West Seattle, Washington
A judge has set bail at $100,000 for 26-year-old Kierra M. Ward, arrested Monday afternoon after a short police standoff on an Admiral street, accused of stabbing a woman who was out for a walk with her baby.
Probable-cause documents from today’s bail hearing don’t reveal much more about the attack beyond what we and commenters reported yesterday – the brief police narrative says the original call was that a woman had stabbed another woman; first officers on the scene reported finding Ward, holding “a large kitchen knife,” and launching the eventually successful attempt to get her to surrender less than an hour later, while other officers found the victim and cared for her until SFD arrived to take her to the hospital. The court document describes her as having suffered injuries to her head, face, and hands “from Ward slashing at her with the large knife.” (Her infant son was not injured.) The document also says Ward threatened to stab a man who was trying to help the victim and pointed the knife at him, which explains why the original notation on her jail-register listing included investigation of felony harassment as well as investigation of assault. The documents do not mention anything about Ward having a criminal record, and as we noted in Monday’s coverage, we have not found one online.
The victim, according to a commenter and to someone who called us today, is out of the hospital and continuing her recovery at home.
Regarding commenters recognizing Ward as someone who has long slept outdoors at Hiawatha Playfield, today’s documents list her “last known address” as being on Walnut SW just east of Hiawatha.Community Center. Our conversation with the aforementioned caller may explain that: The caller contacted us in response to our question about whether anyone had reported, and/or tried to get help for, Ward. The caller reported knowing both Ward and the victim, saying that Ward had lived in a car along Walnut until it was towed, and then started sleeping outside on the field. The caller reported befriending and suggesting resources for Ward, with multiple interactions, and said Ward never showed signs of mental illness or other instability, aside from apparently choosing not to take advantage of the suggested resources, so far as the caller knew.
We may find out more details on the case if/when charges are filed in the next day or two. And in case you wondered – the incident was not brought up by anyone at tonight’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting, which did not have a police representative in attendance (none was scheduled, but sometimes we’ve seen last-minute changes at neighborhood meetings after an incident of significance).
Three Junction notes:
TAGGING VANDALISM TO BE CLEANED UP: Thanks to everyone who tipped us about the particularly big and brazen tagging across the front of the former Radio Shack store at 4505 California SW. We checked in with West Seattle Junction Association executive director Lora Swift, who had just put up the sign you see in our photo – informing everyone interested that it is scheduled to be cleaned up tomorrow.
Also in The Junction, more bike-share bicycles were dropped off today:
RENTAL BIKES REPLENISHED: The orange bicycles in the truck are from Spin; the truck was replenishing/adding them at spots along California, judging by what we later saw as we headed south, all the way to the bottom of Gatewood Hill. The green rental bicycles are from LimeBike, also in view along the sidewalk (we see them most often in use), and there’s also been a recent multiple-bike appearance by the third company authorized to operate in the city, Ofo, whose bicycles are yellow. Anna sent this photo as they appeared on corners in the heart of The Junction a few days ago:
Those three companies have permits to have thousands of bikes out around the city. The trend is spreading nationwide.
RECYCLING REMINDER: Our third and final Junction note – just four days until the dropoff Recycle/Reuse event on Saturday (October 14th), 9 am-1 pm, in the Junction lot along 42nd SW just south of SW Oregon – here are details about what they will and won’t take.
Sorry to have another disturbing incident to report today, but we also wanted to thank the people who e-mailed us to ask about it, after they saw the victim’s husband’s post on a neighborhood group but didn’t see anything about the incident on WSB and thought more people should know. Saturday night, a woman was grabbed while walking on the path (photo above) to 28th SW from behind Westwood Village Target. We obtained the police report today. The narrative begins with officers being dispatched at 7:49 pm Saturday to a nearby residence where they found the victim, a woman in her 30s:
(The victim) stated that she was walking home from Westwood Village when she cut through a walkway that connects the parking lot to 28 Av SW. (The victim) stated that she was walking when she observed a man standing in the walkway. As (the victim) walked by the man, she stated that he grabbed her left shoulder and squeezed. (The victim) stated that the unidentified suspect mumbled something to her, but she could not understand what he said. (The victim) reported that the suspect appeared to be intoxicated.
(She) described the suspect as a W/M [white male], ín his early 20s, with short blond hair and wearing a dark gray sweatshirt with blue jeans. (The victim) also stated that the suspect is around 5’10-6′ tall and thin.
(She) explained that she often walks through the walkway and has not previously seen the suspect. She also stated that it is an area where transients frequentÌy hang out and sleep. (She) reported that it has been an ongoing issue with transient people sleepinq and staying in the area of the walkway. (She) explained that there are multiple beds made of cardboard, un-capped needles, trash, and empty alcohol bottles littering the walkway. I advised (the victim) to call the SW Community Policing Team regarding the ongoing issues.
The report says the officer then searched the area and didn’t find anyone resembling the suspect, and that the victim did not have injuries requiring treatment. After obtaining the report, we went over for a look at the pathway – the photo above looks back toward Target, and we noted this syringe along the way:
Community Police Team contacts for the Southwest Precinct, by the way, are listed here – eastern West Seattle sectors are assigned to Officer O’Neil. Also of note, this is a few blocks east of where 2 students walking to school were inappropriately approached a week ago, and not much further from where two other students were flashed last Friday.
4:49 PM: Thanks for the tips: If you use 1st Avenue South to get to/from, or instead of, the West Seattle Bridge, be advised the intersection is closed right now, after a collision that SPD says involved a bicycle rider and a semitruck.
5:39 PM: Per scanner, 1st/Spokane is now reopening, all directions. Right now, though, we don’t have any information about the condition of anyone involved in the collision.
ADDED WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON: As noted in comments, SPD provided some information in a blotter post today; the collision involved a bicyclist and dump-truck driver. The bicyclist is a 61-year-old man whose injuries are described as life-threatening.
The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons who failed to provide veterinary care for a dog then abandoned him in West Seattle. The dog was in clear medical distress and was suffering when someone tossed him from a stopped vehicle.
On Sunday, Sept. 24, a witness observed the dog being tossed from a purple Dodge minivan by someone described as a heavyset African-American man with dreadlocks. This incident occurred in the 5600 block of 38th Avenue SW [map]. A Seattle Animal Shelter officer responded and transported the dog to an emergency veterinary clinic. Unfortunately, the dog did not survive. Abandoning an animal and failing to provide medical care necessary for an animal’s health or to alleviate its pain are crimes, said Seattle Animal Shelter Executive Director Ann Graves.
“This is a very disturbing case of callousness and an act of animal cruelty,” Graves said.
If you recognize the dog or the description of the van or know who is responsible for abandoning this dog, please call Seattle Animal Shelter’s acting manager of field services, Don Baxter, at 206-386-4288 and reference case number C04542592. Any information about the person who did this is vital to solving this case, Graves said.
“Abandoning an animal that is suffering and in desperate need of medical attention is unconscionable and a clear violation of our state’s animal cruelty statutes,” said Dan Paul, Washington state director for The Humane Society of the United States. “We are grateful the Seattle Animal Shelter was able to respond quickly and hopeful that this reward brings forward anyone with information about this heinous act of cruelty.”
First degree animal cruelty is a Class C felony punishable by five years in prison, a $10,000 fine or both.
The Seattle Animal Shelter enforces both SMC 9.25.081 and RCW 16.52.205, which make it illegal to abuse or neglect an animal. If you feel that an animal is being neglected or abused, please contact the Seattle Animal Shelter at 206-386-PETS (7387).
The dog was gray and white, male, and, in the only photo provided by SAS, appears to be dying or already dead, so be forewarned if you decide to click.
ADDED 4:31 PM: Full description of the dog, as an alternative to viewing the photo, from SAS: “Adult (estimated age 4-6 years), unneutered male, American Pitbull Terrier, gray/blue in color with white on the neck/chest, feet, and a blaze marking up the muzzle.”
Thanks to school nurse Alison Enochs for the heads-up on these flu-shot clinics tomorrow afternoon (remember that Wednesdays are early-release days all year in Seattle Public Schools, so this is basically happening “after school”):
DENNY INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE SCHOOL GALLERIA (2601 SW Kenyon): Rite-Aid is presenting this flu-shot clinic. No cost if you have insurance, $34.99 if not. 1:30-5:30 pm Wednesday (October 11th).
WEST SEATTLE HIGH SCHOOL (3000 California SW): 3-6 pm Wednesday. Bring your insurance card (all plans except Cigna will be billed); if you don’t have insurance, no cost for people under 18 (who need a patient-consent form signed by a parent or guardian, available at the clinic), $30 for 18 and up.
Our video is from 59th and Admiral, during the Monday morning walk to school at Alki Elementary, just north of the intersection. It’s been a little over a month since SDOT changed the intersection to an all-way stop – previously, east-west traffic didn’t have to stop unless the north-south signal on the east side of the intersection was activated by pedestrian(s). It’s the first phase of what SDOT announced as a two-way “crossing improvement.” Some say it’s been anything but.
Parents from Alki Elementary have formed a Traffic Safety Task Force. They met with us at the intersection before school at Monday morning to show us what they say are more-dangerous conditions since the change, with some drivers still seeming confused about how the intersection is supposed to work, resulting in, for example, turns made through the crosswalk while pedestrians are still in it:
In the parents’ correspondence with SDOT so far, it’s been reiterated that the department is evaluating the changes over a six-month period before deciding whether to make them permanent and to continue to Phase 2. The parents say this is more urgent than that – we’re going into the dark, rainy months and even on the clearest winter day, many will be crossing before sunrise, and the intersection is challenging enough now.
The one marked crosswalk at the intersection already serves as the only marked crossing on Admiral Way from 49th to 59th, all part of the Alki Elementary attendance zone.
What they want, as Merkys Gomez from the Task Force summarizes: “An all-way traffic signal (i.e. traffic light) that is pedestrian and vehicle activated with no-turn-on-red signs, and red light and speeding cameras for ticketing, at a minimum, during school commute times. We also need appropriate signage installed indicating that this is a school zone, with flashing beacons.”
While the city hasn’t added red-light cameras in a long time (West Seattle has two, at 35th/Avalon and 35th/Thistle), it’s continued to slowly expand the list of speed-enforcement cameras in school zones; in West Seattle, they are installed along Fauntleroy Way SW near Gatewood Elementary, along Delridge Way SW near Louisa Boren STEM K-8, and along SW Roxbury near Roxhill Elementary (which is scheduled to be vacated next school year) and Holy Family School. Even more elementaries have flashing “20 mph school zone” beacons, minus cameras, nearby, including Genesee Hill, Highland Park, and Gatewood.
This morning, the Traffic Safety Task Force parents were scheduled to meet with at least one SDOT official to continue discussing their concerns. But the request for a full-service signal has already been turned down – here’s what SDOT spokesperson Dawn Schellenberg told the Alki parents via e-mail:
Unfortunately, at this time traffic operations do not meet Federal Highway guidelines for full signal installation so this is not a resolution we can move forward.
Noting that 47th/Admiral has a full signal, without a school zone in the immediate area, they are asking for an explanation of where 59th/Admiral doesn’t meet “guidelines.” They also want to know how SDOT is collecting “public input” during the six-month review, as they haven’t seen any calls for it yet.
By the way, as shown in our video above, the intersection does have a crossing guard – but not guaranteed; the parents say that if the guard has an off or sick day, they’re not replaced. Not that the guard’s presence in the roadway prevented all rule-breaking, we noticed while we were there. SDOT told the parents that when a traffic officer was at the intersection in the early going after the all-way-stop change, SPD saw “99 percent compliance,” but didn’t provide data, so the parents are asking for that too.
ADDED TUESDAY EVENING: Nearby resident Tim has since recorded video at the intersection and provided it to the Alki Elementary Traffic Safety Task Force as well as to us, via this YouTube clip.
Continuing to pursue several West Seattle Crime Watch followups, we just got an update on Sunday morning’s ATM theft at the 44th/Edmunds Chase drive-up in The Junction: Seattle Police spokesperson Det. Mark Jamieson tells us the stolen ATM was “recovered (Monday) morning at a location in the South Precinct,” so that precinct is now handling the followup investigation. He also provided the narrative from Sunday morning’s original theft report. The report says that the ATM was already gone when police arrived, responding to the 911 call “that a forklift was being used to steal an ATM machine.” Police were told that the ATM was “loaded into a Penske moving truck which left in an unknown direction.” The report says the forklift – which, as we reported Sunday, was left behind – had been stolen from a construction site in the 4800 block of Fauntleroy Way SW (which would be about four blocks east of the theft location), and was eventually taken back to that site by private tow after it was checked for prints and other evidence. At the time the report was filed, police were working to get access to the camera that potentially had video of the theft. Meantime, as we added yesterday to Sunday’s report, Chase says replacement plans are already in progress and the ATM location should be back in business by the end of the month.
Somewhere over the rainbow … your neighbors are working to make West Seattle the best place it can be. Second Tuesday of the month means at least three community-council meetings in our area most months. They’re on the list of calendar highlights for today/tonight, with more:
PACIFIC SCIENCE CENTER AT NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSE HIGH POINT: 10:30-11:30 am preschool-enrichment event: “‘Sense-Sational’ Science Show with the Pacific Science Center.” Geared toward kids 3-5 but all ages welcome. Free. (6400 Sylvan Way SW)
SOUTH SEATTLE FIBER ARTS CLUB: Knitters, crocheters, quilters, etc. are invited to drop in at Highland Park Improvement Club and work on their projects with the South Seattle Fiber Arts Club, 11 am-1 pm. Free and open to the public. (1116 SW Holden)
ADMIRAL NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: 7 pm at The Sanctuary at Admiral. Guests include Judie Messier from the Westside Neighbors Network “virtual village” forming in West Seattle to help people “age in place.” This year’s Admiral District Trick or Treating event will be discussed, too. All welcome. (42nd SW/SW Lander)
SOUTH PARK NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: 7 pm at the South Park Neighborhood Center, with the featured guest Sgt. Eric Zerr from the city’s Navigation Team. All welcome. (8201 10th Ave. S.)
AND THERE’S LOTS MORE for today/tonight/beyond … check it out on our full calendar.
If you don’t check in on the WSB Lost/Found Pets page, you might have missed this news, so we’re mentioning it here too: Poppy the Siamese cat is home. More than three weeks after disappearing from Pigeon Point – we posted owner Teresa‘s notice on September 17th – he turned up near the “low bridge” yesterday morning. In the comment section of Poppy’s post, bicyclist Alan explained that he had seen another rider looking for a Siamese cat who had run across the bike path and hidden in the bushes. Alan told the other rider about Poppy. That rider, John, contacted Poppy‘s people (Alan had called too); Teresa later posted, “I was able to go to the exact location you described and find him. … He has lost quite a bit of weight but seems to be in pretty good shape other than that.” As another comment pointed out, Poppy’s people had gone to great lengths to have the entire peninsula on the lookout for him.
We are glad the WSB Lost/Found Pets page – the only West Seattle-wide lost/found pets page, with hundreds of reunions since 2008 thanks to caring readers – could help; e-mail info/photo/contact # to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are looking for/have found a pet.