The WSBeat: Road rage; off-leash rage; elevator rage … and at least two lives saved

April 27, 2012 at 2:47 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police, WSBeat | 32 Comments

By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog

As always, the WSBeat summaries are from reports on cases handled recently by Southwest Precinct officers, incidents of note that (usually) have not already appeared here in breaking-news coverage or West Seattle Crime Watch reports, but that might at least answer the question “what WERE all those police doing on my block (whenever)?”:

*Around noon on Saturday, a male driver pursued and harassed a female driver from Avalon and 35th all the way to downtown. He employed a variety of methods: tailgating, honking, flipping her off, and swerving through traffic to first pass and then pull into her lane before slamming on the brakes. He followed her off the 4th Avenue off-ramp, toward downtown, continuing the honking, flipping, and tailgating until she was able to lose him on some side streets. He was described as a white male with brown hair. He drove a four-door black Lexus that is registered to an address in the Admiral area.

*Wednesday afternoon at Me-Kwa-Mooks Park, a Highland Park resident noticed that another park-goer’s “very large dogs” were off-leash. She asked that he leash them, especially because her own three (leashed) dogs could be aggressive. The 66-year-old responded to this request by raising his hand to her and saying “You need to be punched.” He later told an officer that the woman was a “busybody” who liked to tell people what to do. He agreed that his use of words had been threatening and was sorry about the incident. The report does not state whether the Beach Drive-area resident was cited for having his dogs off leash.

*Monday afternoon, an allegedly intoxicated man and his friend fled the scene of a Alaska Junction apartment building after arguing with (and head-butting) a woman for being too slow in getting off an elevator.

Five more summaries ahead, including a “Facebook flirtation” gone wrong:

*Just how fast was that Alki-to-Admiral Way motorcyclist going on Monday afternoon? So fast that an officer following at 55 MPH (in the 30 MPH zone) couldn’t catch up. He alerted fellow officers to the failed stop, and one of them nabbed the guy at the top of the hill. The 32-year-old Burien resident was handcuffed and booked into King County Jail for investigation of reckless driving.

*When a local woman’s Facebook flirtation got out of hand, she asked an officer for advice about the problem: The man had threatened to post “racy” photos of her on the Internet unless she agreed to have sex with him. She provided the man’s phone number to the officer and, after confirming the man’s identity, the officer gave him a call. There was no answer, but a records check provided his mother’s name and number. So Mommy got the call and assured the officer that she’d tell him to delete all the photos, not post anything about the woman, and to never contact her again.

*An officer responded to a theft call in the Avalon area on Saturday evening. The citizen blamed his landlord because his favorite sweatshirt had disappeared, his answering machine was speaking only in French, and his box of Cocoa Puffs had turned into a box of Cocoa Krispies. The man admitted that he had a mental health history, and the officer stood watch as he took a dose of meds. She suggested to him that the incidents likely had more to do with his mental issues than with his landlord. She alerted the man’s caseworker, who promised to visit the next day. The citizen assured the officer that he would be fine for the evening and agreed to call 911 if he began to feel out of control.

*Around 6 a.m. Saturday, a woman called 911 and threatened to kill herself. Medics arrived at the scene on 59th SW and were able to coax the woman out from under the playground equipment where she had buried herself in the mulch. By the time officers arrived, the woman had been treated and had a bandage on her neck, having told medics that she’d tried to hit her jugular vein with her pocket knife. The 25-year-old Snohomish resident accepted a ride to Harborview for treatment and for a mental health exam.

*A disabled veteran has faced mounting difficulties caring for himself after his utilities were turned off for non payment. On Wednesday of last week, around noon, frustrated and despondent, he called City Light to plead his case, but ultimately hung up after threatening suicide. The City Light employee immediately called 911 and said she thought he was heading to the Veterans Administration Center for assistance. Officers were dispatched, but he had already left when they arrived. Fortunately, he called back while they were there; unfortunately, he said he had a gun in the back seat of his car and was ready to use it. The VA counselor kept the man on the phone for an hour while other police resources tried to pinpoint his location. His car was finally traced to the Roxbury area, where officers found him calm and cooperative but clearly despondent. He agreed to go to the hospital for a mental evaluation if the officers would try to help get his utilities turned back on. While he was being treated at the hospital, the two officers worked with more than eleven city, county, state, and private charities to get large portions of his utility bills covered and the services restored. Later that afternoon, he was delighted to be brought home by police and amazed that they had followed through on their pledge to help. The Seattle Police Department Crisis Intervention Team has been alerted to the case for possible followup.

==============

EDITOR’S NOTE: Also, remember, the CRISIS LINE is a resource for those in crisis, including thoughts or acts of self-harm: 206.461.3222 … WSBeat roundups are archived here. 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 something happening = calling or texting 206-293-6302 is the best way.

32 Comments

  1. Excellent work by the victim of the road rager to get the vehicle’s license plate number. Cell phone pictures also are helpful in such instances.

    I hope an SPD officer follows up with a visit to the home of the registered owner for a little chat.

    And thumbs up to the 2 officers who cared enough to help the troubled vet. Good karma to you!

    Comment by Harry Reems — 2:53 pm April 27, 2012 #

  2. After so much negative press, it’s good to read something positive about the SPD – especially involving a veteran.

    Comment by Todd — 2:57 pm April 27, 2012 #

  3. good work helping the disabled veteran, but why in the world does it have to be so hard to get help? This type of help should be only a phone call away? It was clearly not easy if the officers had to enlist help from 11 !! agencies. Not easy for an the officers to do, much less one private individual, despondent and disabled or not

    Comment by visitor — 3:45 pm April 27, 2012 #

  4. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a wall of shame for all the offenders cited above? Big color photos and names for everyone to see. If Mr. Lexus road rage is a father his children must be very proud. Not to mention his wife. And parents. And boss.

    Comment by dbsea — 3:54 pm April 27, 2012 #

  5. Kudos to SPD for their handling of the veteran’s case! After reading all of the depressing summaries preceding that one, I was especially happy to see it.

    Comment by SB — 3:56 pm April 27, 2012 #

  6. The dorky idiot running his big dogs off-leash at Me Kwa Mooks Park has been going on FOR YEARS.

    Tell me, what else is new?

    Comment by West Seattleite — 5:51 pm April 27, 2012 #

  7. Imagine. If 11 agencies gave the cops the runaround, you can bet five times as many failed to step to the task of helping the vet. It is not a crime to be poor, disabled, or struggling. Why do some people make it seem like it is?

    Comment by Band geek's mom — 6:20 pm April 27, 2012 #

  8. I would urge the Black Lexus’ next victim to pull into the Fire Dept station there on Fourth. Then lay on the horn!

    What a jerk!

    Comment by Band geek's mom — 6:22 pm April 27, 2012 #

  9. stands up and cheers for the officers who helped the vet!

    Comment by ET — 6:28 pm April 27, 2012 #

  10. SO tired of the LOOSE dogs in all the parks. What, 30% at least? Its really not cute. Too bad the city couldn’t beef up their citations and make a lot of money!

    Comment by MEL — 6:37 pm April 27, 2012 #

  11. My hat’s off to those officers who helped a veteran in need. That’s definitely above and beyond what they needed to do. I hope they know how much the WS residents appreciate their kindness.

    Comment by tootrue — 7:01 pm April 27, 2012 #

  12. Road rage, black Lexus with brown-haired caucasian male driver…
    reminds me of this one a few years back, wonder is it the same guy?

    http://westseattleblog.com/2008/02/reader-report-road-raging-on-an-otherwise-lovely-day

    Comment by cruzer — 7:19 pm April 27, 2012 #

  13. The Black Lexus’ guy sounds like an ex of mine. He would do crap like that all the time to other drivers that pissed him off or just for no reason at all. The scary part was that he often did it while I was a passenger in the truck w/him.

    Comment by NB — 7:23 pm April 27, 2012 #

  14. I am the so called HP “busybody” at Me Kwa who was physically threatened by the jerk with the big dogs off leash. Funny that he says I am a “busybody” since i’ve never met him before and don’t live down there. With that said, his dogs were off leash as I came around the corner on the sidewalk heading for the poop bag dispenser. They started running up to my dogs and I asked him NICELY to grab his dogs as my pit bull can be aggressive with strange dogs and I needed a poop bag. Instead of just calling his dogs like a normal person, he started screaming at me that I was an “***hole” and needed to be punched. His dogs kept approaching. I explained again that I needed to go that way to get a bag and he needed to leash his dogs since he doesn’t get special privileges and has to follow the law. More verbal abuse ensued with no effort to rein in his dogs. As I neared the poop bag container he came rushing up to me, face red, with a raised fist just inches from my face – at the same time my pit was going nuts as his dogs were circling around mine. He told me he was going to “punch me in the face to shut my mouth”. Much to his dismay an SPD officer was driving by and I waved my hand to flag him down. The guy walked away quickly with his dogs, trying to get thru the bushes. He was put on the back of the car, frisked, and a complaint forwarded to the prosecutor for further investigation of assault. The officer saw both of his big dogs off leash but not sure if they gave him tickets for that. The officer told me that I did the right thing, kept my cool, and have every right to walk my leashed dogs without being threatened or harrassed.

    If the prosecutor contacts me, I intend to press charges. The jerk could have avoided this whole thing if he would have just controlled his dogs at the outset so I could walk by without incident. I’m not going to have other members of the public physically threatened the way I was – especially when they are in control of their own animals.

    FYI – the cop told me that the idiot has been banned from Me Kwa permanently. If anyone sees him – older dude with short white beard, drives a dirty older 4 door Toyota – call the police and report him PLEASE!

    Comment by flyonthewall — 8:11 pm April 27, 2012 #

  15. Re: ‘Flyonthewall’ & the mean man @ MeKwaMooks park. I’m glad you and the officer were diligent, but an additional thought I always have whenever there is some stupid or abusive person with animals is what kind of hell the poor dogs go through, especially when there is no one to witness any abuse to them of similar anger. By the way, what also is the description of his doggies?

    Comment by 4th of Eight — 9:28 pm April 27, 2012 #

  16. Warmed my heart to hear the story of SPD helping the vet – there is good in the world.

    Comment by raincity — 9:28 pm April 27, 2012 #

  17. As a former West Seattle resident (for over 20 years) I have to say how proud I am of the people who live there. So many comment pages are filled with hate speech but every comment here is kind, respectful and HUMANE. I especially take my hat off to ‘flyonthewall’ who not only handled a very difficult situation with tremendous grace, but also reported additional detail here with the same. No rants, no crass comments, just mature head shaking. I’m so sorry you had to deal with what must have been a very scary situation but am proud of you for so many reasons and happy you were not harmed by this very angry man. Bless you and bless West Seattle!

    Comment by Karen — 10:01 pm April 27, 2012 #

  18. Thanks @flyonthewall, you’re the kind of dog owner I love and have a lot of respect for. That guy at Me Kwa: the essence of the problem. Maybe….what? 1 in 10 that aggressive? As a runner who’s been bitten and had to go to court to get satisfaction from essentially the same guy you encountered (just a different name), I know what that’s like.

    Unfortunately I find perhaps 1 in 5 dog owners out there in West Seattle to be “only” pretty selfish (if only by being conveniently careless and “unaware” of what’s going on with the dog they’re responsible for), and that’s a big problem too.

    Makes it suck to walk through a park sometimes. or even just down the street. I wish it weren’t so, but this is America, and some people have a damned strange relationship with their pets…

    Comment by brizone — 11:30 pm April 27, 2012 #

  19. @ flyonthewall, this sounds like the same guy who brought his dogs to Westcrest where, on three different occasions, they packed up and attacked my dog and took him down on his back. When I intervened and asked the guy to control his dogs, he turned his back and walked away. Another time he yelled at me. Grossly irrational behavior as if he has dementia or some other severe mental health disorder. I avoid Westcrest now and it’s nice to know where else to avoid to not come in contact with this guy.

    Comment by Joan — 8:42 am April 28, 2012 #

  20. @flyonthewall: Thank you for following through with making sure that the aggressive dog owner actually learns a lesson. Some people only learn through losing their pound of flesh.

    Comment by adamk — 8:57 am April 28, 2012 #

  21. Whoa, whoa, WHOA! I thought WS residents don’t break the law, only those from the towns??

    Comment by DIzzle — 9:36 am April 28, 2012 #

  22. Lots of angry men taking it out on women in this edition. The poor despondent suicidal woman doesn’t need to kill herself – sounds like there’s quite a few men are willing to do it for her. Kudos to the police for helping the vet. This is the guy that needs help and should not have to get this bad before he is helped.

    Comment by louise jo — 12:27 pm April 28, 2012 #

  23. Thanks fly.

    Comment by rats — 4:39 pm April 28, 2012 #

  24. There’s a word for people who let their dogs run loose: bullies.

    Comment by nwgal — 11:59 pm April 28, 2012 #

  25. Thanks @flyonthewall! I share your irritation about off leash dogs. They are a hazard to park and beach-goers, and the owners are usually total a**holes when you ask them to follow the law. Unfortunately, the city turns a blind eye to the problem and does NOTHING to address the issue such as giving officers encouragement to ticket off leash dog owners (A typical response – not our problem, it’s animal control’s).
    The story about the vet is very sad, but even more so that a publically-owned utility would turn off someone’s power or water in this economic climate!

    Comment by Sierra — 7:38 am April 29, 2012 #

  26. Clean up your yard in regard for your neighbors.
    Also don’t forget the parking strip.
    Thistle st regards

    Comment by Phil Morris — 9:37 am April 29, 2012 #

  27. Dogs off leash are a huge problem in Lincoln Park as well. I’ve seen dog owners allow their off-leash dogs chase and kill squirrels, and walk away like it’s just good, clean fun, not to mention the ones that allow their pets to deficate on the beach! Just kick a little sand over it. If you say anything, you get an F— you, even in front of their kids! Gatewood Elementary playground is also used as an off-leash park, and they don’t pick up after themselves.

    By the way, I am a dog lover and owner, but I comply with the law.

    Comment by A J R — 10:58 am April 29, 2012 #

  28. The vet who had his utilities turned off may find some help through the City of Seattle. If you’re low or no income, they cover your electricity bill. Call them at 206.684.0268.

    It can take a while to process the forms (mine took a month), but it’s well worth it to see if you qualify.

    Best wishes to this man.

    Comment by anita — 12:41 pm April 29, 2012 #

  29. I’m a dog owner and have done volunteer rescue work for years and wholeheartedly agree with the anger toward people who let their dogs off-leash anywhere other than their own fenced yard or off-leash park. My leashed dog has been attacked by “perfectly trained” off-leash dogs twice. These entitled a-holes lack the most basic understanding of dog behavior or that their pets are animals with evolutionary instincts that drive them to behave in certain ways regardless of the amount of training they’ve had (which is often none). As much as I love dogs, I usually carry pepper spray. In the case reported here, I’d probably have used it on the guy and his dogs.
    @brizone – there are many of us who practice good manners with our pets, including stepping aside into the grass when side-by-side runners, strollers and bicyclists require the entire sidewalk. Bad behavior occurs across the board and, in my opinion, stems from a general sense of entitlement and the belief that you are always in the right and your needs are more important than others. Some of these self-absorbed people happen to have dogs, some have kids, and unfortunately all share our public spaces…

    Comment by Ajax — 10:03 am April 30, 2012 #

  30. @flyonthewall – don’t wait for the prosecutor to contact you, contact them. This guy is obviously deranged and it’s only a matter of time before someone is injured or that the he is attacked by someone’s dog defending them from him. I doubt that you’re the only person he’s harassed and it’s possible that his behavior is escalating. Sorry that this happened to you – it’s scary enough to encounter large off-leash dogs even without a lunatic human thrown into the mix.

    Comment by Ajax — 10:12 am April 30, 2012 #

  31. I called animal control this weekend for some off leash dogs at a WS playfield while several organized teams were trying to play soccer games. No response from animal control as I watched various dogs play catch with their owners for over an hour.
    .
    Dog owners, if you are going to break the law, at least do it at an empty field and not around people who have a lawful right to be there.
    .
    Incredibly, I watched 2 SPD patrol cars drive by the playfield slowly as if on general patrol and they did not say anything to people walking on the sidewalk with off leash dogs nor did they do anything about off leash dogs on the playfield. Both were well within shouting distance of the officers who could have taken 2 seconds to simply say, “Hey, your dog needs to be leashed.” As others have noted and as I have experienced, when the geneal public tries to keep owners honest they are met with a F#@% YOU! I doubt they would try that with an officer. It would be fun to watch them try though.
    .
    I’ve been emailing, calling etc about this issue for a couple of years. The law is clear on this issue. More people need to complain to the city that this is an issue we care about. It seems that only a large group, making a stink will get some action. Until then, we will continue to have the current situation.

    Comment by angel — 10:58 am April 30, 2012 #

  32. All, and I can prove ALL pitbulls have over an 75% chance of being people/dog killers whether leashed, confined by strong fencing inside homes of owners who think they are just big goofy babies with a bad reputation. Firefly, I am sure you are a good person and responsibly. There may be those who remember the instance at Bar-S little game where a pitbull suddently broke control of strong owner, even bring them to ground and skinned my medium, leashed poodle in front of parents and kids just moments after I left my car. I have worked on Pitbull attacks since the 70′s in Hawaii, then CA. The demanted man was fortunate that he didn’t have to be wrapped in a special mesh to hold remaining body parts like a former client in CA who went to the defense of her grandchild who was attacked by a leashed pitbull who suddenly just broke and pulled the child off swing by neck. My favorite (?) is the woman who defended her pitbull after he killed her 12 year old son in their home. “He’s really a teddy bear”…Her son had just been taken from home…???? There is a reason why homeowners with such dogs are denied home insurance. These dogs should not be allowed in populated areas. Firefly, I am sure you are a loving and responsible person and dog owner. These dogs are likely to snap no matter how sweetly they have been raised. Actually stats show pitbulls trained to fight are LESS likely to attack/snap strangers without provocation. Please continue to be responsible as possible and if you see children in park, do not enter. In this internet age there is no excuse to think “my dog would never snap attack.”

    Comment by PitBull — 8:43 am May 3, 2012 #

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