear noteworthy incidents via the scanner, so don’t be shy about letting us know when you see/hear news. Thanks!