FIRST REPORT, 2:34 PM: Police are investigating three incidents reported in this letter going home to families of students at Chief Sealth International High School and Denny International Middle School:
We want to share with you information right away regarding three independent incidents that were reported to have happened to our scholars today as they were coming to school.
First Reported Incident: A Denny scholar reported that while walking to school a Caucasian male, who appeared to be in his late 40s or early 50s, attempted to grab the student at the corner of Thistle and 25th Ave. SW. The scholar responded appropriately, moved to the middle of the road and notified both family and school immediately. Both family and Denny Staff notified the Seattle Police Department, who are actively investigating.
Second Report: A Sealth scholar reported that while walking to school that a Caucasian male, who appeared to be approximately 30 years old, attempted to assault and rob her. The scholar reported to school staff and Sealth staff immediately notified the Seattle Police Department and the family. An investigation is ongoing.
Third Report: A Sealth scholar reported that, as she was catching a Metro bus by her home, a Caucasian man (appearing to be in his 20s or 30s) caught the bus with her and attempted to talk to her in a manner that raised concerns. When the scholar arrived at school, she reported the incident to school staff right away. Sealth staff immediately notified the Seattle Police Department, who took the man into custody for suspicious circumstances and then released him because he had not done anything illegal.
The suspects of all three incidents are different men. The safety of our scholars is our top priority. The district has contacted the SW Precinct Captain to discuss the incidents and their increased policing efforts. We will continue to collaborate with the Seattle Police Department and Seattle Public Schools Safety and Security to help monitor the surrounding area.
You can help your children stay safe by talking to them about personal safety. Tips to discuss are:
• Walking in pairs or groups and being aware of their surroundings at all times
• If wearing ear buds, keep music down or one bud out
• Keep phones or any expensive items out of sight
• Immediately report anything suspicious to a trusted adult (school staff or family member)
More tips and information can be found on the Seattle Police Department website: seattle.gov/police/prevention/child/default.htm.
We will be following up with police to get more details.
4:07 PM: The location of the robbery attempt wasn’t mentioned in the schools’ note, but SPD tells us it was in the 2600 block of SW Trenton. So what are police doing? one community member asked us in e-mail. Southwest Precinct commander Captain Steve Wilske is sharing this message with community groups – note that police do NOT believe these incidents are related to the previous ones:
We have had 3 incidents involving middle school to high school age victims today; from the descriptions these are not related to the earlier robberies, the last of which occurred a week ago today. We are going to continue the early-morning emphasis patrol where we are bringing additional officers that are assigned to this problem, and CPT officers will be the lead on working on the stairwell at 26th and Trenton SW, where one of today’s incidents occurred.
I have already contacted the followup unit that will work on today’s incidents, and offered any assistance they may need from the precinct to identify the suspect(s) from 2 of the three incidents today; one has already been identified by patrol officers who contacted him near the scene.
I will update you as things progress, this is a different series with a different suspect or suspect(s). In this series young female students are the victims, so whenever possible please have them walk together with friends so that they are less vulnerable, and if they have a cell phone have them call 9-1-1 immediately if they feel they are being followed or see someone they are worried about.