The WSBeat: Suspicious staring; business burglaries; $5 apology…

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 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?”:

*Along Alki on March 5th, a citizen flagged down a passing officer to express concerns about a man in a nearby coffee shop. The barista greeted the investigating officer, saying that the man had been sitting in the shop for an hour, staring at her, but had not ordered anything. A computer check showed that the suspect was wanted on a $5,000 King County warrant for negligent driving. He was arrested and booked into King County Jail.

*Overnight on the 3rd, both a gas station and a coffee shop near The Junction were burglarized. From one, the thief took lottery tickets, a computer, and some phones. (The cash register was untouched.) From the second, about $800 was missing.

*A citizen reports that on the afternoon of February 27th, he was followed closely, sworn at, and threatened with death four times by a man who was apparently enraged that the victim (riding what was described as a motorized disability scooter) was using the bicycle lane. The victim drove onto a side street to avoid the suspect, who followed him into the parking lot of an Admiral business to continue his tirade. The suspect was a white man, 30-49 years old, with brown hair and a full, short-trimmed beard. He drove a newer, black Volvo station wagon.

Ahead – alert citizens help catch car-prowling suspects, a $5 apology, and 6 more summaries:

*Thanks to reports from two alert citizens, police say, a 19-year-old from Tacoma and a 20-year-old from Tukwila were caught car prowling near Bonair Ave. and Alki Ave. SW on March 4th. They were booked into King County Jail.

*When a passerby told a young man to quit using an alley in The Junction as his personal potty, he got punched in the head and hit with rocks. The suspect (who also stole the victim’s cell phone) is an 18-year-old West Seattle resident, and was booked into King County Jail on February 21st. He faces investigation of robbery with a street weapon.

*On February 24th, an intoxicated male stepped away from his nine buddies and slapped the face of a driver who was waiting at the light at California and Alaska. One of the friends approached the victim, saying, “I’m sorry. He’s drunk. Please don’t call the police.” She then threw a $5 bill onto the passenger seat. An area check for the suspects was unsuccessful.

*On February 25th, a group of five intoxicated citizens stood at a Westwood Village bus stop, consuming and urinating in public and causing a disturbance. When officers arrived, one seemed a little confused, calling officers contradictory slurs (one starting with “n” and one starting with “h”). Another walked into traffic when told to walk to the police car and was then restrained when he threatened to disarm an officer. A third’s comments were “guttural noises and not recognizable as belonging to the English language.” A fourth spent the contact time yelling, “police brutality!” and “John T. Williams!” One, a woman, stripped off her shirt and tried to goad officers into a fight. She also spat at one officer but, as the report states, “…the wind was not in her favor and it dribbled back into her face and shirt.” All were warned about their behavior. Two left immediately; one tried to incite a racial argument but finally left on his own. A fourth complained of chest pain (she still had an electrode on her chest from a previous hospital visit). She was transported to the hospital. Officers later determined that the same group had been involved in a fight in South Park earlier in the day.

*Also on the 21st, officers responded to a disturbance in the 3000 block of 50th SW. One of the people involved was wanted on a $50,000 warrant for failing to appear to face charges of second degree robbery and domestic violence and drug violations. The 33-year-old was booked into King County Jail.

*Seen stealing mail from boxes in Arbor Heights: A heavyset, balding white man, 40-50 years old, driving a 2010 or newer gray Toyota Corolla.

*On the 2nd, a bartender in The Junction called 911 to report an unfamiliar customer trying to pick fights with other patrons and refusing to leave. Officers responded to find a severely intoxicated John Doe who wanted to fight both them and the medics who were summoned evaluate his condition. He was taken to Harborview for an involuntary commitment.

*A South Park grandma recently called 911 to have officers deal with an intruder. It turns out that the intruder was a young woman whom her grandson had snuck in through a window. Officers explained that because her grandson lives there, by law they can’t arbitrarily remove his guests.

EDITOR’S NOTES: Remember, the CRISIS CLINIC hotline is a resource for those in crisis, including thoughts or acts of self-harm, or trying to find help for someone in crisis: 206.461.3222 … Previous WSBeat roundups are archived here. We also publish crime reports when we get tips or otherwise hear about noteworthy incidents – they don’t all turn up on the scanner, so please don’t be shy about letting us know when you see/hear something happening = calling or texting 206-293-6302 is the best way.

33 Replies to "The WSBeat: Suspicious staring; business burglaries; $5 apology..."

  • WsBoB March 7, 2013 (10:32 am)

    Really? Is this what West Seattles future holds for us? I am appalled at the behavior of our youth and some adults. And nowadays, it seems like you can get away with murder for a 1 nite stay in jail. We need to stand up for ourselves and watch out for one another. This is unacceptable…

  • sc March 7, 2013 (10:54 am)

    Regarding the fellow on the motorized disability scooter. I wonder if he is the same fellow who drives his scooter along California in the car lane. I don’t think that is where he should be as there is no car license on the “vehicle”.

  • Ian March 7, 2013 (11:21 am)

    Yeah, that guy gets in the way doing that. Just because you made your disability scooter look like a motorcycle doesn’t mean you can take it on the street. He needs to stop that and get out of the road.

  • Anonymous March 7, 2013 (11:21 am)

    Agree with WsBoB, it’s unacceptable. We all need to stand up for our community, and the people in it. West Seattle is getting really crime ridden at an alarming rate. It means each and every one of us needs to be aware, alert, reporting, helping to keep our community strong. Don’t back down now, we’ve come too far.

  • Faith4 March 7, 2013 (11:23 am)

    If this is the gentleman on the red motorized wheelchair/scooter, we have been wondering about him for quite a while. Traffic will be backed up & we do not know why & see him going down the street as cars are trying to get by. We also see him at Safeway or other stores. We do not know if it is legal for him or even safe for him to be out in the street with his motorized disability wheelchair/scooter. He has fancied it up & looks really nice. There is no license that we can see. It is neither a bike, motorcycle or car & wondered if he should be in the street?

  • Dale March 7, 2013 (11:30 am)

    @sc–I have seen that scooter you referred to all over West Seattle. Couple weeks ago he was heading north on California by dry cleaners when hung a quick u turn to go s/bound. Very scary.Don’t like to read this kind of thing & hope nothing happens to him down the road.

  • NorDel March 7, 2013 (11:48 am)

    I see this gentleman on his “motorbike” down the Admiral hill AND in the frozen section at Safeway. He’s making me share the road and the aisle. He cant have it both ways. If he was on the sidewalk, I wouldn’t mind it. I’m just saying that if he’s using the sharrows or the bike lane and considering himself a “bike commuter”, he should park it when he gets to the store. ;)

  • kevin March 7, 2013 (1:02 pm)

    I did a photo and story back in November for my picture a day blog that I belong to. This may be the same person. We had a nice chat at the Jefferson Square Safeway. Seemed like a nice individual.

  • Guy March 7, 2013 (1:08 pm)

    Staring at the baristas at Pioneer? Ha!

  • Bandersen March 7, 2013 (1:20 pm)

    I thought I’d chime in on the red scooter guy: I have no idea what the applicable laws are, but I suppose that I can live with him on the streets AND in Safeway even though I don’t like it very much. If I’m going to make that concession however, I would request that he turn off the spinning slot machine jackpot light when he’s inside a store. Please.

  • Mike March 7, 2013 (1:35 pm)

    Have seen this guy holding up traffic on the street, and blocking traffic in the Safeway store. There’s a serious accident ahead for this guy. Very risky behavior.

  • rico March 7, 2013 (1:44 pm)

    I have seen the red scooter guy as well and seriously doubt that he is much more of an obstacle on the roads than a bicycle. Why all the hassle? And it seems like his scooter in Safeway is no different that the scoooters actually provided by Safeway for use in the store.

    My first thought when I first saw him is what a great idea, when I get older I may follow suit.

    • WSB March 7, 2013 (1:52 pm)

      Stop with the criticism of the scooter-user, please. Violates our blaming-the-victim rule. Thanks.

  • onceachef March 7, 2013 (2:08 pm)

    I don’t know Kevin…he looks pretty menacing to me (NOT!). For his own safety he should probably not be in the street driving that…but all of you overly aggressive, “I have to share the road with him” people…lighten up…the road doesn’t belong to you, ya’ know?

  • paralyzed legs March 7, 2013 (2:09 pm)

    I am not the scooter owner. However,

    The sidewalks between and including Admiral and the Junction are cluttered with planters, lunch tables, advertising reader boards, tree cut outs, refuse containers, and in a couple of places are in terrible disrepair.

  • sc March 7, 2013 (2:45 pm)

    I did not mean to criticize the fellow as I do not know if he is the “victim”. I just don’t want to see him get hit or cause an accident. Why not ride on a quieter street to the west of California Ave?

  • JW March 7, 2013 (2:45 pm)

    How about when you see a random act of kindness or see some good in your hood you email WSB. Tracy, maybe you could accumulate the stories and publish a WS Good Beat from time to time. I’ll wager there are many, many more thoughtful, kind, respectful citizens in West Seattle than trouble makers. However it’s the trouble makers who make the news and draw the most comments. Good happens.

    • WSB March 7, 2013 (3:34 pm)

      We publish lots of good news, all the time, JW, but would love to have more. We actually showcase them one by one. I wish I had time right this moment to pull out the most recent links but I’ve just finished covering a two-hour hearing and have to go move the car before the expensive prepaid parking runs out :) Also please see the WSB Forum for raves as well as rants – posted directly by members! – TR

  • Anon March 7, 2013 (3:21 pm)

    Scooter guy is one of West Seattle’s more colorful characters. A little eccentric, some think, but harmless. He means no harm. Just say a little prayer for him.

  • AG March 7, 2013 (3:23 pm)

    Paralyzed Legs has it right. Any of you who have never used a scooter or wheelchair: I challenge you to wheel down two blocks on the sidewalk anywhere in the city. To say it’s a challenge is a huge understatement. While using a wheelchair, I was often forced into the street just to be able to move safely forward because of things like roots lifting sidwalk panels, clutter in the way, cars parked across the sidewalk, etc. You name it, it was an obstacle. Even worse, people DO NOT SEE YOU when you’re on wheels. Waiting in line is extra fun when the cashier, teller, etc begins taking the person behind you right over your head. That’s super fun. And by “super fun” I mean ridiculously frustrating when it’s every single transaction, not just one or two.

    Red Scooter WOMAN is female and is named Karen. She is legally recognized as such, and she should be referred to by her preferred name and gender. WSB, can you annotate the original story to reflect this? It’s only respectful.

    It looks to me like Karen has found a way to be seen and noticed, as well as a way to get around in a slightly more fun way than many of us with disabilities. I think her craftiness should be applauded, and until the sidewalks are clear and navigable, those of us driving should maybe slow the heck down and be a little more patient.

  • Sue March 7, 2013 (4:05 pm)

    I don’t know if it’s the same person with the scooter, but I see someone riding one of them in the bike lanes on Fauntleroy (in the Fairmount/Triangle area) often, and usually in the wrong direction, which is risky if a bike were coming legally in a northbound direction and didn’t see the scooter coming over the crest of a hill. I am not certain, but I believe only bicycles are legally allowed in a bike lane. However, it certainly doesn’t warrant death threats and bullying, even if an illegal act, and I’m sorry the person had to deal with that.

  • Eddie March 7, 2013 (4:41 pm)

    If crime happens in other neighborhoods and WSB isn’t there to report it (or you don’t read about it) are those neighborhoods crime-free?

  • KRM66 March 7, 2013 (5:05 pm)

    The guy looks like he put a lot of work in his scooter. I think it looks pretty cool. I am not sure if it would be more difficult to get around the scooter than a bicycle in my car, but I am sure I would have an easier time seeing the scooter coming.

  • JW March 7, 2013 (5:25 pm)

    You publish plenty of good news Tracy. In fact I know that some of that news, like the couple who took care of the injured cat and made sure he had a pain free death, seem to get lots of comments too. My point was directed more at people who think WS is falling apart with all the thieves and drunkards that are reported. They are such a small part of what happens on our peninsula.

  • 4thGenWS March 7, 2013 (5:25 pm)

    It’s a shame that we have to pay all of this money to deal with and arrest these low life criminals just to put them right back on the street. No wonder we can’t pay for parks, road work, and even sidewalk work so folks like the scooter person have to put themselves in a dangerous place. I guess we will just have to run over the same potholes for another 10 years. Be safe everyone! Take it easy on the scooter person!

  • Chris March 7, 2013 (6:13 pm)

    Don’t really have an opinion on the scooter issue b/c I’ve never actually had an encounter… While it’s correct that the scooter-user is the victim in the incident described in the crime watch – the discussion about the overall issues surrounding the scooter-user seem pretty valid.

    Sue’s comment is on point and an example why it’s an appropriate conversation to have.

  • ws born & bred March 7, 2013 (6:19 pm)

    Thank you for the great reporting. WS is reminding me more and more of how it was here when I was a 90’s teenager. I think it’s an economy issue. The more desperate people become the less they care how their choices harm others. That’s just my unprofessional opinion. Doesn’t make it better or justified.

  • G March 7, 2013 (7:59 pm)

    Lynch the scooter guy!

    Just kidding, but I see him tooling down California, doesn’t seem to be a big problem.

    Granted maybe he does pose a problem from time to time, but maybe someone should just politely remind him with a “hey..” instead of a) screaming at him as the one gentleman apparently did, or b) ganging up on him on the blog.

    This is all very passive-aggressive Seattle style.

  • Jim P. March 7, 2013 (8:20 pm)

    “All were warned about their behavior.”

    Great, I live in the neighborhood and this is exactly the sort of people I want to run across when my wife and I come home from the movies or other activities downtown and have to get off at that stop.

    Drinking and urinating in public are arrestable offenses I thought and I’d appreciate it if the police would do more than shake their finger at people such as this.

  • ws born & bred March 8, 2013 (6:12 am)

    I understand your point, Jim, but I think I’d rather our SPD spend more time on violent crime, gangs, theft and DUIs. Should they breakup the group of the young and dumb drinking and urinating at the bus stop? Of course. Should they run them through the system and check for warrants? Sure. Is there a ticket for that? I’d be all for it. Should they arrest them? I’m not as sure. It seems like a waste of resources that could be better used elsewhere. Or maybe growing up in a different West Seattle skews my perspective.

  • Not-tha-momma March 8, 2013 (7:52 am)

    I would like to Thumbs Up, Like, Re-pin, or Favorite G’s comment. Whatever is fashionable these days I’m with it.

  • Jim P. March 8, 2013 (12:50 pm)

    “Should they arrest them? I’m not as sure. I”
    With respect, I think they should have been. Their behavior was borderline violent and could easily or even likely be turned on the next passerby.

    Over and above their making that bus stop useless, disgusting and unsafe (plus someone will have to clean up their mess) people like that are not an asset to the local community.

    Ever passed a drunk and merely glanced at him only to be greeted with “What the **** are you looking at *******?” often followed by someone filthy, smelly and foul getting “in your face”?

    I don’t want that or them in my neighborhood or hanging around schools. There’s two schools just across the street from Westwood.

    I wish the article mentioned if the cops made them pour out their booze. I’d feel better knowing they had been “disarmed” for a while.

Sorry, comment time is over.

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