CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Suspect in assault on police officer is awaiting trial in notorious burglary case

We’ve learned more today about last night’s incident in which a police officer suffered a knife injury to the hand – and the suspect arrested and jailed in the case.

(Sunday night photo by Tim Durkan)

First, SPD spokesperson Det. Mark Jamieson tells us the officer’s injury was not major – he was treated at a hospital and released shortly thereafter. As we reported last night, he says, it started with the officer noticing graffiti vandalism in progress on a fence at Delridge and Henderson; he pulled over and made contact with the suspect, who tried to run – a brief struggle ensued, the officer got the suspect under control, called for backup, and after another officer arrived, the suspect started fighting, and at some point the officer discovered he had a laceration to the hand. A knife was found at the scene.

Today we’ve learned the suspect is 20-year-old Jorge Cruz-Benitez, who was arrested and charged in November of last year for allegedly breaking into a Highland Park house while the people who live there – including three children – were asleep. (One of the adult residents tracked him down and widely shared his first-person story.) While Cruz-Benitez was originally held in lieu of $30,000 bail in that case, court documents show that a judge allowed him into an alternative custody program in early December after two and a half weeks in jail, and it was to include treatment for substance abuse. Along with investigation of assault, he is being held right now for investigation of violating drug laws.

25 Replies to "CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Suspect in assault on police officer is awaiting trial in notorious burglary case"

  • newnative February 5, 2018 (5:25 pm)

    Whoops 

  • Swede. February 5, 2018 (5:25 pm)

    What does an “alternative custody program” mean?

    • ltfd February 5, 2018 (6:11 pm)

      It means danger- to you, me, and our law enforcement personnel, and ineffective justice for society at large.

    • Concerned February 5, 2018 (7:15 pm)

      It means trying a feel good approach that doesn’t work. There’s been a handful of these “alternative sentencing” stories here on the blog and I’ve seen zero success come from them.

      As someone who was in this field, I can tell you that these people are merely complying in order to get out of a harsher (more appropriate) sentencing and almost all of them have no desire to get sober. 

      Forced rehab sentencing that has been proposed by some will do nothing but make the addiction counseling business thrive. 

      As I’ve pointed out many times, Bob Groeshell, who ran the addiction counseling program at Seattle Central, has said that roughly 9 out of 10 people who get sober off of drugs and /or alcohol, do so on their own

      • Margot February 6, 2018 (4:48 am)

        I think you’re confusing alternative custody with alternative sentencing right?  He was let out because he couldn’t make bail. That seems like a good program if it’s normally a very long wait for trial? To avoid people being locked up in jail waiting for trial longer than their sentence would be. 

        • Concerned February 6, 2018 (7:58 am)

          Whether calling it custody or sentencing, it was still the alternative of going to drug rehab. Had this person continued that and not gotten in trouble, the alternative sentiencing would have most likely followed with the continuation of drug rehab

          • CAM February 6, 2018 (10:23 am)

            No. It has nothing to do with drug rehab. 

          • Concerned February 6, 2018 (3:03 pm)

            Here’s a quote from the story

            QUOTE : court documents show that a judge allowed him into an alternative custody program in early December after two and a half weeks in jail, and it was to include treatment for substance abuse.

          • WSB February 6, 2018 (3:19 pm)

            I linked the definition of CCAP (the program in question) upthread.
            The specific court document had a checkbox for drug/alcohol (treatment) and then handwritten, TX @ CONSEJO
            which I believe is a reference to this service:
            http://consejonew.consejocounseling.org/

            But to an earlier misinterpretation upthread somewhere, this is a reference to conditions of pre-trial release. NOT sentencing.

          • Concerned February 6, 2018 (4:33 pm)

            That’s what I said. Cut and paste

            Whether calling it custody or sentencing, it was still the alternative of going to drug rehab. Had this person continued that and not gotten in trouble, the alternative sentiencing would have most likely followed with the continuation of drug rehab

          • CAM February 6, 2018 (11:33 pm)

            Concerned – As you identify yourself as a former provider of services I would expect you to know the difference between what you are suggesting is going on and what the actual program is. Drug counseling is not drug rehab. Sentencing is not custody. The CCAP program has a number of areas that it focuses on and it goes far beyond drug treatment. You are oversimplifying and I assume it’s out of frustration, but you are still making a crucial mistake that is one that does matter a lot to those working in these industries. 

          • Concerned February 7, 2018 (11:13 am)

            Then you’re not familiar with outpatient rehab which primarily focuses on counseling as treatment

          • Concerned February 7, 2018 (6:08 am)

            @CAM,

             

              This is from Addiction Center

             

            What is Outpatient Rehab?

            An outpatient rehab program offers drug and alcohol treatment sessions that can be scheduled during various times throughout the week. This schedule allows patients to continue with their regular responsibilities and continue living at home, but they are required to check into treatment at their allotted times for counseling and medication.

            Outpatient programs come in a variety of formats, differing levels of intensity and offer an array of services — but the general focus is on counseling, education and providing a network of support.

  • Concerned February 5, 2018 (5:29 pm)

    Well that alternative sentiencing sure worked out well. And I feel bad for the person on that corner with not only gang tags all over the fence, but also with gang tags crossing out initial gang tags and tagging over them.

    I have no sympathy for these POS

  • Question Authority February 5, 2018 (5:39 pm)

    Obviously he has respect for the law and was probably just about to turn his life around.

  • Buttercup February 5, 2018 (6:15 pm)

    A person enters a home with people ,including 3 young children, sleeping and a judge thought he was not a danger to society. Maybe if house was empty, it wasn’t though and drug issues on top of it.  Obviously someone that would not be considered safe. Wish he could do this to judge and maybe he would understand how scary his decision was.

  • Gene February 5, 2018 (6:48 pm)

    Remember folks- Judges are ELECTED.

  • West4Life February 5, 2018 (7:02 pm)

    Great call, judge! This is ridiculous.

  • rico February 5, 2018 (7:35 pm)

    Judges name??  Fricking ridiculous

  • CAM February 5, 2018 (7:38 pm)

    Alternative custody does not equal alternative sentencing. He has yet to stand trial or be convicted thus could not possibly be in an alternative sentencing program. 

  • Seattlite February 5, 2018 (8:51 pm)

    Can we find out the name of the irresponsible judge?  What kind of judge releases a bold criminal into an alternative program instead of jail after said criminal breaks into a home endangering adults and children?  The judge’s bad decision put a dangerous criminal back on the streets who in turn committed another crime and injured a SPD officer. Seattle’s leaders really need to figure out what kind of city they want because Seattle’s current ordinances and policies do not bode well for a safe city and a good quality of life for honest, hard-working citizens.

    • HpResident February 5, 2018 (11:15 pm)

      I totally agree with your statement. Just walk by the court house downtown where it’s become a free for all kind of sums up the situation of how this is deteriorating. 

  • ProudPapa February 5, 2018 (9:05 pm)

    Judge O’Donnell is on twitter if anyone wants to reach out to him.

    https://twitter.com/odonnell4judge

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