The WSBeat: 13 summaries, from ‘shopping’ suspects to big-ticket speeder to the case of the solicitation confrontation…

By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog

This edition of the WSBeat contains summaries written from reports on cases handled in recent days 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?”

*Early Tuesday, an officer was driving past an Admiral grocery store when he recognized a car parked near the front door as being the suspect vehicle in many shoplifting incidents. The officer parked nearby and was able to watch the suspects as they “shopped” inside and as the male half of the couple loaded nearly $400 worth of stolen items into the car. Because the female half of the couple had paid for her items, she was interviewed and released; the man was booked into King County Jail for investigation of theft.

*A Shoreline resident was arrested early Wednesday after screaming in the street and damaging a vehicle in the 7000 block of Fauntleroy Way SW. He was aggressive with officers, failed to obey orders to keep his hands visible, and had to be tased. When told he was under arrest, he spit on the inside window of the patrol car. He could face charges of property damage and obstructing public officers.

Ahead – 11 more summaries, including the case of the speeder who turned out to be wanted in a BIG way, panhandlers vs. missionaries, and sidewalk knife-sharpening:

*While on patrol in Delridge on the 5th, an officer spotted a silver Mercedes traveling at a high rate of speed and passing vehicles in the center turn lane. Fifteen minutes later, the same car drove by again, this time traveling northbound in the 5900 block at what the officer judged to be 70 mph (in the 35 mph zone). The driver was wanted on a $100,000 warrant from Spokane for larceny/theft. He was booked into King County Jail on the warrant and will also face potential charges for reckless driving and no proof of insurance.

*Two panhandlers near the former encampment site in the 7100 block of West Marginal Way SW didn’t appreciate two female missionaries “flying their sign” (asking for donations) on what they considered their turf (the median on West Marginal) this past Tuesday evening. The men were booked into King County Jail for investigation of harassment after the frightened women reported both verbal threats and seeming attempts to shove them into traffic. One of the men asked that officers immediately arrest “the ladies” for making false reports. The officer agreed to document his side of the story as well. (Editor’s note: This report explains a big police response that several people called us about but was clear when we arrived.)

*On the 5th, a man was seen sharpening a knife on the sidewalk near SW Dawson and California SW. Officers recognized him as a transient with mental-health and alcohol-abuse problems. The suspect was very cooperative with officers and said he’d been using the knife to open something because his fingers are sore. When told that the 5 1/2 inch fixed-blade knife was illegal, he told officers to keep it.

*Near 30th and Bradford this past Wednesday, a citizen got in her car and followed a woman who stole packages from the lobby of her residence. She confronted the suspect, who returned all of the packages. The suspect is a white female, about 40 years old, with short dark hair. She gained access to the locked building by claiming to be a delivery driver. (Editor’s note: This is the incident featured in a WSB reader report here.)

*Last Saturday, witnesses confronted a man who destroyed the scaffolding on a building and then jumped into the bed of a couple’s pickup truck near 45th and Erskine Way. Though cooperative, the man appeared delusional, saying that he was building something for children and looking for a place to stay in West Seattle. A records check showed that he is a convicted sex offender whose current residence is in Federal Way. Officers asked if he was having thoughts about children and he said, “Yes, and it’s disgusting.” Because of his mental state and because of non compliance with registering his address, officers felt he was a danger to the community and to himself and had him transported to the hospital for a mental evaluation.

*When her boyfriend threw dishes on the ground and refused to leave last Sunday, a Youngstown-area woman called 911. A computer check showed that the suspect had warrants for driving with a suspended license ($10,000) and for DUI ($10,000). He was booked into King County Jail.

*Also last Sunday, in Arbor Heights, a woman wanted officers to stand by as her ex-husband collected some things from the home. When she told him she’d called police, he got on a bus and left — likely because a routine computer check showed that he was wanted in Aberdeen for domestic-violence assault ($15,000).

*Concerned because their friend texted that he was heartbroken and “had a noose in his hand,” citizens called 911. Officers went to the subject’s home: He denied wanting to hurt himself and said that he hadn’t texted “noose” — but “goose” (as a joke). Officers asked if they could check his room to see if he had a noose, and he refused them entry. He was transported to Harborview for a mental evaluation; his friend planned to go to the hospital as well and show doctors the actual text messages.

*A local security guard reported being threatened (“I’m gonna cap you”) by two intoxicated males who were sleeping in front of a store and whom he asked to move along. When officers asked if he was in fear for his life or worried that they’d carry out their threats, he said, “No. I am from (another country) and when I worked security there, we used to carry AK47s. I know how to handle these guys.”

*Early Monday, at the 35th/Barton 7-11, a customer became enraged when she was told that the melted cheese she was pouring onto her chips cost extra money. She threw the bag (with the hot cheese) into the face of the clerk. As she left, she hit another customer, screamed that the clerk was racist, and slugged an employee who came out to take down her license plate number. The suspect was described as a black female with large hoop earrings, wearing a gray track suit. Her car was a worn blue color and similar in style to a Chevy Malibu.

*On the 7th, a South Park baptism party erupted into a drunken brawl requiring a city-wide “Help the Officer” call when people in the crowd began fighting police as well as each other. One woman was running around hitting anyone she could find: police officers, people on the ground, even charging into groups to kick people. When one officer intervened she punched him twice in the face. (She ended up in King County Jail for investigation of assault and resisting arrest.) As officers from around the city and other law enforcement agencies responded to the “Help the Officer” call, things began to calm down. Amid the screaming and crying children and overall brouhaha, five officers suffered injuries, and two suspects were arrested: The woman noted above, and a 30-year-old Burien man who was booked for investigation of non-aggravated assault.

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.

21 Replies to "The WSBeat: 13 summaries, from 'shopping' suspects to big-ticket speeder to the case of the solicitation confrontation..."

  • chuck and sally's van man September 13, 2013 (9:30 am)

    Good times at the baptism party. Lord help us.

  • Alan September 13, 2013 (9:42 am)

    Thanks for the info, as always. It is good to know what the incident on West Marginal was.

    Kudos to the woman who retrieved the stolen packages, though I suspect that she was lectured by the police about the danger she put herself in.

  • thistle stairs September 13, 2013 (9:45 am)

    The only way the drunken baptism party could be funnier is if the aggressive women used a bible to defend her behavior in court. “and lo it is written that you will get wasted before your family and the agents of man’s authority on earth and you will smite them all with righteous fury for no reason. Amen”

  • Shana September 13, 2013 (10:14 am)

    I saw the pan-handler intimidating that missionary lady as I drove home the other night. I’ve got to say I’m sick of them all. Pick up a broom and start cleaning the streets, I’ll pay you for that, but don’t stand there doing nothing but trying to guilt me into giving up my hard earned cash!

  • Jissy September 13, 2013 (10:24 am)

    And it’s thistle stairs for the win! LOL

  • james September 13, 2013 (10:40 am)

    Am I reading this correctly? An officer observed a car passing people in the turn lane on Delridge and didn’t pursue until the car came BACK the other direction 15 minutes later?

  • DTK September 13, 2013 (10:41 am)

    You never see cops at a bris.

  • Fering September 13, 2013 (10:44 am)

    These made for a great read. Love the baptism recap.

  • sophista-tiki September 13, 2013 (10:55 am)

    Holy Crap!

  • G September 13, 2013 (11:42 am)

    I don’t know what’s more bizarre about West Seattle these days, the unchecked proliferation of crime, or the joking about it.

  • AJP September 13, 2013 (12:57 pm)

    Good on the friend who called the police when he/she got the message about the noose. Good for going to the hospital to share the messages, and to check on the friend.

  • Brian September 13, 2013 (1:50 pm)

    G: Do you realize that basically every violent offense committed in West Seattle gets reported on WSB?

    I’d wager (and the stats back this up) that violent crime is less prevalent now than ever. It’s just that now you have a media outlet that reports every single thing that happens in your neighborhood so it seems like you’re constantly under attack from criminals.

    • WSB September 13, 2013 (2:13 pm)

      Brian, that’s not true. I wish WSB was more comprehensive but I don’t have enough hours in the day nor staff assistance to report every violent offense, let alone every offense of note in every category. (Not to mention, every OTHER type of story – we cover development, schools, transportation, community councils, lost/found pets, and more …) Violent offenses are not that frequent but even at that, we do not even hear about all of them, much less report on them.
      We do report every assault with weapons, because they go out as distinct SFD calls with sizable responses (and because shootings/stabbings are rare enough they’re always newsworthy). We never wanted, frankly, to do much crime coverage, having been completely burned out on it in 24 years of TV news producing and management, but it emerged as one of the areas of most interest, so we do what we can. We have reader reports – usually property crimes, but by no means all of them – as well as Megan’s roundups (this is the third one in three weeks but more recently they’ve been every 2 weeks or so) and our breaking-news coverage of incidents that draw attention because there’s a big search, or a helicopter, etc. It’s by no means “unchecked proliferation,” not in the slightest. If you want a fascinating perspective, neighborhood by neighborhood, look here – – and provided the system is working (there are occasional glitches), you can pan around and compare neighborhoods. The default view is usually the past week or so. You can also go to the SPD data section and compare monthly reports. We will be at the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting as always next Tuesday and will report the police update on trends; open to the public and all welcome. – TR

  • helridge September 13, 2013 (3:12 pm)

    James – maybe the officer was Roscoe P. Coltrane ;-)

  • G September 13, 2013 (3:16 pm)

    Brian, there have been several serious crimes close to my elderly mother’s home and numerous petty crimes, such as rifling through people’s cars. And I hear it anecdotally from people all time when I come back into town. I hope that reading about crime everyday isn’t making it routine.

  • Kgdlg September 13, 2013 (3:26 pm)

    On average, crime all per Seattle is at historic lows. While this may not square with your personal experience – we’ve had our cars rifled through at least 3 times in last year, it still remains true. I am with Brian, I think we are just more hyper aware of it in general, so we think there is more of it.

  • sophista-tiki September 13, 2013 (4:11 pm)

    Crime is way up in Westwood. There are constantly people creeping around looking to commit crimes of opportunity. Stuff dissapears out of peoples yards, guys cruise the alleys with gas cans looking to steal gas, and I have my truck proweled IN MY DRIVEWAY on a regular basis. Now they have taken to leaving the door open so I have a dead battery in the morning. And the guy on Barton who fixes cars on the street is ALWAYS causing a problem, with his antics. The in the middle of the night noise level is out of control, theres trash and grafitti everywhere. Homeless people stashing their stuff all over the place. Almost always someone living in their car blocking the gate to the back driveway everynight. and the groups of panhandlers at EVERY entrance to the mall really pisses me off. Not because they’re pan handling but because they’re acting like aholes and making is difficult to get in and out of the parkinglot. ( even if you walk). Its gone from being a relatively quiet neighborhood to an over crowded cespool in the making. More crime to follow. Now juxtapose that to the rapment over development of the condo/townhouse problem and its on the sureal side.

  • Eric G. September 14, 2013 (7:21 am)

    That guy on Barton, working on cars, is going to end up either hurt or killed by putting cars up on blocks on a hill.

    I was getting coffee at McDonald’s at 5 in the morning through the drive thru on a weekday, and a guy jumped out at the end of the drive thru asking me for spare change. I thought, “Really?”

    It seems that the pan handling really became prevalent about the time tent city moved in some years back. About that time too, I started finding more and more beer bottles/cans, liquor bottles, etc. in my yard on a more regular basis, with people yelling and arguing in drunken stupors.

    The beer bottles/cans have subsided, along with the yelling and arguing, but the pan handling still continues, with the same people. I assume that people have made a home somewhere near the village, maybe the park across the street.

  • Rockford Columbo September 14, 2013 (9:43 am)

    The crime stats that people quote that claim to show downward trends are of course compiled from reports/calls to 911/SPD. Keep in mind that depending on where you live these calls may or may not be made for all kinds of reasons. If you live in the more interesting neighborhoods of the city the calls are not made at the rate they are going to be in the well heeled, stable, and yes, caucasian neighborhoods. A LOT of stuff in the interesting neighborhoods just becomes background noise and accepted. It is not pretty or pleasant, but it is, what it is. Don’t believe me? Then move into an interesting neighborhood for at least five years and then get back to me.

  • Eric G. September 14, 2013 (11:21 am)

    Some of my neighbors don’t report some crimes like their car getting broke into. I keep telling them to do so.

  • KD September 14, 2013 (1:14 pm)

    The Bris…… Hahahahahahaha! Funny! (thanks for the laugh!) Very ‘cutting’ edge humor(!)

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