Reader reports: 2 mystery incidents on Genesee Hill

We’ve received two reports of incidents that don’t clearly qualify for West Seattle Crime Watch classification, but are both of potential interest – one as a warning, one as a mystery. One involves a frightening encounter early today, the other a mysterious discovery last night, and both – apparently coincidentally – happened along the Genesee Hill stretch of SW Genesee west of California (map) – read on for both:

First one came in this morning, from Pat:

This morning around 5:30 AM I was going east (toward the Junction) on SW Genesee, having started out at 55th.

As I came over the hill I noticed a car sitting to my right maybe at 49th or 50th which made no attempt to move onto Genesee. It was odd and I was cautious. As I approached, he pulled out of the side street and blocked my way, stopping directly in front of me with his bright lights on me.

At first I was puzzled. Then I was alarmed, as I attempted to go around him and he moved, twice, to prevent my passage, clearly intent on harm. I began to lean on my horn then kept it up while I got my cell phone, always on, thank goodness, from where I keep it quickly handy when I am in my car. (I always have it with me and on, when driving alone.) It is a pink phone and I held it up, clearly showing I was using it, as I began to call 911, still leaning on my horn with my elbow. At that point he pulled around me and sped off.

I took the best look at the car that I could in the early light and saw an older model sedan, light colored, and the driver all in black, a rather slightly built man, whose face was covered except for his eyes. and maybe his nose. I later learned that police were quickly dispatched but with so little information they were unable to track him. The police asked which direction he had gone when he reached 55th. I told them the wrong direction and ought to have merely said that he turned right. In retrospect, I believe the turned-on phone made visible to this person, more than my elbow on the horn, because of the early hour, was what saved me from what could have been a very nasty situation.

I believed him to be very dangerous both to me personally, and possibly wishing to steal my late model vehicle.

This incident reported last night by Anne was only blocks from that one:

We were driving up Genesee (Saturday) at just before 6:30 pm to find an elderly woman, probably in her late 80’s/early 90’s, lying in the middle of the road at approximately the intersection of 45th and Genesee.

She was wearing a royal blue fleece jacket, black pants and black slip on shoes with no socks. She was bleeding and appeared to have hit her head. She was disoriented and could not identify herself nor where she had come from. The medics who arrived at the scene could not locate any identification on her.

We are reporting this to you in the hopes that someone may step forward knowing who this woman is and where she belongs. The neighbors who came out at the scene did not know her. We can only hope that her family has found her, and that she is well …

14 Replies to "Reader reports: 2 mystery incidents on Genesee Hill"

  • Joe mcconnell April 17, 2011 (12:13 pm)

    thats my mom!

  • Concerned Parent April 17, 2011 (12:40 pm)

    Good Grief! If that’s not important enough to let people know about I wonder what is!!!??? Thanks people for reporting this to West Seattle Blog!!!!

  • Anne April 17, 2011 (1:23 pm)

    Seriously? I hope you’re not joking, don’t mean to suggest this is a laughing matter but you never know. I’ve been known to make a dark joke here and there. But my 5 year old has been asking incessantly about her and honestly, it would give me some peace of mind to know that her family knows where she is.

  • B-squared April 17, 2011 (2:01 pm)

    The first incident could have been a get-away car for another individual looting garages or cars in the vicinity.

  • jwws April 17, 2011 (3:02 pm)

    5:30 a.m. on Genesee heading to 55th sounds like it may have been our newspaper deliveryman, bundled up from the cold at that hour, who leaves his car running while dropping off papers – could explain the seemingly erratic behavior….

  • Genesee Hill April 17, 2011 (4:20 pm)


    Absolutely excellent point. Very plausible! I have encountered our Times deliveryman in the neighborhood at that hour. The car described sounds about right…

    He also runs a bit later on Sunday mornings…

  • EmmyJane April 17, 2011 (7:15 pm)

    Was wondering what was going on at 45th/Gennesee last night. I hope the woman is alright.

  • jwws April 17, 2011 (9:26 pm)

    Gen Hill

    We must be close neighbors – I really think it was our delivery guy – brights on, car running, pretty much same car description…

  • (required) April 17, 2011 (9:55 pm)

    You have to admit, it is sort of funny that Pat’s terrified story was defused by folks saying, essentially, “oh, that’s just my delivery guy. No worries!!” But, obviously, what happened to the poor woman in Anne’s eye witness account is far from funny….

  • ad April 17, 2011 (10:27 pm)

    I’m in the ‘hood too and have been startled and confused by newspaper delivery people early in the morn…but Pat’s account sounds different. Passage being blocked on Genesee going East would have to be purposeful because the arterial has the right of way. However I was confused by this:
    “stopping directly in front of me with his bright lights on me.” Does this mean the man took a left onto Genesee, but was in the Eastbound lane, facing her head on?
    A great misunderstanding or not, I’m sorry you had this experience, Pat.

    I also hope the woman from the other story is recovering at home and with family.

  • Tim April 18, 2011 (8:24 am)

    Sounds like a car jacker. probably bonked the old lady on the head and took her car. Sounds like they may have been setting Pat up to do the same thing.

  • Jasperblu April 18, 2011 (9:13 am)

    My mom had dementia for the last 12 years of her life, and she wandered off many times. I always worried about someone picking her up, robbing her, or harming her in some way. We had an Alzheimers Association ID bracelet on her for just this reason. In any case, it is NO laughing matter to see someone lying in the street, disoriented and hurt.
    Thank G-d Anne stopped to help her! Who knows how long she was there, or what could have happened if no one had stopped. I really hope she is ok and that police/fire are able to locate her family and get her back home safely.

  • Pat April 18, 2011 (10:06 am)

    This is clarification for the first item on today’s blog. This was no delivery person. As i drove east at dawn with no traffic other than me, I noticed this car with its lights on seemingly waiting on a side street at the south side of Genesee, with no visible reason to not pull into Genesee and be on his way. Being already alerted to the oddity of this vehicle sitting there, when he pulled in front of me, in my east-bound lane, and stopped, at first I was just puzzled, wondering if he had car trouble and needed help. I knew I would not respond to that so I honked and tried to go a round him; he moved again to block me, forcing me now into the west-bound lane. Really alarmed then, I attempted to look more closely at him, beyond the bright lights blinding me, frightened even more to see he was all in black and wearing a face mask covering all but his eyes. Leaning on the horn, I very visibly called 911. I knew I was potentially in big trouble. To my great relief he pulled over the west lane curb and sped away. In discussing this with the local police later, I was advised that the minute I felt intimidated or threatened, I ought to have called 911. Had I called immediately, a police vehicle might have been able to catch him. I was unable to wait there for the patrol car, as the urgency of my early trip meant I had to get on my way. (I gave 911 all the information I could and told them I could not wait for them.) I later learned from the police that because I could not wait for the officer, the incident will not be on a (local) police record but only as a 911 call. This blog report is the only place the details of this potentially very serious episode will be seen. I tremble yet to think what could have happened had he not been frightened away by my actions. Had he not left, once I had called 911 I was going to start beeping SOS code on my horn so anybody hearing it would at least know it wasn’t a car alarm.

  • Barbara Greenlee April 21, 2011 (1:15 am)

    Thanks for your concern and for those who helped my mother-in-law who wandered from home and fell last Saturday evening on SW Genesee. She was once quite a walker around her neighborhood, but of course, not recently until Saturday. She was quite injured and unable to recall her name for several hours at Harborview. Eventually she managed her name and address and the family was contacted. We have been busy with her medical care and adjustments to her living situation since then so missed the Blog entries. Thanks again to all our neighbors who helped her that evening. We are thrilled that West Seattle still has such heroes.

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