According to Seattle Police‘s Tweets by Beat, there was a strong-arm robbery at California/Spokane this afternoon. Before we even saw that tweet, we received this report from a reader who reports witnessing it:
I witnessed this robbery/attack and feel compelled to write you. I am an eight-year West Seattle resident, but was appalled and shaken by seeing this event and how people behaved. I did not see the start of the robbery but here is what I did see:
As I came jogging down the block, I saw a loose circle of young people (roughly 10-14 year olds?) watching two guys kicking and beating each other on the sidewalk in front of the Westside Presbyterian Church. A metro bus was parked there with its doors open and it looked like the two guys had come from there. Initially I thought it was two teen boys so I ran towards them screaming at them to stop fighting. The two adult men broke apart and the victim started yelling that he was being robbed, please someone call the police and that the other guy had his Orca card… The victim seemed to be in shock and he just kept yelling for help, then sort of halfheartedly ran after the attacker how took off around the corner. The metro bus just closed its doors and drove off.
It’s bad enough seeing this in broad daylight in my beloved neighborhood. But observing the non-reaction around me was even more disturbing. I am a 5’3″ woman – so no help in a fight, and I didn’t have my own phone on hand because I was jogging. But no other adult did anything. No one came out from the church until the event was well and truly over. Nobody driving by, or nearby construction workers paid any attention. The kids did not even get out of the way of these two adult, and potentially dangerous, men fighting. I asked not one, but two separate kids to call 911. That’s when the kids got bored and started to leave. And I’m sorry to say that every one of those kids had their cell phones IN THEIR HANDS the whole time and looked like they were texting and taking pictures: Not calling the police, not running into the church for help, not even leaving the scene for their own safety.
I’m sorry I couldn’t be more help, but I’m even more sorry that we’ve become such a frightened and careless culture that people who could have helped didn’t. And shame on those kids for treating it like entertainment – they should have at least had the good sense to get far away from such an explosive situation.
We won’t be able to get the police report any sooner than tomorrow, so we don’t know the status of the investigation, including whether anyone was arrested and how the victim is doing.