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 last Thursday, officers were dispatched to the 9200 block of Delridge Way SW to look for an “armed and dangerous” man wanted on a California warrant. After seeing a man fitting the general description enter a convenience store, they watched from outside and spotted unique identifying tattoos on his neck. As the man stepped up to the counter to pay for his drink, he was arrested without incident.
*Then on Thursday afternoon, members of the Pacific Northwest Fugitive Task Force arrested a man in the 4700 block of 44th SW. He was wanted in Orange County, California for felony stalking. The 45-year-old was booked into King County jail to await extradition.
*A savvy citizen called 911 after midnight last Tuesday to report that a suspicious person was looking in car windows in the 7500 block of Dumar Way SW. The suspect tried to evade officers who arrived at the scene, but was caught in a nearby greenbelt. His front pockets were full of bank and credit cards with a woman’s name. His backpack contained two digital cameras, two cell phones, two cell chargers, a video game, two controllers, an MP3 player and a folding knife. The suspect—a downtown resident—was booked into King County Jail for investigation of felony possession of stolen property.
8 more summaries, including the case of the hidden gun that led to an apology, ahead:
*Just after 1 a.m. on Wednesday, an officer spotted a car inside closed Don Armeni Boat Ramp park. An ID check showed that the 21-year-old driver had a suspended license (for five unpaid tickets and two misdemeanor warrants totaling $13,000 from Tacoma and Kirkland). He was also a convicted felon, in trouble most recently for unlawful possession of a firearm and eluding. He denied that there were any weapons in the car. After waiting for backup, the officer performed a cursory search and saw a purse under the car’s front seat. The 24-year old girlfriend allowed the officer to look through the bag, where he found a loaded .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol. The driver admitted the gun was his and that he had placed it in her purse. She was released. He was transported to the precinct, where he willingly gave a statement, said he did not know the weapon was stolen, and admitted that this would be his “third strike” for firearms possession. The officer allowed the suspect to call the girlfriend and he apologized to her for putting her in a “bad situation.” He was booked into King County jail for investigation of firearms violations.
*Just after one a.m. Saturday, a man told officers he was walking eastbound on Roxbury near 4th SW when a dark green or dark blue Toyota Tercel four-door began to follow him. At one point the driver leaned forward and reached under the driver’s seat. Scared, the victim turned onto a foot trail and hid in some bushes, watching as the car left southbound on Olson Place. It later returned and shined its headlights directly where he was hiding. The car left, and the victim reports he soon heard three or four gunshots. (No “shots fired” calls were reported to 911 at that time.) The suspect was described as a “muscular” Hispanic male, aged 22-29, wearing a dark blue baseball cap and a black hooded jacket.
*A property owner was surprised to discover two transients squatting in her Avalon-area rental. Officers made their way through sleeping bags, clothing shoes, broken needles and other evidence of drug use and arrested the men, brothers from Pennsylvania. The pair said that they had met a man downtown, told him they needed a place to stay, and he drove them to the address. This helpful stranger turned out to be the previous tenant, who had been evicted.
*Some tenants in the Fauntlee Hills area are none too pleased with their landlord/housemate: It seems that the strangers he brought home from a Belltown bar early Saturday stole the residents’ money, credit and debit cards. The landlord apologized to officers for being unable to describe the suspects in detail, stating that he had been too intoxicated to remember much. As he thought more, however, he realized that the two women in the group kept trying to distract him while the male entered various rooms of the house.
*A 13-year-old runaway used the emergency phone outside the Southwest Precinct late Wednesday to call 911 and ask for a ride “home.” He was calm and cooperative, but said that the counselors at his SeaTac group residence have not dealt with a bullying issue that has escalated to death threats. The young man said he had already run away from the facility six times and preferred to go to the Spruce Street youth home downtown. Officers transported him and left him in the custody of a counselor.
*On Saturday evening, an ambulance driver (and a neighbor) were concerned about the welfare of his elderly passenger, who had left Swedish Medical Center and gone home against the advice of her doctors. Officers were dispatched to check on her and confirmed the driver’s report: The woman was unable to stand or walk or care for herself. Though the home was fairly clean, medications were scattered about and the woman didn’t know what to take and when. Her wheelchair got stuck on the carpet. She assured officers that her downstairs tenant would help her (which was a surprise to the tenant). Officers assisted her to the bathroom and helped with a colostomy bag that opened and spilled. After cleaning her up and helping her into fresh clothes, an officer called Adult Protective Services and got the answering machine. (The reports notes the office is only open Monday-Friday from 8-5.) In a last-ditch effort, the officer even calling Child Protective Services for help but was told that the state does not fund after-hours care for vulnerable adults.
*Seattle City Light employees requested an officer standby as they turned off the power to an Arbor Heights home. The resident (who was far behind on his power bills) had put up barricades and posted threatening signs to discourage anyone from stepping onto his property. Officers photographed the scene and signs and stayed on site until the job was completed.
*A local man is convinced his neighbors of twenty years are flooding his basement and damaging his yard. In apparent retaliation for these perceived actions, he has destroyed their fence and taken to throwing large amounts of feces onto their driveway, cars, and into their compost bin. In order to contact the suspect on his front lawn, officers had to navigate around “a large amount of barbed wire strung up between the yard, as well as a spiked post and a nearly invisible small chain strung across the front steps to his front door.” The agitated suspect refused to let officers inside the home, saying he didn’t want them to see his two small children. He stated that all of his neighbors dump feces in his yard and denied he had done the same. He agreed to call police in the future if he had problems with his neighbors.
EDITOR’S NOTE: 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.