West Seattle Crime Watch followup: Summer Fest theft suspect charged

Following up on the arrest that caught attention on the last day of West Seattle Summer Fest: 20-year-old Justin R. Vincent, Jr., is charged with first-degree theft for allegedly stealing a money pouch containing $4,500 from a festival vendor. As reported here in our festival coverage that day, after the pouch was grabbed from a food vendor at California/Alaska, a man running southbound on the sidewalk on the east side of California was pursued and tackled by citizens while festival-patroling police were summoned. They arrested Vincent, a Sunrise Heights resident, and got all the money back. He has no criminal record and, as reported in our first followup, was released on his own recognizance after a day in jail. A few days later, records now show, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed the felony charge as recommended in an SPD detective’s report. No weapon was involved , and no one was hurt, though the detective’s report says Vincent complained of soreness and was treated by SFD medics at the Southwest Precinct before being taken to jail downtown. (WSB photo of 7/12/15 arrest)

23 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch followup: Summer Fest theft suspect charged"

  • alki resident July 22, 2015 (10:26 pm)

    Holy crap thats a lot of money. Thank guinness someone caught him.

  • C July 22, 2015 (10:41 pm)

    Booking photo please, Thanks

    • WSB July 22, 2015 (10:45 pm)

      There are no “booking photos” available to the media or public. Only way we ever get photos is:
      -Arrest scene (and this is the best one I have, ran down the street with the cameraphone, left my laptop unattended back at the info booth, co-publisher was off shooting an unrelated event)
      -Go to a court hearing
      -If the suspect had served time in state prison, we can usually get a photo from the DOC. Not applicable here.

  • M July 23, 2015 (12:52 am)

    I saw this as it happened that Sunday at the street fair. The sad part was I knew exactly who it was, when I saw him running by me. Sad to see people I went to school with end up down this horrible path.

  • M July 23, 2015 (5:46 am)

    Too bad they didn’t have “Best starts for kids” when this young man was growing up.

  • Westside45 July 23, 2015 (7:59 am)

    Really too bad about his soreness complaint. He was lucky the right people pursued and tackled him…he could have felt a lot worse.

  • concerned citizen July 23, 2015 (12:34 pm)

    theft 1, class B felony, seriousness level 2, he has no record therefore has 0 points, so sentence will be at most 0-90 days. I’m sure that will make somebody mad. Not me though, he is a young man that is and has had drug problems and I believe that A this is not a very serious crime in the scheme of things, he didn’t hurt anybody and it was clearly a pretty desperate crime of opportunity that had little to no planning. Also I believe in second chances, and I know that the criminal justice system is full of people that need treatment for addiction and mental illness more than they need punishment. Regardless of your ideas about morality or your opinion on the validity of the scientific consensus that drug addiction is a disease, the current system is obviously largely ineffective and i would encourage everyone that is up in arms about crime to actually get some education about it as it relates to addiction and mental health and consider what revision would actually reduce crime.
    as an aside, i often see people complaining about their perception of an increase in crime in the neighborhood. in my EXTENSIVE experience, and more limited research, the opposite is actually true. this neighborhood is safer and more crime free than it was 10, 15, 20 years ago. the only thing that is changed is that people that have pretty much always been sheltered from it now are reading about it on the internet.
    Anyways he’s on drugs he needs to get treatment, that’s all too bad. hopefully this will serve as a wakeup call, they could have charged him with rob2 which is a strike and carries a 3-9 month sentence for a first time offender.
    ps what the f*** do you want a booking photo for? just out of curiosity

  • respectfulltooneanother July 23, 2015 (1:43 pm)

    “..what the f*** do you want a booking photo for?” Because it’s public domain and our absolute right to have access to them. Come on down off the bully pulpit pal. You make a good point. You can put down the billy club now.

  • Mr Elliott July 23, 2015 (2:17 pm)

    Where, exactly, does it state this young man has a history of drug use?

  • Matt S. July 23, 2015 (3:54 pm)

    No criminal record? Makes me wonder whether he was thinking of getting into the (criminal) business with this experiment, or whether he’s been a highly successful criminal until this slip-up.
    Given the crowded, broad-daylight nature of this crime I’ll sadly have to go with the former. A ninja he was not.

  • Misty July 24, 2015 (5:02 am)

    Who makes you the lawyer you sure seem to know allot about the point system and how much time he’s looking at ..that cracks me up it doesn’t say anything about drugs or mental health issues

  • erico July 24, 2015 (7:53 am)

    Misty – the point system and standard ranges for specific crimes are all publicly available information. Anyone using Google could easily access that information.

  • Eric July 24, 2015 (12:28 pm)

    The disease model is an outdated model. A more comprehensive model is the bio-psycho-social (and I’ll add spiritual) model.

    While addiction can and does cause changes in the brain, the person still has a personal responsibilty and cannot blame their choice to continue to use on it simply being a disease.

    Addiction creates psychological beliefs that in the long run play a much larger role than overcoming the physical addiction aspect of it. The person also has a responsiblity to change their social environment as best they can so as not to put themselves in a position that can increase their chances of relapse. Spirituality in the form of “knowing thyself” also plays a critical role.

    Too many times people fall back on “I have a disease” to explain why they choose or chose to relapse. And relapse is a choice, not a command. At some point, personal responsibility needs to come into account. While people go to support groups for let’s say, cancer survivors, they don’t go to keep themselves from consciously choosing to relapse.

  • Gyngersnap July 24, 2015 (1:03 pm)

    “While people go to support groups for let’s say, cancer survivors, they don’t go to keep themselves from consciously choosing to relapse.”

    Eric – um – this is so not true!

  • erico July 24, 2015 (1:40 pm)

    Diabetes is a disease. Diet is an important part of treating diabetes. People with diabetes sometimes choose to eat things that will make their disease worse and sometimes despite these consequences they continue to eat a diet that causes them harm and even death. That choice is involved in the treatemnet of diabetes does not mean that it is not a disease.

    Eric – your arguments are specifically about the treatment of addiction, not it’s underlying cause and they are not inconsistent with the disease model of addiction. The main tenants of the disease model are that addiction has biological, neurological, genetic, and environmental sources of origin. Importantly, it is no more caused by moral defects than diabetes or cancer are.

  • Eric July 24, 2015 (2:17 pm)

    So ginger snap, you’re saying that cancer survivors DO go to support groups to keep from consciously relapsing?

  • Eric July 24, 2015 (5:23 pm)


    I have a degree with an emphasis on chemical dependency and have had certification for addiction counseling before I decided to move on to other ventures, so I am familiar with the Disease Model. I stand by what I said, it is an outdated model. The Bio-Psycho-Social (Spiritual) model is much more holistic in scope, because it takes into account many other underlying factors than just the physical.

    Your comparison with diabetes is comparing a secondary correlating behavior that may or may not affect the primary disease to a primary causational behavior in which the primary purpose is to consciously indulge in the primary disease.

    It reminds me of the gun advocate who states that a gun is a tool like a hammer, it is how it is used that makes the difference. All the while overlooking the fact that the hammer’s primary purpose is to use for nailing (a tool) and used wrongly can be used as a weapon, while a gun’s primary purpose is to BE a weapon.

    The disease model (BTW nice wikipedia definition) has served a purpose in helping with people who were being stigmatized, but the fact is, addiction is a choice and a person’s responsibility. I’m not speaking of morality here, which is the conclusive term people speak about in addiction. There are exceptions, such as people who have what is often referred to as “wet brain”, which is often permanent and irreversible brain damage, or people with brain diseases such as schizophrenia. In these instances, harm reduction may be an option.

    But for the majority of people, to continue to use is a choice and one’s responsibility. It might not always be an easy choice, but it is one. In fact, most people that “give up” their addiction (approx. 87% according to one of my chemical dependency classes) do so on their own. Meaning they finally choose to stop using.

    In the scheme of recovery, the physical aspect of addiction plays the smallest part time wise. The psychological aspect of addiction plays the the largest role. This is why I prefer the Bio-Psycho-Social model. While chemical dependency does change the brain, the brain is far more plastic than once thought. Remove the chemical and there will be a temporary physical adjustment with withdrawal and craves, but the work comes in removing the fallacy of beliefs that addiction created. That is why the disease model is limited and in my opinion, outdated.


  • erico July 24, 2015 (8:34 pm)

    Eric – In my opinion your description of the disease model and arguments against it are what’s outdated. Perhaps that is reflective of your education or the amount of time you have been out of the field.

    Rather then listen to me or Eric, I would suggest anyone who wants to find out about the most current medical and scientific thinking around addiction and it’s treatment take a look at Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition) or DrugFacts: Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction from the NIDA, “Clean by David Sheff” or the DVD “Pleasure Unwoven” by Dr. Kevin McCauley of the Institue for Addiction Study.

  • erico July 24, 2015 (9:25 pm)

    Sorry, I didn’t check links in original post.

    Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition) from the NIDA
    DrugFacts: Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction from the NIDA
    Clean:Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy by David Sheff
    Pleasure Unwoven:An Explanation of the Brain Disease of Addiction by Dr. Kevin McCauley of the Institue for Addiction Study

  • Eric July 24, 2015 (9:37 pm)

    *sigh* Erico,

    You’ve addressed nothing I’ve said, but instead went to http://WWW.I‘m Right.com and tried to pull up some “drug facts”. You’re like the person that says, “Well they say that nicotine is a medicine to combat nicotine addiction, so it must be true”, without even having any discernment or critical thinking that the pharmaceutical’s interest in this.

    I’ve taken pharmacology, psychology, sociology, counseling, survey of institutions, communication, etc. etc. etc. on the subject, and graduated with a 3.98 with teachers telling me how progressive my insights were, so If you don’t agree with me, then refute it with your own thinking instead of giving up cheap websites.

    Again people, about 87% of the people that finally break free from their addiction, do it on their own. So http://WWW.Listen to me.com is only able to treat 13% at best. That is stats from one of my chemical dependency classes, not just some opinion. So in reality, chemical addiction treatment is not as successful as they like to make it out to be.

    I’ve helped many people quit smoking for example, when I finally broke them of the conventional wisdom of nicotine addiction.

    Don’t think because so called doctors endorse certain things that it is true. Most doctors don’t know anything about addiction and get their “wisdom” from pamphlets provided by the pharmaceutical industry. You know that multi billion dollar a year industry.

  • erico July 24, 2015 (10:36 pm)

    Eric – congratulations on the GPA and praise from your teachers.

    Everyone else –

    The NIDA is the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health. According to their website – “NIDA’s mission is to lead the Nation in bringing the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction.” The federally funded NIDA has a budget of over $1,000,000,000 and provides funding for scientific research on addiction as well as providing information to the public. Many of these real scientists and doctors did well in school also, and have published many peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals. I don’t know how many pamphlets they have read.

  • Eric July 25, 2015 (5:53 am)

    Good grief,

    Did you even answer anything I said? I’ll repeat the questions.

    Is actively using a chemical a choice? Does the person have personal responsibility in the matter?

    You can call it whatever you want, though addiction being a disease is certainly not some new and innovative way of looking at it since it was classified as such in the 1950’s.

    The NIDA has done much research and has a lot of money backing it, and yet, the majority of people who successfully break their addiction, do so without help.

    I do not take everything said by the medical or pharmaceutical industry as gospel. After all, if this was say, 1972, you could be trying to convince me that homosexuality was a mental disorder and would have the Phyciatry DSM (which BTW, many addiction counselors use or refer to) to back up your claim because it says so in it. You would also have all the research done that led to the inclusion of homosexuality is the DSM mental disorders.

    The pharmaceutical industry is a multi billion dollar industry in smoking cessation. They’re said to do lots of research also. Yet, there are multiple stats stating despite all this, the majority of real world quitters quit cold turkey.

    Not to mention that when people started committing suicide while taking Chantix, the pharmaceutical industry tried to get the EMA (Europe’s equivalent to the FDA) to change smoking cessation symptoms in general to state that suicidal ideation and attempted suicide were a symptom of smoking cessation in general. This is complete dishonesty!!

    Yet the pharmaceutical industry has smart people on board with published papers and such also.

    I remember when working at the drug and alcohol help line, an addiction counselor came in for training. She was a “disease model” nazi. She spoke about how this one addiction treatment center took a cookie cutter approach and she thought there was nothing wrong with that because in all her “it’s a disease wisdom” she thought everyone could be treated the same. The narrow mindedness of this approach is astounding, as there are many underlying issues as to why people become addicted and the person needs a more holistic approach to their addiction.

    Is it no wonder that addiction counseling success rates are so dismal?

  • erico July 25, 2015 (10:30 am)

    I agree that current addiction counseling success rates are abysmal and addiction treatment requires a holistic approach that is all too often not found in the addiction treatment industry.

    In addition to the resources I mentioned in my post above (which provide a good overview of current evidence-based treatment approaches), I would highly recommend Principles of Effective Treatment from the NIDA and Inside Rehab: The Surprising Truth About Addiction Treatment–and How to Get Help That Works by Anne Fletcher to anyone suffering from addiction or who has a loved one suffering from addiction.

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