West Seattle Crime Watch: Thief takes Daily Dose tip jar

July 23, 2014 at 9:40 am | In Crime, West Seattle news | 8 Comments

Coffee shops, be forewarned. Out of the WSB inbox this morning, from Cheryl:

I was working at The Daily Dose coffee shop at 5214 Delridge Way yesterday. Around 1:15 p.m. I was in the restroom as I heard the front door open. I shouted out “hello, I’ll be right out,: finished washing my hands and came out. No one was there and the door was left open. I decided whoever it was had quickly changed their mind and left. About 10 minutes later, I realized my tip jar was gone! The thief was swift and deliberate as it was seconds from the time I heard the front door open and came out of the restroom.

It’s not the loss of tip money (maybe $35), but the sense of violation. I hope they really needed it, or at least bought themselves a nice meal! I will be locking the door in the future while in the restroom.

West Seattle Crime Watch: ‘Home invasion’ robbers get away with thousands

July 23, 2014 at 12:52 am | In Crime, Highland Park, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

12:52 AM: Police are searching for two people suspected in a reported ‘home invasion’ situation in Highland Park. Scanner-monitored information indicates shots were fired – with at least one casing found – but the victim was not reported injured and no medic crew has been summoned. This happened near 10th and Trenton (map); police, including a K-9 team, are looking for a woman and man who might be known to the victim. More info if/when we get it.

2:09 AM: Still no word of arrests. Robbery Unit detectives are joining the investigation.

NOON UPDATE: We’ve obtained the report from SPD. It says the victim told police he recognized the woman, by voice, as his wife, who he hasn’t (otherwise) seen in a month – both robbers, the report says, were wearing ski masks. The male robber fired two rounds, according to the victim, including one into the floor after tying him up and leaving him in the bathroom. The female robber, the victim said, demanded to know where “the money” was, and though the victim denied having any, she said she knew better, and eventually, according to the victim, they made off with $22,000 in cash.

West Seattle Crime Watch: 2 car prowls, with stolen items including ‘unmistakable’ skateboard

July 22, 2014 at 10:19 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

Thieves took Eron‘s skateboard in one of two car prowls for which we have reader reports tonight. Eron says it happened “in front of my house at 11th and Kenyon and my dog woke me up but not in time. … they took a lot of things; most of it was recovered by walking just around my block. The big score was a set of keys to nothing in this county and my custom longboard that I made from a vintage kids’ water ski. It is unmistakable. Yellow with red swirls and blue wheels. It is largely a sentimental loss and has very little ‘street’ value, as it is easily identified from any distance.”

Further south on 11th SW, in the 8800 block, Darcey reports: “Someone went thru my car last night. I left the door unlocked accidentally. Didn’t take anything- but we had nothing worth taking. Just threw stuff around, searching.”

P.S. Though local crime-prevention groups don’t meet again until September, you are now two weeks away from a prime chance to get together with your neighbors in support of safety and community – Night Out is Tuesday, August 5th, and you can sign up your block party by going here. (As always, we’ll be stopping by parties around West Seattle, and thanks to those who’ve already sent word of theirs without us even asking – editor@westseattleblog.com.)

West Seattle Crime Watch: Admiral scuffle leads to BB shooting

July 21, 2014 at 5:03 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 10 Comments

Just talked with police about an Admiral incident that several asked us about this afternoon. According to Seattle Police spokesperson Det. Drew Fowler, it boiled down to a fight involving four people outside Admiral Safeway just before 3 pm. Two were brothers, ages 16 and 17; the other two’s identities aren’t known. Police are still sorting out the motive for the fight but say that at one point, one of the unknown two suspects shot one of the brothers in the face with a BB gun. There also were reports of punches thrown, but in the end, what happened was so convoluted that Seattle Fire medic crews came and went from the scene twice – finally, the victim was taken to a hospital. His injuries are not described as major. No one’s been arrested.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Three car break-ins

July 21, 2014 at 3:00 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 9 Comments

Three reader reports – first two are about overnight car break-ins in north West Seattle. First, from Sandra:

My car was broken into last night. it was parked on the street at 2008 California Ave SW. They took 3 bags; 1) yellow leather with brown trim, 2) black leather with gold trim, and a black “expanda” file with handles. Nothing of real value in the bags, but if the thieves threw them out and anyone sees them, please contact me at sandrakstark@live.com. Thank you.

And from Ian:

My 1992 Honda Accord was prowled last night, between 12 am and noon today. It was parked in the 2100 block of Alki Ave SW, underneath a street light in front of the condo I live in. Woke up to find the trunk partially opened and all the contents of my glove box thrown through out the car. Fortunately they didn’t steal my car since I had a club on the steering wheel which they tried to remove from all the scratch marks all over it. All they took was my GPS which was hidden in my glove box. No broken windows or scratch marks on my car door, which makes me think they had a master key to the car which you can buy online.

Third report is from last Thursday – Jeremy tweeted about a smash-and-grab car break-in in the south lot at Lincoln Park; his wife’s purse was taken.

P.S. In case you missed it over the weekend – a Crime Watch partial happy ending.

West Seattle Crime Watch followup: Claire has her bike back!

July 19, 2014 at 10:07 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

The other day, Mark sent a Crime Watch report saying his bicycle had been stolen, with a child’s bike left in its place. He included a photo in hopes of at least finding that bicycle’s owner. JP saw the note and recognized it as his daughter Claire‘s new bike – which indeed had been stolen – and now, she has it back, and JP sent the above photo to share:

Thank you Mark and West Seattle Blog for reuniting Claire with her stolen bike! You made my daughter very happy! We hope Mark’s bike is found as well.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Another ‘flasher’ incident

July 18, 2014 at 1:42 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 27 Comments

1:42 PM: For the second time this week, a case of lewd behavior/indecent exposure – reported as a comment on our story about the first incident (Tuesday in Admiral):

I actually experienced a very similar situation yesterday at the corner of SW Myrtle and 36th around 4:30 pm. I was walking my dog around the park and was approaching 36th when a man in a silver SUV opened his car door with no pants on and masturbated in front of me – laughing and waving. Disgusting.

I first saw him in a silver SUV parked halfway in someone’s driveway and then saw him re-park in another driveway – I assumed he was lost. The incident happened about 5 minutes later when I walked around the block (at which point he re-parked again), which leads me to think he was following me. I didn’t have a phone on me, but thankfully I caught up with someone in the park who did, and we called 911 immediately. The police responded quickly and took the report – but by that time he had left. Unfortunately, I was so disturbed/unsettled that I didn’t get a good description (I ran towards 35th so as to be in a more public place). He was a bigger framed guy in a silver SUV. The police had mentioned that something very similar happened earlier in the week (I’m assuming it’s the same incident posted above). I hope they catch this guy – it’s very disturbing.

We are following up with police right now, asking questions including whether this case and the 38th/Stevens case are believed to be related, and if there’s any other information to report. We’ll add to this story when we hear back.

4:17 PM: Obtained the report on this second incident – which ends with an acknowledgment of the similarities to the Tuesday incident in Admiral. No other information besides what the victim points out above; she was not close enough to get the plate but would likely recognize the vehicle if she saw it again, she told police.

West Seattle Crime Watch followup: Gatewood burglary suspect charged

July 17, 2014 at 10:53 pm | In Crime, Gatewood, West Seattle news | 10 Comments

Following up on the Gatewood burglary spree first reported here Wednesday – the suspect is now charged with three counts of residential burglary. And we’ve learned that a warrant was already out for his arrest before police found him after the burglaries Saturday afternoon, because he’d missed a sentencing hearing a day earlier. Plus, he has an extensive record dating back more than half his life, to age 14.

The suspect is Jason Edward Wyman, who turned 33 the day before his arrest. The police report lists a Westwood address for him. He is charged with burglarizing three homes in Gatewood; in two cases, the police report says, he was interrupted by people who were home at the time and had left doors unlocked or open; in a third, he stole from a guest house. At least one victim has surveillance video showing him with items stolen from her home.

“The defendant’s brazen behavior is alarming,” prosecutors wrote in the charging documents, noting that while burglary is not a violent crime, entering occupied residences can quickly escalate to violence. They go on to describe him as a “flight risk” with “17 warrants since 2000, based on 15 bookings at King County Jail.”

Last Friday, Wyman was supposed to appear for sentencing in a theft case dating back to last August – and failed to show up, leading to issuance of a $10,000 warrant for his arrest. His criminal history spans three states and includes at least one conviction for escape. He had struck a plea bargain in the case, which involved a day last August in which he was caught on video stealing a TV and two computers from the Renton Wal-Mart; according to court documents, and was going to be recommended for a residential DOSA sentence – that’s the program involving mandatory drug treatment.

Now, if Wyman is convicted of three counts of residential burglary, he faces up to 7 years in prison. According to the King County Jail Register, his current bail is set at $50,000. We’ll keep the case on our watch list.

West Seattle Crime Watch: One bike stolen, one left in its place

July 17, 2014 at 11:36 am | In Crime, Seaview, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

Mark is looking for both his stolen bike and the owner of a bike that turned up where his had been: “The curious thing was that whoever took my bike (adult size) left an almost brand-new child’s-size bike. I assume they felt mine was an upgrade.” It happened on Sunday afternoon in Seaview, 47th/Findlay (map). Here’s the bike left behind:

It’s a “small Giant,” he adds. His stolen bike is “a dark gray Diamondback Trace with Planet Bike fenders and a black rear rack.” Seen it? And/or have any idea who the left-behind bike belongs to?

West Seattle Crime Watch: Burglaries in Sunrise Heights, Gatewood

July 16, 2014 at 9:21 am | In Crime, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

Two West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports to share:

SUNRISE HEIGHTS BREAK-IN: On 34th SW between Othello and Webster, someone broke in at midmorning Tuesday, taking computers, tablets, jewelry, even money from kids’ piggy banks, according to a neighbor who shared the info on behalf of the victims – who couldn’t because their computers were gone.

INTRUDER ARRESTED AFTER MULTIPLE BREAK-INS: A Gatewood resident reports a burglar was arrested in her neighborhood on Saturday afternoon after breaking into her home and three others nearby – at least two, while people were home, as was the case at her house. One witness gave police a good-enough description to spot and arrest the suspect. At our tipster’s house, she says, “He broke in the back door, stole a laptop, mail, a Batman costume and a Coke and Gatorade.” Making his getaway, he dropped a backpack and ran – “into the arms of cops up the road,” who, according to the victim, said the suspect was under the influence. Since receiving this reader report, we also have obtained the police report, which says the burglaries that day began in the 8400 block of 42nd SW (map) and ranged southwestward across about four blocks until he was stopped in the 4300 block of SW Southern. The report says he tried to give a false identity, claimed to be suffering from heat stroke (Seattle Fire medics screened him and determined he wasn’t), and ultimately was booked into King County Jail.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Flasher reported in Admiral area

July 15, 2014 at 5:45 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 28 Comments

Reader report – a flasher exposing himself to girls in the Admiral area:

At 3:15 today, my 13-year-old daughter and her friend were walking home from Hiawatha and spotted a silver SUV parked on SW Stevens street with its driver door open. As they were walking the man inside exposed himself to the girls and took off in his car. As they rounded the corner, he was there again, this time in the middle of the street with no pants on, masturbating and laughing at the girls. They ran home and we called the police and filed a report right away. He is approximately 5’9, large frame, scruffy looking with brown hair and wearing a red t-shirt. He was last seen driving north on 38th in a 2000s silver SUV. Please alert readers in the area to be on the lookout and to call police right away if they spot anyone matching this description.

7:05 PM UPDATE: We asked the person who reported this if there were any other description/location details; for the former, white, “short, scruffy brown hair and shadow of a beard”; for the latter, “he was on 39th SW and SW Stevens to start and ended up getting out of the car on 38th SW and SW Stevens heading toward Lander when he got out of the car.”

Jailed, West Seattle-residing deputy fired by King County Sheriff

July 15, 2014 at 4:00 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 12 Comments

Followup on the story of Darrion Holiwell, the King County Sheriff’s Deputy jailed and charged with crimes including promoting prostitution and drug dealing: Sheriff John Urquhart has fired the 49-year-old West Seattle resident, according to this announcement we just received:

Click to read the rest of Jailed, West Seattle-residing deputy fired by King County Sheriff…

Scam alert: Another variation of the utility-bill phone calls

July 14, 2014 at 8:15 pm | In Crime, Utilities, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

At least for this area, it’s a new spin on the recurring telephone scam in which someone calls a business and claims its electricity is about to be cut off unless it makes a payment right now. Over the weekend, Donna Burns from Giannoni’s Pizzeria in Westwood Village – which had received the power-bill-scam call at least twice – reported a caller, claiming to be with Puget Sound Energy, making demands: “After I received the ‘we’re turning off your gas in 30 minutes if you don’t pay $500′ call, I immediately called PSE myself (their emergency number) and confirmed that it was in fact, a fraudulent call.” She was due to follow up with the Seattle Police fraud unit today. Bottom line is that if anyone calls you – business or personal line – claiming you need to make a payment now or face disconnection, DON’T DO IT – even if you are worried you might have bonafide bill trouble, hang up and contact the utility directly yourself to find out your status. (Searching the Web before publishing this, we see reports of this in some other parts of PSE’s service territory, but it doesn’t seem to have been as widely reported in Seattle as the electric-bill scam.)

Update: Police investigate shooting at 16th/Henderson; victim says it was accidental

July 14, 2014 at 5:56 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 59 Comments

(Added: WSB photos by Christopher Boffoli)
5:56 PM: The big emergency response – police and fire – is for a shooting at 16th and Henderson. 16th is being closed to traffic for now, between Barton and Henderson, because police are looking for shell casings in the street. One person is reported to have been shot in the foot, per scanner discussion, in which the suspect was described as a medium-complexion black man in his 20s, 150 pounds, 5-8, not a stranger to the victim, (added: dressed in black plus a white shirt/T-shirt), last seen walking northbound.

6:04 PM UPDATE: The victim is described as a 25-year-old man, shot in the right foot.

6:30 PM UPDATE: Per scanner – again, with the caveat that it’s still early in the investigation – the victim is reported to have confirmed what police say a witness told them, that this was self-inflicted/accidental.

6:47 PM: And now from SPD via Twitter – same thing we’d heard via scanner:

7:27 PM: 16th is open both ways.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Watch for this stolen laptop

July 12, 2014 at 10:13 am | In Crime, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

West Seattle Crime Watch reader report today from Kallie:

My boyfriend’s car was broken into on 39th Ave SW, near 39th and Forest, last night. His laptop bag (with laptop) and gym bag were stolen out of the car. Unfortunately we believe the car may have been unlocked. We found the duffle with everything, including a $20 bill, besides his Levi jeans and polo tshirt around the corner on the sidewalk. Additionally we found some papers from his work bag on the sidewalk a half block up. Nothing else was taken out of the car and based in what they left behind I’m thinking it was some a–hole kids who were on foot. They left a half-drank bottle of pineapple vodka in my front lawn as well, which is covered in fingerprints. I left a sign in my yard requesting the laptop back with no questions asked … Police said to call back Monday-Friday and we will give the vodka bottle to them then.

My neighbor sometimes leaves her car unlocked and said she thought hers had been rifled through last night too, however the only items they have in there are kids’ toys. She doesn’t think anything was taken.

Hoping to get the word out so when the (thieves) who did this realize that a corporate, password and encrypted laptop has no value to them, they will bring it back and not throw it away.

West Seattle Crime Watch updates: Tire-slashing rampage followup; Alan Polevia back in jail

July 10, 2014 at 1:57 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

Two West Seattle Crime Watch updates:

(One of nine photos published in our original report last Saturday)
TIRE-SLASHING SPREE UPDATE: We finally obtained the police report written after officers talked to many of the people whose vehicles’ tires were slashed late July 4th or early July 5th in Seaview – here’s our original story. The report includes 22 cases totaling 30 tires; neighbors cited up to 40, so if it happened to you and you haven’t reported it, be sure to contact police. We also were reminded by SPD that if anyone with a surveillance camera anywhere nearby hasn’t checked it yet – maybe you were away for an extended holiday weekend? – please do, before the recording is lost. Meantime, neighbors’ reward fund is up to $750 and they are still accepting contributions – go here. And the neighbor who organized the fund has posted in the WSB Forums looking for help in putting up posters touting the reward for tips (follow that link – her contact info is there too).

ALAN POLEVIA IN JAIL AGAIN: Last fall, we covered the sentencing of 33-year-old repeat offender Alan Polevia, who had made news both regionally – for escaping from Harborview while handcuffed – and locally, for various property-crime cases. He was sentenced to six months, and got out this spring. This week, a reader tip brought the news that he was booked into King County Jail again Tuesday morning. Charges have since been filed against him; it’s not a West Seattle case, but because of his history in this area, it seemed noteworthy. According to court documents, Polevia is charged with second-degree burglary and firearm theft for a late-April break-in at Boulevard Park Pawn and Loan (11848 Des Moines Memorial Drive). 13 guns were stolen, in addition to other items; two safes containing at least some of those guns had been pried open. The King County Sheriff’s Office report says deputies came into contact with Polevia that day about a mile away and noticed him both “highly under the influence of narcotics” and wearing an empty holster that he couldn’t explain. It had a price tag from the pawn shop; prints on one of the pried-open safes matched his. His bail is set at $50,000, plus $500 for an unrelated failure-to-appear case.

West Seattle Crime Watch followup: Guilty plea in deadly crash

July 9, 2014 at 4:20 pm | In Crime, Delridge, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

One Saturday night in July of last year, a pickup truck sped through a red light on southbound Delridge Way at Kenyon, hit an SUV (its wreckage is at right), and rolled. 43-year-old Michael Fisher was thrown from the truck and died at the scene; another passenger was hurt, as was the SUV’s driver. The pickup’s under-the-influence driver, 44-year-old William Edmon, was arrested that night and has since pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and reckless endangerment. We just discovered it in a periodic check of ongoing case files; the plea was entered in late May. Edmon has a long record, as reported here when he was charged last year, including 13 instances of driving with a suspended license, three DUI cases, and cases including inattentive driving, ignition-interlock violation, reckless driving, property destruction, harassment, hit-and-run, malicious mischief, plus several “failure to appear” charges along the way. Because of his record, prosecutors are recommending a prison sentence that would total 160 months – just over 13 years – with 72 of those months as a “DUI enhancement.” The sentencing is scheduled for July 25th, postponed from a date last month so the victim’s relatives can be present.

Assault, harassment charges filed against 3 in downtown kicking case, 1 from West Seattle

July 9, 2014 at 2:35 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 13 Comments

Four months after regional media first reported allegations that three people – including two off-duty Seattle firefighters – attacked a homeless man downtown, the City Attorney’s Office has filed criminal charges, and court documents confirm that one defendant is a West Seattle resident.

The incident happened in March at the Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Occidental Park downtown.

Click to read the rest of Assault, harassment charges filed against 3 in downtown kicking case, 1 from West Seattle…

Update: Police investigating South Delridge shooting; 2 people hurt in car, bullet hits parked van

July 6, 2014 at 2:36 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 34 Comments

(Photo added – SPD still investigating as of just before 5 pm)
2:36 PM: Police are investigating a report of shots fired in the 9400 block of 15th SW (map). No reports of anyone being hit/injured; radio communication monitored via scanner says it’s believed to have involved some kind of argument between people in a car and people on foot – we haven’t heard whether the shots came from the former or latter.

3:23 PM: Police reported finding at least one shell casing.

4:13 PM: Now there’s word someone WAS hit and wound up at Valley Medical Centerjust tweeted by SPD, which says the victim has non-life-threatening injuries.

4:56 PM: Just talked to police at the scene. The man previously reported as hit was in the car involved in the incident, which took him directly to a hospital, and that’s why there was no medic callout. Separately, a stray bullet hit a parked van behind a local business (The Live Butcher – photo added below).

No one was in the van and no one was hurt by that bullet, nor was the business itself affected. And as we write this update, an SPD Blotter post has just been published, saying a woman in the car was “grazed” by a bullet in addition to the man who was shot in the leg. Police are still on the scene looking for witnesses.

West Seattle Crime Watch update: Tire-slashing rampage overnight; reward fund set up to find out who did it

July 5, 2014 at 12:18 pm | In Crime, Seaview, West Seattle news | 50 Comments

12:18 PM: We don’t have an official count – and probably won’t be able to get one before Monday – but multiple people have reported multiple tire-slashings along 48th SW in the Seaview area overnight. Heading over just now for a look, we found the vehicle above – a neighbor, figuring out what to do about his own tire-slashed vehicle, said the SUV’s owner was off making arrangements; Doug had sent a photo earlier of that same SUV before the vandalized tires were removed, and said he saw four others plus a police officer talking to someone. This was near 48th/Juneau; a commenter reported being hit near 48th/Findlay. Even if some have already reported it, the more individual reports in the system, the better, so if it happened to you, please do file a report – you can even do it online.

3:01 PM UPDATE: We’ve heard estimates of more than 30 cars vandalized in this incident. Some neighbors are starting up a fund with a reward for information leading to the person(s) who did it. Several neighbors also have responded to our request for additional photos – this one just in, with the tipster noting, “Our poor neighbor’s car – all 4 tires”:

Chris sent several pictures, including his own Mustang and, below right, a vehicle you can’t help but notice any time you drive that stretch of 48th, which is a minor arterial:

4:17 PM UPDATE: And more:

Here’s the e-mail set up for reward-fund contributions and tips on who did it:


The neighbor who set it up says, “Anonymity will be respected. If we get a link to or screenshots of someone tweeting about the deed, I think that will be sufficient evidence. I’m hoping the punks posted some bragging-rights pics of their handiwork.” Note that police have taken reports, so you can contact them too.

ADDED: There’s now a GoFundMe account for reward-fund donations – find it here.

P.S. A reminder from police – if you live ANYWHERE in this area and have a security/surveillance camera, please check it if you haven’t already – it might have recorded a clue, if not an actual crime, but some cameras don’t store images for long.

West Seattle Crime Watch: 2 more phone robberies in local parks

July 3, 2014 at 1:31 am | In Crime, West Seattle news | 27 Comments

Two strong-arm robberies this week in West Seattle both ended with the victims reported being assaulted and being robbed of their smartphones. Both happened in local parks; we obtained police reports for both:

HAMILTON VIEWPOINT PARK, MONDAY NIGHT: Police were called to the park in North Admiral at 10 pm Monday night. The two victims told police they were in the grassy area of the park, kicking around a soccer ball, when three people approached them and asked if they could play too. They did, for about 10 minutes, and the victims decided to sit down to rest. At that point, the report says, one of the other three yelled “You’re getting robbed!” and all three attacked the first two, punching and kicking them, and then stealing personal belongings that had been on the ground nearby. As they got away, the three attacker/robbers dropped everything but one victim’s iPhone. The report says they left in what looked like a blue late ’90s or early ’00s blue BMW. The three were described as males – one white, 6 feet tall, 170 pounds, medium-length blonde hair, baggy clothing; another dark-skinned, “possibly East African,” 5’11″, 150 pounds, with a flat-top haircut; the other black with a medium complexion, 6’3″, 230 pounds, short shaved hair. Seattle Fire was called to check out the victims’ injuries; one was described as having a swelling on his jaw “the size of a golf ball.” Police did not find the robbers.

ROXHILL PARK, TUESDAY NIGHT: This call came in to police at about 10:41 pm Tuesday. The victim said he was jumped while walking southbound on the north-south trail in Roxhill Park, just south of the bus stop in the 2700 block of SW Barton. Both robbers hit and kicked him before taking two smartphones from him, an iPhone and a Samsung Galaxy. He told police he recognized the two because they had been riding the bus with him from downtown all the way to Westwood, and that he had seen them often on Route 120 and on RapidRide Line C. Police did not find these robbers either; the victim described them as black, about 16 years old, both wearing black T-shirts and sweatpants (one orange, one black).

On second look, Seattle Parks discovers, and plans temporary fix for, seawall damage from stolen car pushed into water

July 1, 2014 at 5:17 pm | In Crime, West Seattle beaches, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

Remember the car stolen from Queen Anne, found upside down in the water off Emma Schmitz Overlook?

(Photo republished with permission of Beach Drive Blog)
That’s the photo from Beach Drive Blog‘s original report early Sunday morning, June 22nd. We followed up with Seattle Police and Parks the next day and published this story. Right after the crarsh, Parks didn’t find noticeable seawall damage, but on second look, that assessment has changed. Update today from Parks spokesperson Joelle Hammerstad:

The crews who maintain the parks couldn’t tell if there was damage, but when our engineers went out there, they definitely found some. Please see attached pictures.

We are going to truss up the wall with structural steel as a temporary measure as we await a full replacement. We have been working with the Army Corps of Engineers for some time on a replacement project, and we expect that the replacement will happen sometime within the next two to three years.

BDB reported on the replacement plans back in April.

Followup: Stolen ‘Walking on Logs’ sculpture still missing; theft returns its past and plight to the spotlight

June 28, 2014 at 9:22 am | In Crime, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 22 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Exactly one week has now passed since one of the four “Walking on Logs” sculptures was discovered missing, but there’s still no word of breakthroughs in the case.

The theft was discovered when volunteers from the Walking on Logs Landscape Restoration Group and Kiwanis Club of West Seattle arrived at the site alongside the Fauntleroy end of the West Seattle Bridge last Saturday morning for cleanup and weeding. (Here’s our first report, from last Saturday night.) The sculpture was severed above the foot that had balanced atop a “log,” as shown in our top photo (from Friday), leaving behind these three:

It’s not the first public-art theft in West Seattle; the Rotary Viewpoint Park totem-pole heist of 2009 comes to mind, as do years of vandalism/theft incidents targeting the original Alki Statue of Liberty.

But the Dancing on Logs site has had other challenges. First, some history: The four bronze “dancing children” by renowned artist Phillip Levine of Burien were installed in 1996. Following up on the installation’s history and context over the past week, we learned that Clay Eals, executive director of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, interviewed Levine on video just last month, out at the sculpture site, with traffic whizzing by. He and Levine agreed that this unedited interview could be published as part of our followup:

He talks about location as well as the inspiration for the “sheer joy” exuded by the sculptures’ pose. (You can see more of Levine’s work here.) Eals also recorded video of each of the sculptures – starting with the one that is now gone (also visible behind Levine during much of the interview above):

Eals then photographed Levine with Earl Cruzen, who made the Murals of West Seattle project happen – that’s what the statue was part of, confirmed Calandra Childers of the city Office of Arts and Culture, noting that “the whole project was funded from matching-fund grants from both King County and from Department of Neighborhoods. SDOT allowed the artwork in the right of way with the understanding that the community would maintain the artwork.”

In Eals’ May photo below, that’s Levine at left, Cruzen at right, and the now-stolen sculpture at top left:

Cruzen, now 93, took care of the sculptures’ site often singlehandedly until four years ago, when Nancy Driver of Fairmount spearheaded the organization of what became the Walking on Logs Landscape Restoration Group, as reported here in March 2010. Volunteer cleanups organized since then have not drawn much response. Driver got a few volunteers from the Kiwanis Club for the one last Saturday.

The theft of one of the sculptures might lead to renewed attention for the site’s plight. The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce has long been accountable for giving permission for nonprofits to display messages there, and board president Nancy Woodland tells WSB:

The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce has been calendaring the Walking on Logs decorations for years. Local non-profits schedule time to dress the statues to promote activities that support the local community. The Chamber is now committed to stepping up that involvement to help support the dedicated work of others including Nancy Driver, the Department of Neighborhoods, SDOT, and SPU to maintain the site. We’re exploring all options for involvement but are hopeful that our membership of business owners will step in to help with clean-up efforts bi-annually at a minimum. This is a first impression of our amazing community and we want to help make it a good one.

Right now, though, the search is still on for the missing sculpture. Here’s another look:

(WSB file photo by Christopher Boffoli)
If you have any information about what happened to it and/or where it is, you can call 911 – mention case number 14-198308 – or contact the Southwest Precinct at 206-733-9800. Its burglary/theft detectives are handling the case, according to the SPD spokesperson with whom we last checked.

The WSBeat: ‘Fast backup’; stuck in a cabinet; trapped in a tub; more…

June 26, 2014 at 9:35 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police, WSBeat | 22 Comments

By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog

This edition of our periodic feature The WSBeat contains summaries written from reports on cases handled recently by Southwest Precinct officers – generally cases that (usually) have not already appeared here in breaking-news coverage or West Seattle Crime Watch reports, but that might at least answer the question “what WERE all those police doing on my block?” Or on the bridge, or the beach, or …

*On the afternoon of the 20th, firefighters asked for a “fast backup” from officers as they dealt with a patient in the 7500 block of 32nd SW. Officers found the 38-year-old lying on his back, yelling and growling, with “about half a dozen medics and officers holding him down.” The man had fought with firefighters and injured one by grabbing and crushing his upper arm, breaking the skin in three places. The suspect, who has a history of drug-induced “excited delirium” incidents, was transported to Harborview. Officers are recommending that the suspect be charged with assault.

*On the 18th, in the 2800 block of 36th SW, a man took up residence inside a small cabinet discarded {“Free!”) on a corner. He provided incoherent answers to officers’ questions, and they felt it was best he be taken to Harborview for a mental evaluation–plus, they were concerned he might die (from “positional asphyxiation”) if he accidentally fell asleep inside the cramped quarters.

*On the 16th, Arbor Heights residents asked that officers check on the wellbeing of an elderly neighbor whom they had not seen for about a week. Officers noticed a full mailbox and papers on the porch. Getting no response to knocks, they decided to make a forced entry. They found the 77-year-old woman in the bathtub — alive — but gasping and unable to speak. It appeared she had been stuck for several days. She was transported to Harborview for care.

Ahead, eight more summaries, starting with two cases of predatory behavior:

Click to read the rest of The WSBeat: ‘Fast backup’; stuck in a cabinet; trapped in a tub; more……

Update: Man stabbed on Alki after two groups clash; police explain response time

June 25, 2014 at 11:30 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 71 Comments

(WSB photos by Christopher Boffoli)
11:30 PM: Police and fire are rushing to a report of a 20-year-old man stabbed at/near 61st/Alki. That’s all we know so far.

11:38 PM UPDATE: From the scanner (our crew is still en route), the victim is reported to have been stabbed in the thigh.

11:44 PM UPDATE: In medical communications, the wound is described as to the “right flank” and the victim is now described as 23 years old.

12:08 AM UPDATE: Police at the scene told us the stabbing happened when two groups of people started fighting/arguing. One person is being held for questioning.

8:59 PM UPDATE: The comment discussion has included reports that 911 was called even before the stabbing and told that trouble was brewing, and concerns about the response time. We inquired this morning with SPD and received a response this evening from Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Wilske, who has spoken at multiple community meetings recently (including the Block Watch Captains’ Network this past Tuesday) about the precinct’s Alki plan.

“We dispatched the call pretty quickly, but between travel time and getting the officers together to go in as a team it took about 8-10 minutes to get there and exert control over the event. They wanted to go in as a team due to the number of people involved in the fight. There was one subject who was stabbed in the abdomen; we did some interviews but we do not have a suspect in custody yet.

We did not have foot officers on scene [before the event]; they are currently working 1400 to 2200 Friday and Saturday [at Alki] as that is when we have experienced the largest crowds.”

No word on the condition of the victim in last night’s stabbing; without a name, the hospital won’t release information to the media.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Warrant arrest in Morgan Junction; woman reports being chased on Alki

June 25, 2014 at 8:27 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 37 Comments

Two cases in West Seattle Crime Watch tonight – first, a warrant arrest in a very public place:

ARREST AT IN MORGAN JUNCTION: A reader sent that photo, asking if we knew why police “swooped in” on a car by the Morgan Junction McDonald’s and arrested a man who was one of two people inside. We have confirmed it was 43-year-old Bryan Tiedeman, a repeat offender whose case came up briefly at last night’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting. Court records show a warrant out for his arrest since last Monday for failing to appear for a hearing that day. It’s the same case reported here last December, involving stolen-car-related charges; court documents said at the time that Tiedeman had been booked into the King County Jail 34 times, for 59 warrants, in 20 years. He also has been charged in another case since then, involving a car stolen in SeaTac and found in May near the house where the police report says Tiedeman lives, near Lincoln Park; after 17 days in jail related to that, court documents show, he was released to the day-reporting program known as CCAP. The warrant sets his bail at $75,075.

ALKI INCIDENT: An Alki-area woman wanted to sound the alarm about an incident that happened to someone she knows late last Thursday night. She says the victim, in her twenties, was walking on Alki Avenue by 61st SW around 11 pm when a man “lunged” at her and “chased her three blocks … yelling obscenities at her and telling her he was going to ‘get her’,” until she found a restaurant open near 59th/Alki and ducked inside for safety. The man is described only as 5-10, early 30s, African-American, shoulder-length black dreadlocks, and the victim thought she had seen him before in the area. She was not harmed but did file a report with police. Side note from the victim’s friend: “She tried to wave down two different cars that passed her in the street and neither car stopped, or even slowed to help.”

Mayor Murray declares ‘Summer of Safety’ in speech to council

June 25, 2014 at 3:43 pm | In Crime, Safety, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 4 Comments

As promised, Mayor Murray convened the City Council this afternoon for a speech about public safety, and declared his intent for this to be a “Summer of Safety.” You can see video of his speech above, and read the full text (as prepared) here. The mayor acknowledged, “After years of fragmentation and disorganization, our city today faces a crisis of confidence in public safety,” while also asserting that “public safety is not something provided to the community by the government.” Among the action steps he promised were “creation of a joint enforcement team to ensure that across City departments we have a coordinated response to chronic nuisance businesses and property owners who create hotspots for crime and disorderly behavior – and who disrupt the quality of life in our neighborhoods.” He also announced plans for community walks to identify specific problems in such hotspots and get them fixed, starting in Central/Southeast Seattle. This document lists other points of the “Community Safety Strategy” he outlined, such as directing new Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole “to deliver a Community Safety Plan for every neighborhood.”

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