The WSBeat: ‘Fast backup’; stuck in a cabinet; trapped in a tub; more…

June 26, 2014 at 9:35 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police, WSBeat | 22 Comments

By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog

This edition of our periodic feature The WSBeat contains summaries written from reports on cases handled recently 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 the 20th, firefighters asked for a “fast backup” from officers as they dealt with a patient in the 7500 block of 32nd SW. Officers found the 38-year-old lying on his back, yelling and growling, with “about half a dozen medics and officers holding him down.” The man had fought with firefighters and injured one by grabbing and crushing his upper arm, breaking the skin in three places. The suspect, who has a history of drug-induced “excited delirium” incidents, was transported to Harborview. Officers are recommending that the suspect be charged with assault.

*On the 18th, in the 2800 block of 36th SW, a man took up residence inside a small cabinet discarded {“Free!”) on a corner. He provided incoherent answers to officers’ questions, and they felt it was best he be taken to Harborview for a mental evaluation–plus, they were concerned he might die (from “positional asphyxiation”) if he accidentally fell asleep inside the cramped quarters.

*On the 16th, Arbor Heights residents asked that officers check on the wellbeing of an elderly neighbor whom they had not seen for about a week. Officers noticed a full mailbox and papers on the porch. Getting no response to knocks, they decided to make a forced entry. They found the 77-year-old woman in the bathtub — alive — but gasping and unable to speak. It appeared she had been stuck for several days. She was transported to Harborview for care.

Ahead, eight more summaries, starting with two cases of predatory behavior:

*While in a business in the 1600 block of SW Holden, a woman noticed that an older man had his arm around her 6-year-old daughter, who was standing just behind her but near the door. The man also seemed to be whispering in her ear. The mom jokingly said, “Excuse me, you can’t take her,” but the man ignored her. When she forcibly removed his arm from the girl, he said, “They’re best at that age.” He left the store and climbed into a dark blue, newer hatchback wagon. He was a white man in his 70s, between 5′ and 5’5″, with a medium build. He wore a white shirt with thin back stripes, possibly plaid. He remains at large.

*On the afternoon of the 20th, a 20-year-old woman was walking in an alley behind the 6300 block of 35th SW when she sensed she was being followed. A man was approaching quickly, chiding her loudly for not “watching her surroundings” and then saying, among other things, that “Girls like you get stalked like prey and killed.” The woman looked around and saw an elderly male nearby, stopped in a vehicle, who seemed to be watching out for her. The suspect also saw the man and walked away quickly. (The man in the car gave her a “thumbs up” and then drove off.) The suspect (and another man) drove off southbound on 34th SW in a blue 1990s van with tinted windows. The suspects are both black males. One was 30-49 years old, the other 22-29. The older man was about 6 feet tall, with slim build and dark complexion. He had a scar below one eye and white residue on his nostrils. One wore a red sweat suit. They remain at large.

*On the evening of the 20th, a citizen reported a disturbance with a man forcing his way into a home in the 5200 block of 19th SW. He tried to get away as police arrived but decided to give up when he realized he was literally running into a dead end. The argument had been about the man’s drinking; his wife would like to see him get treatment. Meanwhile, the husband (who has an extensive criminal history and is a convicted felon), was wanted on a $10,000 warrant for unlawful use of weapons. He was booked into King County Jail.

*On the 17th, a 58-year-old Alki-area man walked into his a neighbor’s backyard and began drilling into the ground using a cordless drill. The officer noted that the man could sit still for fewer than ten seconds at a time, provided multiple answers for each question, admitted he hadn’t slept in several days and couldn’t remember when he had last eaten. He was taken to Harborview for a mental evaluation. A second man made the same trip on the 19th after he threatened to harm himself while being evicted. When the King County Officer showed up to serve the papers, the man pulled a dagger from a sheath, which is when the officer called for backup from Seattle police.

*Early Sunday, two strangers in a truck got peeved at a young man who was in front of them, driving north on I 5. They followed him onto the West Seattle Bridge, then pulled in front, preventing him from passing. They eventually came to a stop in the middle of the bridge; the young man drove around them. Again they followed, all the way to 35th and Charleston, where they jumped out of their truck, tried to open the young man’s (locked) car door, and challenged him to fight. The young man simply drove away and, after following for a few blocks, the strangers gave up the chase.

*On the 21st, a 20-year-old driver from Kent blatantly ignored a bicycle officer’s order to pull over at Alki (for cruising and for excessive noise) and accelerated rapidly, trying to flee down side streets that were crowded with both people and cars. With pedestrians yelling at him to slow down, he was finally hemmed in by other drivers, arrested, and booked into King County Jail for investigation of reckless driving and failure to stop for an officer.

*An officer was suspicious about a man and woman he saw walking at Alki at 4:30 a.m. on the 22nd. Their odd clothing, facial sores, haggard appearance and thin build were hallmarks of meth or heroin users. A short time later he encountered them again and decided to ask some questions. The man disappeared before backing officers arrived, but the woman turned out to be a missing person from Bellingham. A pat-down for weapons revealed a syringe and multiple plastic bindles in her pocket. In other clothing and her backpack, officers found multiple used and unused syringes and close to 100 empty plastic bindles that had likely contained heroin. Because the officer knew she’d be turned away from King County Jail (for the infected sores covering her arms and upper torso), he took her to the SW Precinct for a long talk. He suggested she return to Bellingham and get some medical assistance for her addictions. He returned her belongings and released her from the precinct. Bellingham PD was notified to take her off the missing list.

*On the 22nd, a 17-year-old girl was arrested after shoplifting and threatening a security guard at a Westwood Village store with a knife. Inside her handbag? Two kitchen knives and an open bottle of Jack Daniels.

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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.

22 Comments

  1. The second to last story about the junkies contains so many astonishingly jaw-dropping statements I feel like I’ve been warped into an alternate reality. “Because the officer knew she’d be turned away from King County Jail (for the infected sores covering her arms and upper torso), he took her to the SW Precinct…” Whaaaa? You can be turned away from the jail? I did not know this. If I were a criminal, I would get ahold of the list of things you can be turned away from the jail for, and memorize it. “He suggested she return to Bellingham…” The junkie covered in sores, in possession of a hundred used bindles of heroin, should just walk/hitchhike/fly/use her Gold MasterCard to buy bus tickets back to Bellingham? ” He returned her belongings and released her…” The backpack full of syringes and heroin bindles? Wow. Just wow.

    Comment by shipwrecked_and_comatose — 10:21 pm June 26, 2014 #

  2. I thought the post office has a policy to notify authorities to check when the carrier sees mail piling up.

    Comment by sc — 11:16 pm June 26, 2014 #

  3. shipwrecked: The woman seemed to have the wherewithal to get herself from Bellingham to Seattle and the resources to acquire significant quantity of heroin. Just what was the officer to do? Take her home and make her dinner?

    Comment by David Brent — 11:28 pm June 26, 2014 #

  4. Common theme = Don’t do drugs.

    Comment by Highland Park Resident — 11:45 pm June 26, 2014 #

  5. That 4th story is disturbing. That guy wouldn’t have made it to his car had it been me in that situation.

    As far as the Westwood store. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was QFC. I was in there the other day and noticed some punk kid stealing some kind of phone card.

    Next thing I know, the butcher corners him and confronts the kid as we were leaving. The poor butcher. I’ve seen him have to do security more than once. Give the guy a raise

    Comment by Eric — 5:15 am June 27, 2014 #

  6. Will somebody please get this elderly lady set up with “Life Alert”? This never would’ve happened had she had a bracelet on from Life Alert. Its well worth the small monthly payment and she will have 100% relief that she doesn’t ever have to suffer like this again. If nobody close by sees this, maybe someone can get ahold of me and Ill set her up myself.

    Comment by alki resident — 6:59 am June 27, 2014 #

  7. “he took her to the SW Precinct for a long talk.”

    .phhhhhht! well then that should be that.

    Comment by flimflam — 8:41 am June 27, 2014 #

  8. David: I was thinking the officer should have booked her on charges of drug possession. The ‘jail won’t take her’ thing is total BS; I suspect the officer didn’t want to deal with the paperwork. Inmates with physical maladies and/or mental issues are cared for, under guard, at Harborview. I should know, I work there.

    Comment by shipwrecked_and_comatose — 8:47 am June 27, 2014 #

  9. Agree with shipwrecked. The best destination would have been Harborview. Sad that there is not a smooth way to link services in this community. RT

    Comment by RT — 9:43 am June 27, 2014 #

  10. Pleeeeease, people, stop saying “Wow. Just wow.”

    Comment by Sal — 9:50 am June 27, 2014 #

  11. The apparent heroin couple remind me of a couple that I used to see on the streets in Orlando. They ended up murdered about a block away. It turned out he had just cashed his negative income tax return and was going to bank it the following day.

    Comment by dsa — 10:45 am June 27, 2014 #

  12. Wow. The intake staff at Harborview could not possibly be paid enough.

    Comment by LIndsey — 11:14 am June 27, 2014 #

  13. I am so glad the neighbors called to have their elderly neighbor checked on. How horrifying. And these other stories: the child, the woman walking on the street…

    Comment by heather — 11:53 am June 27, 2014 #

  14. @Sal: pet peeve much? Heh. As for the 77 year-old lady in the tub, my heart ached at that story. To think that she was not only stuck but presumably in a tub of cooling or cold water (or could she run the hot water?), and it is particularly sad. I’d also make a donation to pay for her Medical Alert pendant if needed–the poor dear! Kudos to the neighbors who had noticed her missing. Family (if nearby) or daily neighbor check-in seems warranted from here out. Hope she’s okay!

    Comment by Wow. Just Wow. — 12:43 pm June 27, 2014 #

  15. Sal: Agreed, if you stop saying “Please, people” or variants thereof.

    Comment by shipwrecked_and_comatose — 12:57 pm June 27, 2014 #

  16. W.J.W.–well played, sir (or ma’am)! That’s about the only time the phrase hasn’t made me want to sweep my laptop off of the desk.

    Comment by Sal — 1:35 pm June 27, 2014 #

  17. Sorry, Shipwrecked. I was grouchy this a.m. I had asked for that comment to be deleted.

    Comment by Sal — 1:41 pm June 27, 2014 #

  18. Regarding the incident at 7500 block 32nd ave SW, does anyone know if this was the same guy mentioned in this piece from a while back?

    http://westseattleblog.com/2013/09/what-the-police-response-in-sunrise-heights-is-about/

    Similarities in more than just location.

    Comment by MAS — 2:05 pm June 27, 2014 #

  19. Regarding the elderly lady in bathtub incident. It was my neighbor who reported it. Our usual mail carrier was out several days and upon her return noticed the uncollected mail and contacted the neighbors.

    Comment by furiouskitty — 6:50 pm June 27, 2014 #

  20. Re: because the officer knew she would be turned away from the jail….it is true. There are certain medical conditions that prohibit the jail staff from keeping the offender. When that happens, the law enforcement can take the offender to the hospital and wait if/until the condition stabilizes and then return to the jail to book said offender in. Another alternative is to drop the offender off at the hospital and take no further action. A third choice is to tell the offender to seek medical care and again take no further action. :(

    Comment by gia — 6:53 pm June 27, 2014 #

  21. @Furiouskitty- Could you please get someone to have “Life Alert” come to her house? Its an easy process and they can do it on weekends too. I swear by this product as I cared for someone elderly and they fell at nite, Id get a call and come help her. I can’t tell enough people about it and this will truly put her at ease. If nobody is available,I can be emailed by WSB and will be able to do it. Im in the same neighborhood.

    Comment by alki resident — 8:41 pm June 27, 2014 #

  22. The post office sucks. You have to stay on them for package deliveries and notifications. Package paperwork does not get put in the boxes oftentimes. If you don’t go down there “every” day, its anyone’s guess where your anticipated package goes. Hit and miss.

    So if that elderly woman was depending on the post office for backup, say goodnight Auntie Emm.

    Comment by wsrambo — 9:19 pm July 1, 2014 #

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