West Seattle Blog... » Crime http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Thu, 27 Nov 2014 03:42:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports: Package thieves; car prowler(s); abandoned bicycle http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/west-seattle-crime-watch-reader-reports/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/west-seattle-crime-watch-reader-reports/#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 06:06:18 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=293285 Three West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports tonight:

PACKAGE THIEVES, AGAIN: From Jan:

We have found several empty delivery boxes on our parking strips in our North Admiral neighborhood. Clearly, someone is following the UPS trucks today. Please remind readers to have packages delivered to an address where someone will be available to receive: business, school, etc.

LINCOLN PARK CAR PROWL: David explains, “I thought I would send this incident your way to get the word out and maybe help warn others that the car-prowl problems at Lincoln Park (and other park areas) are indeed current and ongoing.” Here’s what David reported to police:

While at work as a dog walker, I left my vehicle at 9:55 am on the date of the incident in the Lincoln Park parking lot across from SW Rose St. I returned at 11:00 am. Later, while driving to a class I am taking I realized my backpack was not in the vehicle. I had left the vehicle locked and saw no signs of forced entry. The backpack was on the floor of the passenger seat. I did leave the vehicle unlocked for under 5 minutes on the street (in the 4100 block of) SW Othello St and (the 9600 block of) 46th Ave SW but the longest period I was away for it was at Lincoln Park.

ABANDONED BIKE: In cases like this, the bike likely was stolen. So if this looks familiar …

Morgan says it was spotted on the roadside near 16th/Dawson in the Puget Ridge area.

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West Seattle Crime Watch followup: Everett firefighter charged after underage-prostitute sting arrest in West Seattle http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/west-seattle-crime-watch-followup-everett-firefighter-charged-after-underage-prostitute-sting-arrest-in-west-seattle/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/west-seattle-crime-watch-followup-everett-firefighter-charged-after-underage-prostitute-sting-arrest-in-west-seattle/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 18:26:16 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=293108 Followup on our report last week about a 60-year-old offduty Everett firefighter arrested last Wednesday in West Seattle, where police say he was expecting to be led to a (nonexistent) 15-year-old girl being pimped by her (also nonexistent) father, as arranged in online exchanges with someone who actually was an SPD detective: According to documents just sent by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, David P. Vier is now charged with one count of attempted commercial sexual abuse of a minor.

Most of the details of the allegations are in our report from last Thursday, but the charging document has one more detail, saying that Vier had asked the “father” if he had other children he could bring to the rendezvous (they agreed to meet outside the 35th/Avalon Taco Time, and then Vier was expecting to follow the “father” to an unspecified nearby apartment building). Prosecutors say they didn’t know that part at Vier’s bail hearing last week and want his bail increased to $75,000 because he is “a serious danger to minors”; at that first hearing, his bail was set at $50,000, and he posted bond and left jail hours later. While Vier has no criminal convictions, he has been investigated for domestic violence and burglary, according to the Everett Herald. His next appearance is set for December 3rd.

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West Seattle (and vicinity) Crime Watch: Car just stolen http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/west-seattle-and-vicinity-crime-watch-car-just-stolen/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/west-seattle-and-vicinity-crime-watch-car-just-stolen/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 04:32:02 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=293055 Stolen car to watch for, from Vera near 26th SW/SW 102nd, just east of Arbor Heights: 1992 dark-blue 2-door Honda Accord, license # 398-YBN, k2 stickers on the back triangle windows. She saw it being driven away less than an hour ago, but didn’t see the thief. She’s in the unincorporated area and has already reported it to the King County Sheriff’s Office. Call 911 if you see it.

P.S. In case you’re just tuning in to the news as the weekend ends – on Friday night, Seattle Police went public with Southwest Precinct crime stats for the first time in a long time (here’s our report). Auto theft is up in this precinct too – 12 percent compared to a year earlier – but that’s a third of the citywide 38 percent increase. Looking at Tweets by Beat for the weekend so far, the only auto-theft reported to Seattle Police in West Seattle was in the 4000 block of California SW, early Saturday morning.

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Crime Watch: SPD goes public with SeaStat trends, data, including current West Seattle burglary hotspot http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/crime-watch-spd-goes-public-with-seastat-trends-data-including-current-west-seattle-burglary-hotspot/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/crime-watch-spd-goes-public-with-seastat-trends-data-including-current-west-seattle-burglary-hotspot/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 01:46:18 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=292792 Just made public by Seattle Police – the SeaStat crime data that top brass has been reviewing regularly. Until now, as we have mentioned to SPD several times, precinct-level data hasn’t been updated publicly on the department website since the April stats. Here’s the citywide SeaStat slide deck presented Wednesday – and here are Southwest Precinct toplines we’ve noted while going through it:

That’s the main West Seattle trend called out in the November 19th stats – six burglaries in 10 days in an area including parts of Gatewood, Sunrise Heights, and Upper Fauntleroy. The slide deck also includes year-to-date stats for major crimes; all categories are down except auto theft (up 12 percent, less than a third of the citywide percentage increase), aggravated assault (up 1%), and (added) rape, which has more than doubled, from 4 to 10:

Note that the Southwest Precinct serves South Park as well as West Seattle; the July homicide on the slide above, only one this year in the precinct, was a double murder in South Park, in which a 45-year-old man was charged with killing his mother and stepfather. West Seattle’s most recent murder was the still-unsolved killing of Stephen Jeffries, Jr., less than an hour before the end of 2013.

This edition of SeaStat also calls out auto-theft and shots-fired trends around the city; for the latter, 31 so far this year, down from 35 last year. Again, here’s the full slide deck from last Wednesday’s citywide briefing, including the SW Precinct toplines we pulled out.

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Followup: Driver found guilty of assault for hitting bike rider in North Delridge http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/followup-driver-found-guilty-of-assault-for-hitting-bike-rider-in-north-delridge/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/followup-driver-found-guilty-of-assault-for-hitting-bike-rider-in-north-delridge/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 20:55:56 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=292757 More than a year after a charge was filed, there’s a verdict in the case of a woman charged with assault for deliberately driving her car into a co-chair of the North Delridge Neighborhood Council. According to court files, King County Superior Court jury has found 38-year-old Erika Soerensen guilty of second-degree assault against 33-year-old Jake Vanderplas. After two days of deliberations, jurors reached the verdict this past Wednesday, two weeks after proceedings began with pre-trial motions.

The assault happened near 26th SW/SW Andover on July 8, 2013, and first came to light later that day in a letter by Vanderplas, sent to and published by Seattle Bike Blog later that day. Police found Soerensen six days later, slowed by the fact it had a California plate but had been sold to her a few months earlier; prosecutors charged her in October with second-degree assault, of which she has now been found guilty.

The investigation indicated that Soerensen had first passed Vanderplas “at a high rate of speed” while northbound on 26th SW, a neighborhood-greenway street; he then passed her, and after following him at 20 mph for several blocks, repeatedly honking her horn, she swerved into Vanderplas, who suffered a hand injury, and then she drove away; police tracked her down about a week later. As noted in charging documents, her 2002 Nissan Sentra “has a curb weight of 2,519 pounds” while Vanderplas’s 2007 Schwinn LeTour bicycle weighs about 30 pounds.

Her sentencing is set for January 9th, in the courtroom of Judge Regina Cahan, who presided over the trial. The standard range for that crime is three to nine months’ imprisonment.

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2nd SW hit-and-run crash victim looking for witnesses http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/2nd-sw-hit-and-run-crash-victim-looking-for-witnesses/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/2nd-sw-hit-and-run-crash-victim-looking-for-witnesses/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 07:49:48 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=292708 Just as we were heading to the Delridge/Brandon crash scene this evening, we heard another call, a crash at 2nd SW/West Marginal Way. We weren’t able to make it there, and no serious injuries were reported, but we’ve just learned via e-mail from one of the victims, a West Seattleite, that it was a hit-and-run:

I’m one of three parties who were victim to a hit & run at 4:45 pm today. The fourth vehicle that caused the chain reaction turned around and sped off in the opposite direction.

It was dark, but a pedestrian at the side of the road (2nd Ave SW, just south of West Marginal Way SW) said the vehicle that fled the scene was a dark Dodge pick-up truck, probably 6 or 7 years old. (I can only confirm what I saw in my rear-view mirror: a DARK PICK-UP TRUCK.) It will have front end damage to this extent: The guilty party struck the car ahead, pushing it into the next car (totaling it), which then struck my vehicle.

If anyone has any information, call Seattle Police SW Precinct: (206) 733-9800 Incident #14-388737.

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West Seattle Crime Watch: Sex-sting arrest in restaurant parking lot http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/west-seattle-crime-watch-sex-sting-arrest-happened-here/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/west-seattle-crime-watch-sex-sting-arrest-happened-here/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 21:43:12 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=292650 ORIGINAL REPORT, 1:43 PM: You might have seen/heard regional-media reports last night about a 60-year-old man described as an Everett firefighter, arrested in a Seattle sex sting. Seattle Police have just released a little more information about the case, including noting that the arrest happened in West Seattle. This afternoon’s SPD Blotter report says the man was arrested …

… Wednesday afternoon after he showed up for a rendezvous with an underage prostitute, who turned out to be an undercover detective.

The Vice/High-Risk Victims Unit (HRVU) detective had exchanged messages with the 60-year-old firefighter during an online sting targeting men looking for sex with underage girls, and the man had agreed to meet up for sex.

The suspect showed up to meet what he believed was an underage prostitute in West Seattle, and detectives took him into custody.

We expect to have more information after the man’s bail hearing this afternoon and will update this report.

3:41 PM: We have just received the court document with the police account of what happened, following the suspect’s bail hearing (he’s now held in lieu of $50,000 bail). Will transcribe here. First, to answer your most likely question, already asked in comments (and we had a call out to police, as-yet unanswered), “where did this happen?”: The initial rendezvous was set to happen in the Taco Time parking lot in The Triangle, and the suspect was expecting to follow his contact (the nonexistent 15-year-old’s “father”) to an apartment from there. Adding …

This is the story told by the detective who wrote the narrative:

He “placed an ad on a popular fetish website’s personals section” one week ago today. “A few days later,” the suspect contacted him, via e-mail (which included his real name and title “Fire Medic”). The undercover detective told the suspect he “had a 15-year-old daughter who has sex with older men in exchange for US currency.” They continued communicating, and finally agreed that “defendant agreed to pay $150 for sex with a minor female child.” The e-mails, the detective wrote, were very specific regarding what types of sex. The defendant agreed to meet the “father” yesterday at a pre-determined location around noon, then to follow him back to a nearby (location not specified) apartment, park in a “secured parking garage,” go up to an apartment, and engage in the specified sex acts for the specified price.

“Surveillance units” were in place at 11:50 am at the pre-determined location, and “observed defendant arrive at the Taco Time and park facing the agreed-upon meet location. (The detective), who was posing as the father of the 15-year-old minor female, was standing outside the store at the agreed-upon meet location. Defendant intimated that he was nearby and asked (the detective) to bring the 15-year-old down to him. Surveillance units ran the plate of the vehicle defendant was driving and it came back to defendant being the registered owner.” (The document says the suspect had told police he would be driving a black Audi TT.)

After the “surveillance units” identified the person in the vehicle as the 60-year-old suspect, the narrative says, uniformed police arrived and arrested him. He agreed to a search of his car, in which police say they found various sex-related accessories, some of which had been bought at an Everett store less than an hour earlier per a receipt found in the car, as well as Viagra and Cialis. They also say he had $160 in cash on his person.

He’s being held for investigation of commercial sexual abuse of a minor and felony communicating with a minor for immoral purposes. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office will have to decide by tomorrow whether to charge him.

FRIDAY UPDATE, 5 PM: We don’t have official word on whether charges were filed – the court system lags – but we did find via the King County Jail Register that the suspect posted bond and got out of jail last night.

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Followup: What police are now saying about possible luring attempt http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/followup-what-police-are-now-saying-about-possible-luring-attempt/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/followup-what-police-are-now-saying-about-possible-luring-attempt/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 21:40:53 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=292583 1:40 PM: Following up on the incident that first came to light as an alert sent by e-mail and robo-call to Arbor Heights Elementary parents late yesterday, reported here last night along with additional information we sought from police last night, here’s what SPD Blotter has just published:

Detectives are investigating a possible luring incident Monday in West Seattle.

A 12-year-old boy was walking to school around 9 AM when a black Ford pickup truck pulled alongside him in the 1600 block of 23rd Ave SW. The driver in the truck then spoke to the boy, who kept walking. The truck then sped away.

The boy’s father was driving just ahead of the boy—to keep an eye on him as he walked to school—and witnessed the brief encounter. After seeing the truck drive off, the father picked up his son, who reported the man has asked him to help with an errand.

The boy’s father then drove through the neighborhood and caught up to the truck, and jotted down the license plate number. The father then dropped his child off at school and contacted police about the incident.

Officers went to the home where the they believed the truck’s driver was living, but residents at the house said he had not been there in more than a month.

Detectives in SPD’s Sexual Assault Unit are investigating and have identified a level-one sex offender—who is connected with the truck—as a person of interest in the case.

ADDED 3:06 PM: And now Seattle Public Schools has sent the following message to “West Seattle school families” (thanks to the Arbor Heights parent who was first to forward it to us:

Dear West Seattle schools families,

I want to share with you information on a recent event that was reported in our community. Earlier this week, Seattle Police received information regarding a male stranger driving up to a Denny International Middle School youth as he walked to school, asking him to get in the vehicle. The student refused and fled. The student’s parent was nearby and called Seattle Police with the stranger’s vehicle description and license number. That same afternoon, the parent reported to Seattle Police that the same stranger and vehicle were outside Denny after school, though there was no report to police or school administration that any students were approached by the man. Seattle Police have investigated and determined the owner of the vehicle is listed as a registered sex offender.

The Denny student did everything right, immediately getting away from the stranger and reporting the incident to his parent, and the parent was very proactive gathering vehicle information and license number.

The safety of our students is a top priority for Seattle Public Schools. You can help your children stay safe by talking to them about personal safety. As a reminder, please talk to your child(ren) about walking in pairs or groups and being aware of their surroundings at all times, as well as not talking to strangers or getting into their vehicles. Having these conversations, especially with younger children, can be difficult. We encourage you to be sensitive to your child. This link to the Seattle Police website offers some valuable information which may help you with your discussions: http://www.seattle.gov/police/prevention/child/default.htm

Sincerely,
Seattle Public Schools

THURSDAY UPDATE: Police added a few lines to the blotter post, saying they have found and talked to the man:

SPD detectives have contacted and interviewed the person of interest in this case. The man was very forthcoming with information about the incident. Investigators are currently checking out details he provided to rule out any criminal activity on his part.

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Update: ‘Attempted child luring’ reported in school alert – what we’ve since found out http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/attempted-child-luring-reported-near-boren-building/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/attempted-child-luring-reported-near-boren-building/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 02:10:15 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=292500 6:10 PM: Thanks to the Arbor Heights Elementary and K-5 STEM parents who forwarded this, which they said they’ve received from school staff via e-mail and robo-call this past hour or so:

There has been a report of an attempted child luring in the vicinity of our school. The vehicle is a black F-150 Ford pickup, driven by a heavy-set, older black male. The license of the truck is B060—. The police were notified, and the subject is a registered sex offender. The suspect has not been apprehended. Please be aware and talk with your children about keeping safe. More information to follow tomorrow.

That’s the entirety of the notice, at least in the version forwarded to us. STEM and AH are currently sharing the Boren Building at 5950 Delridge Way SW. We are checking with police, who will be at tonight’s Crime Prevention Council meeting (7 pm at the precinct, Delridge/Webster) if we don’t reach them sooner.

7:06 PM UPDATE: Precinct commander Capt. Steve Wilske has been looking into this for us. He finally found the incident report and says it happened yesterday – it was originally called in as a different type of incident, and while investigating that, they say, a child told them of being approached by the person described in the alert, so they are now looking for that person. (We only had a quick comment to speak with him before the WSCPC meeting – if we’re able to get any more info afterward, we’ll add.)

8:49 PM UPDATE: So far what we’ve found out, from covering the Crime Prevention Council meeting, is that this was reported yesterday afternoon and the report is categorized missing child/suspicious vehicle (again, the child is safe, and was not abducted or otherwise harmed, we’re told). The registered sex offender who is believed to be the suspect does not live in the West Seattle area. The report carries the address 26xx SW Kenyon, which is the Denny IMS vicinity, but short bits of info on police reports can carry the address from which an incident is reported instead of where it happened, so we’re still awaiting confirmation of where exactly the child was approached. (Added: 6900 block Delridge, per police)

WEDNESDAY MORNING UPDATE: We’re continuing to follow up with police and Seattle Public Schools. In comments, two STEM parents have shared this text of a followup message from their principal:

I received several inquiries about a school messenger sent out by Arbor Heights yesterday concerning an alleged child luring incident. The information contained in the message was shared by a parent, and we were not able to confirm several details after conferring with SPS security or the police, and so we were advised not to send an alert. Because of the questions, I am sending out an update of information we were able to confirm.
.
On Monday, November 17 the driver of a black Ford 150 truck with a roof rack was acting suspiciously while talking with a 7th grade Denny Scholar on his walk to school. The driver was reported as being a heavy set older African American male. The incident was reported to the police.
.
As always, communicate with your children regarding good safety practices.

9:09 AM: We’ve been talking with SPS spokesperson Stacy Howard over the past hour. She confirms that a local parent saw the suspicious vehicle, reported it to police, and then directly contacted schools. Howard says there is supposed to be a protocol for what steps are gone through to send a school-wide alert, and they are sending a reminder to school administrators about that today.

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As-it-happened coverage: Survivor tells rapist at sentencing, ‘This is a hate crime against all women’ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/happening-now-sentencing-in-roxbury-rapebeating-case/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/happening-now-sentencing-in-roxbury-rapebeating-case/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 21:59:21 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=292133 (TOPLINE: Sentencing now over as of 2:50 pm; recommended 14-year sentence, top end of range, given by judge, but she says she could recommend to state Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board that he never get out)

1:59 PM: We’re at the King County Courthouse, Superior Court Judge Julie Spector‘s courtroom, for the sentencing of 25-year-old Christopher A. Brown.

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
He pleaded guilty last month (as reported here) in the March rape/beating of a 58-year-old woman near 22nd/Roxbury – a crime so brutal that deputies went door to door in the area for weeks, scouring for clues. Finally, a DNA match led to Brown, arrested in June in Oklahoma. The victim’s daughter told WSB yesterday that her mother will speak at this hearing, as she and her 9-year-old daughter plan to do. We’ll update live as it goes.

The prosecutor opened by explaining that this was a plea agreement, with a sentence of 171 months recommended – 14 years and 3 months. “This is one of the more serious assaults and rapes that we encountered in this courtroom. … I think the facts in this case (mean) the high end is appropriate in this case.” She says 4 family members want to speak. The 9-year-old granddaughter speaks first. When I look at you all I see is a monster that hurt my grandma…. It is painful to know you would want to cause so much pain. … After you left her for dead, when she came home, her eyes were swollen, and her body was sore.” She speaks of her grandmother’s difficulty in eating. “What you did broke my heart … You are a monster. You will never amount to anything … (but) as a family, you have made us stronger.”

Next, the little girl’s mother speaks, saying most of her thoughts “would be inappropriate to say in front of children. … I want you to know that the forgiveness from anyone you know … is irrelevant. … The only forgiveness that matters aside from your God … is that of my family and my mother, who you harmed.” She speaks of being “on the floor, crying” after finding out what happened to her mother. Her little girl, she says, was at the kitchen door and heard everything. When she saw her badly injured mother, “never in my life have I seen such a condition” but she tried hard to be strong in front of her. “My mother is a survivor, and as broken as you left her, she survived … most of all, she survived to see this day, when you would be prosecuted, and not able to hurt anyone else.” She asks the judge to “remove him from society … my mother was a stranger in the night, just passing by .. please give us justice and security of him remaining in supervision.”

Another family member says she is disturbed that Brown will have a chance someday to offend again: “I am left with this taunting question: Who will protect us” when he gets out again? “He left the victim naked, left her to die, left her in need of surgery to repair her face … “we will always see what you did to her,” she says to Brown. “… The only thing I can hope is that … you will be given more than 14 years … if you can do this to a stranger walking down the street, with such evil in your heart … to do such acts of violence not just to a woman, but to a grandmother … a wife, a mom, a human being …” She and others have mentioned that apparently Brown is a father-to-be.

Now, the victim speaks.

(Added: Video of survivor speaking. Low audio level – we weren’t allowed to record from jury box)
“I am the woman who was polite when asked for a cigarette … I even gave him a light for his cigarette … he made comments … I let them roll off my back … It didn’t matter to you that it was a main street, you came up behind me, wrapped your arms around my neck, choked me … told me you would kill me … at that instant, I woke up unconscious on the ground, to you kicking me, you told me, ‘you’re not dead yet, I’m not through with you’.”

She speaks in a strong voice, a furious voice, as she addresses him. She says her family “wasn’t raised to run around and do stuff to people and you weren’t raised that way either.” She says she has trouble eating and when she yawns “I hear all this metal snapping in my ears.” Her grandchildren are afraid to kiss her. “But I want you to understand this is never going to be over … your children will know about this because every year on the anniversary of your attack on me, I’m calling Oklahoma, I’m calling the newspapers, I’m telling everyone what you did to me …” She says she has worked in health care, and as a school-bus driver, but can’t do that any more because of the disabilities she’s left with, saying “no one will hire me because of this … Are you going to support my family? Are you going to support me, because of what you did?”

She speaks of her family’s concern for her safety. “If I had my way when this was all finished, I’m changing the laws … you left me for dead, now I have to worry for the rest of my life. … Monsters are supposed to be for Halloween … who the parents say, ‘there’s nothing under your bed’ … but the monster you are, there’s no cure for … because you don’t care about women, even the mother of your children that you beat while she was pregnant. … A man doesn’t do that. Humans don’t do that.”

Brown tries to say something and is rebuked. “You’ve got NOTHING to say to me.” She says she will seek restitution relentlessly. “You will not enjoy life to the fullest … by coming back out at 39 years old. The streets are going to know what you are about. Nobody can stop me from plastering your photo all over the streets of the United States.” She then points out the young grandson who has been standing by the bench with her, saying she had taught him about enunciation but can’t speak that way any more.

She talks about how she survived that night, how the detectives don’t know how she did, but she again says every year she will make sure as many people as possible know what he did. “This is a hate crime against all women.” She derides him for believing it’s “OK to beat pregnant women and old ladies” and tells him he messed with the wrong family.

2:26 PM: The survivor’s oldest daughter speaks now, calling Brown “a monster who does not deserve another chance in life with anyone.” She speaks about how her sense of security was ruined, how she used to love helping people … “I was upset when they wanted to give out candy for Halloween. I didn’t want them to turn on the porch light. … I saw my mother at the hospital the night this happened, before they could even give her anything for pain, because she was so broken.” But – “My mother is still beautiful .. her spirit is broken and shattered but she has the strength of our family. We ask that you give him as much time as you can if not more so he understands …” She speaks of her mother praying for their safety when they were young, and now she is doing that to make sure she knows what your mother is doing 24/7 “because I know there can be other people like him.”

Brown’s lawyer now speaks, saying if he had that kind of a family, “none of us would be here.” He says Brown was an abused child and was in prison early, and was a rape victim behind bars. After a few minutes, Brown speaks softly to say he apologizes for what he did.

Now, Judge Spector says the 171 months is the most she can sentence him to for the rape. She says that Brown’s family did not confirm his claims of growing up, abused, in a tough neighborhood, “so it’s unclear to the court where this behavior originates. There’s no excuse for it (regardless). … For your sake, I hope you ARE mentally ill, because it’s the only explanation for what you did to this family. It doesn’t justify it, it sort of explains it.”

She says she knows the area where it happened “very well” because she has a friend who lives in the area, “but it doesn’t really matter where it occurred … it occurred here, it affected those individuals, it was done by you and no one else.” She says she can’t give him any more time legally but she can recommend to the Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board “that you never get out.”

She says the attack is “the nightmare of every woman,” an attack by a stranger as she walks down the street. “There’s no justification … I deal with people like you all the time. I am going to sentence you to the highest possible sentence … I wish it were longer … I wish it could be life … who wants to take a chance on somebody who’s (attacked) a pregnant woman and now … how many chances can (you get)? I think you’re done.” And she pronounces the 171-month sentence (for rape, with the assault/robbery sentences concurrent, and credit for the 162 days he has been in jail since his June arrest in Oklahoma). If he gets out, she says, he will be on community custody (probation) for life. And he will have to register as a sex offender, for the rest of his life.

FOOTNOTE: We’ll have to follow up with prosecutors regarding the mention of the Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board. Reviewing its website, this seems to be what might apply.

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Followup: Greenbridge burglary suspect arrested; not known yet if connected to Dubsea break-ins http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/followup-white-center-business-burglary-suspect-arrested-not-known-yet-if-connected-to-dubsea-break-ins/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/followup-white-center-business-burglary-suspect-arrested-not-known-yet-if-connected-to-dubsea-break-ins/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 21:13:35 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=292134 The King County Sheriff’s Office has just announced that it’s arrested “a juvenile male … for burglary and possession of stolen property” and that he “may be related to other burglaries since November 2nd.” As reported here earlier this week, the businesses and other facilities hit by those burglaries include Dubsea Coffee, broken into at least three times. After a two-day closure, Dubsea reopened this morning, with supporters crowding inside:

Again, the Sheriff’s Office is cautioning that it’s not sure yet whether this suspect was involved in the Dubsea break-ins; spokesperson DB Gates tells us he is being held in connection with the White Center Heights Elementary break-in. (One of that school’s teachers was who contacted us to urge community support for Dubsea, by the way.) Meantime, Dubsea staff (proprietor Sibelle Nguyen wasn’t there when we stopped by this morning) confirmed that a security system is being installed today.

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West Seattle Crime Watch: Burglaries update; ‘warmup’ car theft http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/west-seattle-crime-watch-burglaries-update-warmup-car-theft/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/west-seattle-crime-watch-burglaries-update-warmup-car-theft/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 17:05:26 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=292092

GATEWOOD BURGLARY, AND WHAT PRECEDED IT: Our screengrab above from the SPD crime-reports map shows 15 burglaries reported in West Seattle this past week. (To get the specific locations/dates/times, access the “live” map here, and mouse over any icon to bring up the information about it.) The most recent, last night, happened to Greg in Gatewood, who e-mailed to report:

Tonight while we were out for dinner (between 6-8 pm), someone threw a brick through our back-door window and stole a few electronics. Needless to say we’re a bit freaked out, but wanted to alert our neighbors of this. 39th/Othello.

P.S. We’ll have a followup on the Dubsea Coffee break-in – which is in King County Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction, but popular with West Seattleites – a bit later. The shop reopened this morning.

STOLEN WHILE WARMING UP: We mentioned this in the morning traffic watch – per scanner, this is reported to have happened after the vehicle’s engine was left running to warm up. Once police confirmed the theft, this info was broadcast and posted to Twitter:


P.S. The next crime-trends update is expected at the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting next Tuesday, 7 pm, SW Precinct (Webster/Delridge).

]]> http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/west-seattle-crime-watch-burglaries-update-warmup-car-theft/feed/ 12 To make ‘a statement that we as a community want justice,’ rape/attack victim’s daughter asks your help tomorrow http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/to-make-a-statement-that-we-as-a-community-want-justice-rapeattack-victims-daughter-asks-your-help-tomorrow/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/to-make-a-statement-that-we-as-a-community-want-justice-rapeattack-victims-daughter-asks-your-help-tomorrow/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 20:43:24 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=291996 Tomorrow afternoon, the man who viciously attacked and raped a 58-year-old woman near 22nd/Roxbury will be sentenced.

Her daughter called us today to ask us to ask you to be there, if you possibly can – “to make a statement that we, as a community, want justice.”

We reported here on October 24th about 25-year-old Christopher A. Brown‘s guilty plea, four months after he was arrested in Oklahoma; he had been visiting here when he committed the crime. His plea hearing happened unannounced; we just happened to find the court documents a week later.

His crime itself initially came to light after we were asked about a helicopter search in the early morning hours of March 7th; we followed up with the King County Sheriff’s Officeand learned what happened: The victim had been walking to catch a bus; Brown asked her for a cigarette, which she gave him, and then offered her money for sex, which she declined, at which time he grabbed her, dragged her into the bushes, choked her until she was nearly unconscious, punched and kicked her in the face and body, raped her, and then before getting away, robbed her and threatened to kill her family – pointing out he had her personal information, in her purse – if she reported it.

In subsequent weeks, as deputies worked to solve it – including door-to-door contacts, trying to find information, showing a sketch, and a photo of the purse Brown stole from the victim – the intensely brutal attack continued to draw regional attention.

Brown – found via DNA match – pleaded guilty in mid-October to rape, assault, and robbery. Prosecutors are recommending that he be sentenced to a little over 14 years.

The victim’s daughter says her mother will speak at tomorrow’s hearing. So will she. And so will – her voice caught a little as she told us this – her 9-year-old daughter.

They hope, it goes without saying, that Brown will pay a heavier price. And they hope that community members can show their support, to show the good and caring in the world. They want the judge to know this wasn’t just a crime against one woman – this was a crime against the community, affecting people’s sense of safety, raising suspicion, increasing fear.

The sentencing is scheduled for 1 pm tomorrow in Judge Julie Spector‘s courtroom, E-815 (eighth floor), King County Superior Court in the County Courthouse downtown (516 Third Avenue). It is open to the public; if you can go, allot time for the security check (our advice, try the 4th Street entrance, where there’s usually less of a wait).

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West Seattle Crime Watch: Store break-in; dropbox, mail thefts http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/west-seattle-crime-watch-store-break-in-dropbox-mail-thefts/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/west-seattle-crime-watch-store-break-in-dropbox-mail-thefts/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 18:36:39 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=291990 Three West Seattle Crime Watch reports:

STORE BREAK-IN: Thanks to Alison for the tip that the Sprint store in Jefferson Square was burglarized. They got in by breaking the door glass; our photo shows the repair crew that was just wrapping up its work. A store staffer told us that the burglar(s) didn’t get away with much.

ALSO IN THE JUNCTION … Linda reports that a package dropped into a UPS dropbox near the post office was stolen. She knows this because: “It had a check to a bank in it that was altered and someone tried to cash” (plus, they weren’t able to track that it had been picked up).

ARBOR HEIGHTS MAIL THEFT: From CS in Arbor Heights:

I just went out to check my mail (last night), found the mailbox door open, and nothing in it. I know there was mail in there as there were some junk mail flyers that came Monday that I’d left in there, plus I was due to get a DVD from Netflix. So, definitely stuff in there. I’d avoided getting a locking mailbox because I liked being able to get packages in there, but now, I’ll clearly have to. Last winter, the Tukwila police found some of my checks in the possession of some crook who was trying to use them.

P.S. Next scheduled meeting of the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council is next week – 7 pm Tuesday (November 18th) at the precinct (Webster/Delridge)

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Crime Watch: Neighbors rally for burglar-besieged Dubsea Coffee http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/crime-watch-neighbors-rallying-for-burglar-besieged-dubsea-coffee/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/crime-watch-neighbors-rallying-for-burglar-besieged-dubsea-coffee/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 23:45:50 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=291938

That’s the sign you’ll find today on the door of Dubsea Coffee in Greenbridge, on 8th SW just a block south of the city/county line. A teacher at nearby White Center Heights Elementary School messaged us to say the area’s been hit with a series of burglaries, and that Dubsea has been broken into three times in the past week and a half. We noted the first one on partner site White Center Now November 3rd, and now we’re checking with the King County Sheriff’s Office regarding the teacher’s report of other break-ins in the area.

The teacher wrote us because this, she says, is more than a matter of crime concern – she writes, “This coffee shop is the hub of the neighborhood and it is ALWAYS busy with people having meetings, enjoying coffee and sandwiches, children having playdates while frazzled moms drink their coffee, etc.” They are working on plans to show their support and want to encourage you to patronize the shop to help it recover. We’ll be following up.

ADDED 4:18 PM: KCSO spokesperson Sgt. DB Gates confirms a series of break-ins in the area:

We have had a swarm of commercial burglaries with a similar MO and all in the same general White Center area. They have occurred between November 2nd and the 7th.

Dubsea was one victim, with the nearby library/YMCA hit next, followed by the Dollar Tree, and then an elementary school burglarized on the 7th. The MO has been to break a window and steal cash. We have no suspect info other than believing in at least one of the burglaries there were two suspects. They have all happened in the late evening/early morning hours when no persons were present. The four cases have not been conclusively linked as being committed by the same suspects.

We encourage citizens to call when they see something out of the ordinary. It’s also a good time to remember to keep areas around homes and businesses well-lit as thieves love the cover of darkness, and to keep vegetation trimmed so that neighbors and passersby can see if something is amiss at a business (or home).

THURSDAY FOLLOWUP: In case we don’t get to write a separate story tonight – we messaged Dubsea and they will reopen tomorrow (Friday), 7 am-5 pm: “We will resume regular hours once things normalize. Tomorrow is also Dubsea’s 5th birthday. We truly look forward to spending it in the company of our guests.” They add thanks for “all the care, kind words, and support from our neighbors. We love this community. We are here to stay.”

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