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 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?” Or on the bridge, or the beach, or …
*On the afternoon of Wednesday the 16th, a car with heavily tinted windows drove past an officer on patrol at Don Armeni Boat Ramp. A routine records check of the license plate showed that the 27-year-old owner was wanted on a misdemeanor warrant for car prowling. A check of the owner’s name brought up a no-bail felony warrant, extraditable throughout the United States, for unlawful firearms possession in the second degree. The officer was able to take the suspect — described in the warrants as a violent gang member — into custody without incident.
*In the Admiral area on the 14th, an officer recognized a man who was violating a protection order by walking near a girlfriend’s residence The suspect was also wanted for failing to register as a sex offender. When arrested he was carrying an illegal switchblade knife and a bag of crystal meth. He was booked into King County Jail for investigation of all four violations.
*A woman paid a visit to her ex-boyfriend’s place of employment and argued with him in the parking lot. After he went inside, she rammed his car with hers six or eight times, yelling all the while, before driving off. The woman has been trespassed from the property.
This roundup covers a longer timespan than usual, and includes 13 more summaries ahead:
*A Westwood-area business hired a new employee and then fired him after a few days. The man was later arrested for allegedly burglarizing the place. A simple criminal background check might have saved the business this trouble. It would have disclosed that the short-term employee was wanted in New Mexico on a probation violation and for pimping and sexual exploitation of children.
*On 12th Avenue South, a tenant in a rental asked a yardworker why he was cutting branches from trees on her lawn. He waved her off, saying, “Don’t worry…I’ve already talked to your husband.” When she told him to leave he raised the chainsaw toward her and made a “swiping” motion. She ran inside and called 911. He then stumbled to his vehicle (she thought he might be intoxicated) yelling and threatening to come back that night and “F*#^ you up.” It turns out the neighbor had hired the worker and claimed she had cleared the work with the victim’s landlord…which she had not. The officer made a call to the yard company and is awaiting a response.
*Also in South Park, on the afternoon of the 16th, an alert citizen called 911 to report that a Level 3 sex offender was standing in front of the library, trying to talk to children. (A records check showed that particular offender was wanted on a felony warrant for failing to register his status.) Officers arrived and spoke with the man, who claimed to have no ID. He gave permission for a backpack search and told officers it contained nothing sharp. Inside? Two knives, one 7.25 inches long and another 4 inches long. This led officers to do a body search. Again, the suspect denied carrying anything sharp. Inside his jacket pocket (and easily accessible)? Two knives, one 3 inches long and one 4 inches long. He (along with his 17 aliases) was booked into King County Jail.
*Also on the 16th, a woman visited Westwood Village, stopping at the bank to withdraw $600 and then heading to buy groceries. In the bread aisle she stopped to assist an older couple who were having trouble finding a particular type of hamburger bun. When she arrived at the checkout, she realized that her wallet was missing. She also realized that the male half of the couple she had helped had not only stood by her cart (and purse), but had suddenly said, “OK, let’s go” to his companion. The suspects are black, aged 50-64 and of medium build. The man wore all beige clothes and the woman wore all black clothes and had lots of freckles on her face. They remain at large.
*Claiming he had been attacked near 35th and Morgan, a 18-year-old High Point resident visited an emergency room and got stitches for knife wounds on his neck and ear. The nurse was required to contact police (though he asked her not to). The officer noted that the victim’s clothes were clean and showed no signs of an altercation. It also turned out that the victim had been carrying a cellphone but, oddly, had not called 911 to report the incident. The victim quickly became hostile, calling the officer names and at one point turning to his mother (also in the room) telling her to “shut up.” The officer’s offer of a ride home was “rudely declined.”
*The April 11th effort to catch and transport four juvenile burglary suspects in Highland Park required the resources of at least 13 Seattle officers and the crew of King County Sheriff’s Office Guardian One helicopter.
*Because of a middle-school student’s detailed suicide plan, officers had her transported (accompanied by her school counselor) to Children’s Hospital for involuntary observation. Two weeks earlier the child had been admitted to Children’s after drinking bleach.
*On the afternoon of the 12th, officers were called to a Alaska Junction medical clinic after a despondent woman awaiting transport to the hospital tried slashing her wrists with a broken tongue depressor.
*At least eight mental health crises–several involving suicide attempts–were handled in one recent week.
Plus several gathered earlier but not yet published:
*A nearly naked John Doe was hanging out in an alley near California and Walker around 6:30 a.m. on the 3rd. He was taken to Harborview for a mental evaluation.
*Saying he was hungry and wouldn’t do it again, a Morgan Junction man was caught shoplifting $65 worth of beer and groceries from a market near his home. His plea for understanding rang hollow when an ID check disclosed that he was wanted on two warrants for theft totalling $10,500. He was booked into King County Jail.
*A SeaTac resident who claimed to be afraid of the dark was booked into King County Jail after stealing a flashlight from an Alaska Junction hardware store. It turns out that she, too was wanted — on a $1,000 domestic violence assault warrant.
*A 38-year-old Burien resident caused a disturbance at a Westwood Village store on the evening of the 8th. He was told to contact customer service and leave. He did not. First calm, then angry and yelling, he threatened to slap and then kill an officer. Told he was free to go, he left and then returned, three times altogether. He activated his cellphone camera, obtained the officer’s name and badge number and demanded a business card with the same. He again threatened to slap the officer and this time kill himself. Given the cirumstances, the officer felt that the man warranted a mental health evaluation. The subject refused to respond to verbal commands, and it took four officers to take him to the ground to be handcuffed. He claimed he needed water, pretended to pass out, and at the hospital he tried to bite a security officer on the arm.
*Also at Westwood Village, on the afternoon of Wednesday the 2nd, three officers were hurt while arresting a 17-year-old juvenile wanted on a no-bail felony warrant. The suspect resisted arrest, hit one officer in the face and at one point during the struggle he managed to get his hand inside one officer’s holster. In addition to the original felony theft warrant, the suspect now faces investigation of nonaggravated assault against officers.
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 = call or text 206-293-6302.