West Seattle Crime Watch: 10 vehicles vandalized, man jailed

1:37 AM: Several people have asked about a police response in the California/Raymond vicinity. Here’s what we know so far: Police are investigating vandalism that damaged multiple cars. They were dispatched after what one texter described to us (similar to what was mentioned in the dispatching) as “yelling and smashing sounds.” They found multiple vehicles with damage including broken side mirrors, and were questioning one suspect at last report. We will follow up later this morning.

9:14 AM: We went down after it got light this morning to see if any of this damage was visible; above, two photos. We also are obtaining the report narrative from SPD and will add details when we have that.

9:54 AM: We now have that report, which notes at least 10 damaged vehicles, along California SW and in an apartment-building parking lot. The suspect is 31-year-old Yonas Berhane, who was arrested and cited – which means charged, in the Municipal Court system, which is why we are identifying him – with property destruction and harassment. As one commenter reports, the initial call to police said the vandalism was accompanied by yelling and screaming with threats to “murder people.” Police found Berhane walking northbound on California north of Raymond and say he appeared intoxicated. Someone told officers they had asked Berhane if he was OK and that he responded by threatening to shoot them and used both hands to “mimic … shooting guns, all the while shouting ‘blap blap blap’ (as in gunfire).” The King County Jail register shows he is still in custody, with initial bail at $2,000.

2:36 PM: Berhane is currently scheduled for a court appearance at the jail tomorrow morning. His record dating back to age 17 includes mostly misdemeanors, including theft and assault, but also a 2009 case that combined felony charges in multiple cases in South King County, including the theft of a car from a hotel parking lot near Sea-Tac; the car’s owners, according to the charging documents, had been staying at the hotel because their house burned down. He struck a plea bargain and was sentenced to two months.

18 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: 10 vehicles vandalized, man jailed"

  • Lana August 5, 2015 (8:44 am)

    So this morning KOMO 4 news was on the corner of California/Raymond interviewing people in area about the incident. I didn’t hear a thing last night early this morning and it is on my street. Must have been sleeping very hard. Hope this isn’t a sign of things to come in the future.

    • WSB August 5, 2015 (9:14 am)

      Yes, they even tried to interview our photographer, thinking he was a resident or passerby. Must have been a very slow morning for them. Anyway, I’m adding a couple photos & also following up with SPD now that media relations is open for the day … TR

  • Cheeks August 5, 2015 (9:40 am)

    That guy was screaming that he was going to murder people over and over. That’s not verbatim because of the excess of swearing. He stood in the middle of California ave just screaming too. High pitched screams as long as he could. He was so confrontational to the witnesses that it worried me. It was terrifying to see that so close to where I live!

  • Meredith August 5, 2015 (9:59 am)

    My poor parents were staying in my street level guest room btwn California and Graham and the suspect stood outside the window raving with f bombs for a bit just after 1 am. Luckily did not wake up our newborn but I don’t know if my parents will be staying with us in the future.

  • KatherineL August 5, 2015 (10:18 am)

    Just one charge each? Not ten charges of property damage? I wonder what will happen at arraignment today.

  • quiz August 5, 2015 (12:13 pm)

    Sweet. I’m wondering if he has any priors. Sounds like he obviously needs some serious psychiatric help.

  • Craig August 5, 2015 (12:32 pm)

    Bail at $2000 feels low considering his complete freak out, willingness to confront people and threaten to kill them, plus a long and effective run of damaging physical property. If taking someone into custody is designed to protect the public I hope he stays in jail and doesn’t bail out. He clearly needs help so hopefully city services can give it to him.

  • Chuck and Sally's Van Man August 5, 2015 (12:37 pm)

    Walking northbound suggests that he might have been drinking at one of the three main watering holes in the Morgan neighborhood: Feedback, BP or the Bridge. I live on Graham street, and I’ve been awakened countless times at this hour when the heavy drinkers head to their cars or just amble (loudly) on their walk home. I’m all for a good time, but I think our local watering holes could do a better job of not over-serving. My money is on that he got plowed at one of these places. One in particular but I’ll keep it to myself. And yeah, it’s a real problem. “City living” and all that…

    • WSB August 5, 2015 (1:21 pm)

      Looking back at the very long police narrative which I summarized here, there is nothing to indicate that he was or wasn’t at a bar. The vandalism also took place along Raymond, which he was said to have been walking on going westbound at some point. It also does not identify whether he was believed to have been intoxicated via alcohol or some other drug. – TR

  • Kitty Jorts August 5, 2015 (1:08 pm)

    I was on the 56 one morning last week and had seen a red car (maybe a Challenger) with similar damage to the side mirror. This was around Admiral and 45th Ave SW. Wonder if it was the same individual.

  • JG August 5, 2015 (1:25 pm)

    My car was vandalized in this same fashion on the night of July 25th. I live in the north Delridge neighborhood. I also had a brick thrown at my headlight which bounced off onto the hood of my car. I’ll be looking into pressing charges as it sounds as though he’s been doing this for weeks.

  • WSB August 5, 2015 (2:21 pm)

    Please talk to police but also be aware that this kind of vandalism (not 10 in one night, of course) is not entirely rare so you can’t *assume* it’s the same suspect in other cases, other neighborhoods. Anyway, re: the question about priors, yes, he appears to have a lengthy record, including, apropos to the intoxication mention, “minor in possession of alcohol” dating back into his teens. One felony case from 2009 that was an amalgamation of car prowls and other property crimes in South King County also has a narrative mentioning chronic drunkenness. I will add a bit more about the priors into the story above, shortly, still looking at downloaded documents – TR

  • Matt S. August 5, 2015 (7:15 pm)

    Let’s not blame bars. I’ve been inebriated a number of times, but so far have managed not to threaten anyone, scream for the fun of it in a dense neighborhood, or playfully finger-shoot cops with explicative garnish. Come on.

  • Rick August 5, 2015 (8:03 pm)

    Matt S. – Just be sure to walk southward when you’re drinking.

  • Matt S. August 5, 2015 (8:55 pm)

    I would Rick, but I tend to remain stationary while drinking.

  • jd August 6, 2015 (7:13 am)

    I live directly across the street of that intersection, and heard the guy screaming and yelling. I was concerned because he sounded crazy, I assumed drugs. But I heard him get angrier and he started yelling at someone saying he was gonna kill them. I looked out my window and saw him in the middle of the street. A minute later the cops were there. I didn’t hear the vandalism tho. Definitely scared me.

  • Citizen August 6, 2015 (7:41 am)

    My car was ransacked the same evening near 42nd and Brandon–mistakenly left it unlocked and everything was strewn around from console and glove box. No vandalism though, appeared they were just looking for $$…and there wasn’t any…

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