By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog
This edition of the WSBeat contains summaries written from reports on cases handled in the past several weeks by Southwest Precinct officers – generally cases 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?” It’s actually two rounds of WSBeat checks; we start with the most recent round:
*The customer at the bar had a sad story that he shared with a waitress: Home from Afghanistan on bereavement leave (his mom had died), he had nowhere to stay for the night until his plane left the next day. The waitress offered a cot for the night. While he was showering, she checked his phone for text messages. One said, “I heard you were back in Seattle. There is a restraining order. Do not go to (local area).” One text was signed “mom” (thereby poking holes in the dead mom story). She allowed him to stay, but the next day, when his behavior became erratic, she quietly asked some friends to come over. The husband told the man he had to leave and took him to the Fauntleroy ferry dock. Meanwhile, the waitress and friends checked her computer: Part of the browsing history had been deleted, but he had typed his name into a sex-offender registry database, where there had been a match. She decided to tell her story to officers, who advised her to call 911 if he contacted her again.
14 more summaries, short and not-so-short, ahead:
*”Knowing the ‘hood”: While on early July 4th patrol, officers recognized a man they had interacted with in the past walking down the street with a group of people. They ran his name, discovered he was wanted on a felony warrant, and arrested him without incident for 2nd-degree theft.
*Early on the 5th, a 17 year old was accosted and told to “drop everything” as she walked home near 57th and Lander. A man and a woman took her iPhone and tan purse with wallet and credit cards. The suspects ran off toward Whale Tail Park. The pair were of mixed race, around 19 years old. The female was “heavy set … and wore a green/purple hat.”
*On July 5th, around 10 p.m., the 14-year-old skateboarder whizzed down Alki, throwing firecrackers at people on the sidewalk. One of the people happened to be a police officer, whose hearing was temporarily impaired by the device. The officer caught up with the kid (who claimed he didn’t recognize the uniformed victim as an officer) and asked for mom’s information so that he could talk to her about the incident. The boy pointed to a nearby bar. Mom came out, the report says, and before hearing the officer’s story, “Mom felt the need to correct me, said that her son did not throw the firework at me and that he did nothing wrong.” She then walked away an refused to provide the officer with information for his report. Researching the device later, the officer found that the “Super Snappers” are considered the loudest and most powerful snap and pop firework that can be legally sold and are audibly equal to a .32 caliber pistol going off.
*On July 7th, officers went in search under the Admiral Bridge at Admiral Way and Walnut Avenue. They found a 21-year-old hiding ten feet above the ground on a metal rafter. He was wanted on a Department of Corrections felony warrant from Marysville for a residential burglary and booked into King County Jail.
*Near 26th and Andover on July 8th, a car doing 45 mph (in a 20 mph zone) neared a bicyclist from the rear. Angered when the cyclist pointed at a 20 mph street sign, the driver came within inches of his bike and laid on the horn. The cyclist tried to pedal faster but she pulled alongside him and swerved, deliberately knocking him to the ground with her car. The car had California plates but is registered to a local woman. Officers went to her address in the Westwood/Gatewood area but had no luck finding her or the vehicle.
*Just after midnight on July 2nd, a citizen reported minors drinking and causing a disturbance in a truck at 58th and Lander. The driver walked away, but both passengers had alcohol on their breath and were argumentative. Both were arrested and placed in handcuffs. The driver eventually wandered back, wanting to drive his truck away. He, too, smelled of alcohol, and officers explained that since he and his friends were all underage and had been drinking, the truck (registered to a Bellingham resident) was being impounded. All three are students at a local high school. They were released, but the driver faces charges.
*On June 29th, a shoplifter on 18th didn’t get far with his loot (three packs of cigarettes and a lighter). The screaming shop owner chased him out of the store, grabbed onto his bicycle and held on (even while she was being dragged down the street). A passerby heard the commotion, recognized the shop owner, and ran over to help her detain the man. The suspect slipped out of their grasp, ran into the street and was nearly hit by a car. The good Samaritan was joined by another, who helped hold the man to the ground. Another passerby offered assistance, and told the suspect to quit struggling until officers arrived. The suspect yelled, “Unless you’re a cop, you can’t intervene.” With that, the newest recruit to the pursuit whipped out a badge, effectively silencing the thief, who was booked into King County Jail for investigation of robbery.
*Monday the 1st, a citizen came home to discover a stranger walking alongside her house in the 4800 block of 21st SW. He claimed to be looking for someone, and then left northbound on 21st. The citizen then spotted another person who fled from the back yard. Though the suspected would-be burglars didn’t make entry into the residence, they get extra style points for throwing one of the woman’s bocce balls through a rear window. One suspect was a black male in his early to mid twenties, with medium build, light complexion and hair in two braids. He was clean shaven and wore a baggy black t-shirt, baggy blue jeans and carried a flip phone.
*Late on the 1st, a man was assaulted as he walked down a staircase near 21st and Holden to Delridge Way. The stranger wanted the victim’s cellphone and threatened him physically to get it. The victim later used a computer program to trace the phone to a particular block on Delridge, but it couldn’t pinpoint the location.
*A customer who is not just a regular — but a regular shoplifter—made his rounds at a Westwood Village grocery on the 2nd, getting away with five bottles of whiskey and shoving an employee as he ran out the door. Despite the audible clanking of the bottles stuffed into his coat, he was able to elude police and was last seen southbound on 26th, headed toward Roxbury.
*Sister One and Sister Two are in a court battle over the control of a Genesee Hill home. On the 26th, Sister One arrived and discovered that Sister Two had not only removed the washer, dryer, and a chandelier, but had a locksmith rekey the locks. Officers documented the event but explained that the incident was a civil matter.
*Late on the 28th, near 58th and Alki, officers were stared down by young man known to brandish an illegal knife and carry brass knuckles. He also has a history of threatening students at a local high school. When he and a friend walked out of the darkness and sat on a bench a few feet from his passenger door, one officer asked what they were doing. “What’s it to you?” the young man replied. He at first refused to be searched but then admitted that he was carrying a knife. The officer clued him in: Given his history, he will be searched for weapons anytime he stares at an officer or stands near enough to carry out an assault. The pair was allowed to leave the area.
*On the evening of the 27th, two men were “jumped” in Roxhill Park. One was found disoriented and bleeding from the nose, leaning against one of the park bridges. Another was found further down a path and was awakened by medics. Though his speech was slurred and his mumblings incoherent, he was able to ask if he could “throw gang signs” while officers photographed his wounds. Both victims were transported to the hospital. The suspects, described as “Samoan males,” all wore red sweatshirts or hooded jackets.
*An Akita-mix dog was stolen from a yard in the 102000 of California Ave. SW on the 26th. Two Hispanic males in a red pickup truck had been seen observing the house the previous day.
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.