UPDATE: Helicopter search for prowlers, apparently a false alarm

August 27, 2015 at 9:10 pm | In Helicopter, West Seattle news | 14 Comments

9:10 PM: Guardian One is up west of The Junction looking for prowlers in the Genesee area.

9:25 PM: No prowlers found, and Diego says via comments that it apparently was a false alarm. So does Judy via Twitter:


Thanks for the texts/calls – you never know.

UPDATE: Police/helicopter search on Puget Ridge

August 21, 2015 at 9:46 am | In Helicopter, Puget Ridge, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 33 Comments

9:46 AM: Thanks for the tips that Guardian One is up over Puget Ridge, with police on the ground near 18th and Dawson. SPD media relations tells us they’re looking for an assault suspect in a suspected case of domestic violence.

10:02 AM: Our crew reports the helicopter is still up and while there’s a significant police presence in the area, including K-9, Dawson (which takes a much-used turn through that area, between Puget Ridge and North Delridge) remains open.

10:48 AM: Guardian One has moved on, but no arrest is reported yet.

11 AM: Commenters have been asking about whether the closest schools that have Kindergarten Jump Start this week – Pathfinder, Sanislo, and Arbor Heights at Boren are each about 1 mile away – were in lockdown or shelter-in-place; some say they received notice that Pathfinder was, but Seattle Public Schools spokesperson Stacy Howard tells WSB, “We’ve just told them to lock their front doors. No shelter-in-place.”

Seeing/hearing helicopter(s)? If you missed the reminder – it’s a drill

June 16, 2015 at 9:33 am | In Helicopter, West Seattle news | Comments Off

9:33 AM: Just got a text about helicopters – heard them nearby passing the West Seattle shore – but this time, we already know what it’s about: If you missed the alert we published last week, it’s a big air/sea drill happening all day down in Des Moines, with some air traffic visible as far north as here.

2:08 PM: Some photos tweeted by the King County Sheriff’s Office, one of the participating agencies:


Advance helicopter alert! Air/sea drill next Tuesday

June 11, 2015 at 5:40 pm | In Helicopter, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

Most of this will be happening south of us, but this alert just sent out by the King County Sheriff’s Office mentions that helicopter activity might be visible, so take note (and we’ll remind you again Tuesday):

On Tuesday June 16th, the King County Sheriff’s Office TAC 30 team (our department’s tactical unit) will be hosting a multi-agency maritime operations exercise in the area of the Des Moines waterfront. Citizens may see our helicopter flying from the Alki Point area south to Dumas Bay. Hours of the exercise will be from approximately 8am until 5pm.

The main landing zone for the helicopter will be the Des Moines Marina. Agencies participating in the exercise include the Seattle Police, Bainbridge Island Police, the U.S. Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, and King County Medic One.

There will be numerous law enforcement boats involved in the exercise, along with one boat from the King County Water Taxi. During the exercise there will be no public access to the pier.

UPDATE: Police search in Junction for 2 suspects, both arrested

June 9, 2015 at 5:11 pm | In Crime, Helicopter, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 49 Comments

(WSB photos taken between 5 & 5:30 pm)
5:11 PM: Police are searching for a suspect on the north end of The Junction, not sure yet why. Updates shortly.

5:22 PM: The suspect police are looking for is someone wanted on a warrant. They were apparently trailing him near California/Dakota when he bolted.

5:31 PM: Helicopter has headed south. Our crew is out trying to find out more from SPD on the ground.

5:35 PM: Police tell us one person is in custody, found by a K9, another still on the loose.

5:43 PM: Another officer we asked said this involves felony theft warrants. And no, we have no description at all of the person being sought.

7:55 PM: Someone asked us if the search is still active; no, it was wrapping up two hours ago as we left The Junction. The post-search Guardian One tweet says the same thing police told us – it started as police tried to arrest someone for whom they had a warrant. The one arrest happened close to where the search started, in the California/Dakota area.

9:01 PM UPDATE: We checked with Lt. Alan Williams at the Southwest Precinct to see if the second suspect had ever been found; he confirms BOTH suspects are now in custody.

PHOTOS: West Seattle military helicopter flyby, on the way to Snohomish County event

June 9, 2015 at 12:03 pm | In Fauntleroy, Gatewood, Helicopter, West Seattle news | 29 Comments

12:03 PM: Don’t know yet what it was about, but a group of military helicopters flew northbound over the west-facing West Seattle shore a short time ago. Anybody get a photo/video? We ran out the front door with the phone (resulting in this video, but they’re somewhat tiny-looking in the distance). One observer said via Twitter that it looked like four Chinooks and a Blackhawk.

12:24 PM: Thanks to James Bratsanos and to Joe for sending photos so far. The two above are from James – first the wide view of all five, then a closer look at two of the Chinooks and the (Blackhawk?).

12:28 PM: More info in comments – including Jim Clark spotting what might be the answer to the question of what this was about.

12:33 PM: Further verification of what Jim found – a program on that Facebook page says Special Forces from JBLM were to fly by/in (Paine Field in Snohomish County), with “Chinooks x 4.”

West Seattle Crime Watch: Police, helicopter search for possible trespasser(s) at Broadstone Sky construction site

June 5, 2015 at 10:54 pm | In Helicopter, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 22 Comments

(Added: Photos by WSB’s Christopher Boffoli)
10:54 PM: Don’t know yet what they’re looking for, but police are searching the Broadstone Sky construction site at 40th/Edmunds right now – thanks to the people who texted us that tip. And we’re mentioning it because you are likely to see/hear the Guardian One helicopter in the area shortly if you’re not already – they happened to be up and available, so they offered to help. If/when we find out more, we’ll update.

11:42 PM UPDATE: WSB’s Christopher Boffoli went over to see what more he could find out. Police told him they started searching the site after neighbors called to say they were hearing noises – they were still looking when he left. Guardian One didn’t spot anyone but the police officers at the site.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen bicycle; overnight helicopter

May 29, 2015 at 6:44 am | In Crime, Helicopter, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes this morning:

STOLEN BICYCLE: From JC:

My 12-year-old son’s bike was stolen from the Seattle Public Library on 35th and Henderson. The bike is a Silver Fuji Absolute. It has an aftermarket rack on the back and a new gel seat. The bike was stolen May 28th before 4:30 pm. We are offering a $100 reward.

This has been reported to police via the online system, but the incident # isn’t available yet; you can reach JC at 206-261-2410.

OVERNIGHT HELICOPTER: Guardian One was in West Seattle briefly around 1:15 am; the crew tweeted later that they were helping SPD with a car-prowling incident “off Delridge Way,” no block specified.

HELICOPTERS: Why Guardian One was (briefly) over Gatewood/Sunrise Heights; why a TV helicopter is over Admiral

May 27, 2015 at 11:46 am | In Helicopter, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 4 Comments

helicopterwatch.png11:46 AM: Our area’s only law-enforcement helicopter unit, King County Air Support (Guardian One), spent a few minutes over Gatewood/Sunrise Heights a short time ago, and now we know why. They tweeted that they happened to be in the area, so jumped in to help Seattle Police with a response to a situation described as a “fight” in the 3700 block of SW Webster. According to a neighbor, also via Twitter, police are still there, but they’ve said the situation is under control. When a Guardian One pilot/tactical flight officer spoke to the West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network last month (WSB coverage here), they mentioned that they do monitor emergency radio while they’re in flight, and if they happen to be in the area of an emergency call, they might turn up even without having been requested, so that’s what happened here.

11:51 AM: Unrelated but also involving a helicopter over West Seattle, and also bringing in texted questions – the KING/KOMO-shared TV helicopter is in the Admiral area right now because the governor of Alaska is visiting the Polar Pioneer oil rig at Terminal 5.

UPDATE: Why Guardian One helicopter was searching here

May 7, 2015 at 9:57 am | In Helicopter, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 6 Comments

helicopterwatch.png9:57 AM: Police and helicopter are searching east of California/Andover. We don’t know yet what the crime was but the person they were seeking was described as a white man in his 30s, black hair, blue jeans. More to come.

10 AM: Police report one person in custody near 35th/Andover. Whatever the incident was, it started at California/Hinds.

10:21 AM: We caught up with police there to find out how this started. They describe the man as being in crisis (added: “throwing things into the street, kicking cars and generally screaming obscenities” was an initial report) and say his behavior was what led to a police call; they didn’t call for Guardian One but the helicopter happened to be nearby and offered to come help them track the man down. (The pilot who recently spoke to the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network – WSB coverage here – did say they monitor many frequencies when up, and sometimes self-assign this way.) The man is being taken to the hospital by private ambulance for a mental-health evaluation.

Helicopter over Fauntleroy: Investigating possible burglary

April 30, 2015 at 9:51 pm | In Helicopter, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | Comments Off

If you’re noticing Guardian One over Fauntleroy southwest of Morgan Junction – while it’s in the same area of the fire, it’s not because of the fire. It’s a possible burglary. We had just returned from following up at the fire scene when we heard the call about a possible burglar at a house in the 6700 block of Fauntleroy (where the road just reopened, barely a block from the homes that burned), and the helicopter is helping in the search.

VIDEO: Guardian One helicopter pilot/Tactical Flight Officer @ West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network

April 29, 2015 at 8:27 pm | In Helicopter, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 3 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter Guardian One isn’t always just up over somebody’s neighborhood in the middle of the night.

This week alone, members of its crew made two appearances on the ground in our area. One happened today at White Center Heights Elementary (the photo above is from its landing), and we’ll have that story on our partner site White Center Now later tonight.

First – last night’s presentation and Q & A at the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting at the Southwest Precinct, featuring one of the county’s pilots, Deputy Hersh Hoaglan:

That’s our video of his presentation, in which he explained everything from who’s in the helicopter to what really happened that recent night the county’s loudest helicopter was heard making repeated passes over the area. Highlights ahead:

Click to read the rest of VIDEO: Guardian One helicopter pilot/Tactical Flight Officer @ West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network…

VIDEO: Suspect arrested after South Delridge/White Center search with police, deputies, helicopter

April 26, 2015 at 12:56 am | In Crime, Helicopter, West Seattle news, West Seattle police, White Center | 24 Comments

(Aerial/infrared video of last 7 minutes of the search, ending with arrest)

12:56 AM: Thanks for the texts – a search that’s under way seems to be spanning both Seattle Police and King County Sheriff’s Office jurisdictions, with locations including the 26th/Roxbury vicinity. Working to find out what/who they’re looking for.

1:05 AM: Per scanner, deputies have taken a suspect into custody; at some point this included pursuit of a vehicle that the suspect ditched.

1:23 AM: Guardian One has explained via Twitter what it was about:


3:51 AM: Just added atop the story, Guardian One’s video of the last 7 minutes of the search, as they spotted the suspect hiding in the 9600 block of 24th SW and talked the ground officers (including a K-9 team) in.

P.S. Guardian One’s pilot is the guest at next Tuesday’s meeting of the West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network – bring your questions – 6:30 pm at the SPD Southwest Precinct (Delridge/Webster).

Call it ‘Guardian One 101′: West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network to feature law-enforcement helicopter’s pilot

April 22, 2015 at 10:22 pm | In Helicopter, Safety, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

(WSB photo from 2014)
You’ve probably seen – or at least heard – it in your neighborhood – our area’s only law-enforcement helicopter, Guardian One. You might have questions about how it works with local police departments, when it gets involved, how it gets involved, and why. Now you have the chance for answers! the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network has just announced its special guest for next Tuesday’s meeting (April 28th):

Our special guest will be Deputy Hersh T. Hoaglan, pilot of the Guardian One helicopter!

Guardian One is a familiar sight over West Seattle, helping Seattle Police from the air to apprehend suspects. Deputy Hoaglan, from the Air Support Unit of the King County Sheriff’s Office, will share with us in detail what he does, how the tools and technology work, and what he sees from the air. He’ll also talk about some of the searches that he works on with Seattle Police.

Bring your questions and take advantage of this opportunity to learn about Guardian One. Should be a very interesting evening!

Meeting schedule (Come early, stay late!)
Tuesday, April 28, 2013, 6:30-8 PM
At the SW Police Precinct, 2300 SW Webster Street (at Delridge Ave SW, next to Home Depot)

6:00-6:30 – Arrive early for light snacks, socializing and networking with each other while we set up the room!

6:30-7:00 – Introductions, announcements.
7:00-8:00 – Deputy Hersh T. Hoaglan | Air Support Unit | King County Sheriff’s Office
8:00-8:30 – Feel free to stay after the meeting to continue your discussions.

Hope to see you there! Everyone is welcome, even if you aren’t a Block Watch Captain!

West Seattle Crime Watch: Helicopter search after 7-11 robbery

April 22, 2015 at 9:14 am | In Crime, Helicopter, West Seattle news | Comments Off

helicopterwatch.pngSeveral people are asking this morning about a helicopter search in eastern West Seattle early today. Here’s what we’ve found out: Guardian One helped Seattle Police try to catch a man who robbed the 35th/Avalon 7-11 around 2 am. According to the police report we’ve obtained, the clerk was mopping the floor when the robber approached him from behind and placed the barrel of a handgun against his neck, ordering him to empty the register and give him all the money. After the clerk complied, the robber grabbed six packages of cigars and ran out of the store – dropping the cigars in the process, but not the money. The clerk summoned police immediately; they searched on the ground with a K-9 and from the air with Guardian One, but couldn’t find the robber, whose track ended in an alley near the golf course, several blocks east. No description – we’ll add it if we get it.

UPDATE: About that loud helicopter early this morning…

April 5, 2015 at 2:20 am | In Helicopter, West Seattle news | 28 Comments

helicopterwatch.png2:20 AM: We haven’t confirmed it yet but are checking into whether it was Guardian Two, the King County Sheriff’s Office‘s military-surplus second helicopter. That’s what the similarly loud, military-style helicopter passing by two weeks ago turned out to be, returning from a rescue in the South Sound, and a few hours ago, the KCSO Air Support Unit tweeted that G-2 was headed out to hoist an injured climber in Jefferson County. When on approach to Boeing Field, they fly low to stay out of Sea-Tac’s path, we were told. If we get confirmation, we’ll update.

11:04 AM: As noted in comments below, a followup tweet has added a little more information.

9:29 PM: And here’s what the rescue was all about.

UPDATE: Why Guardian One helicopter was over Arbor Heights

April 2, 2015 at 12:40 pm | In Arbor Heights, Helicopter, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

(Thanks to Sherry for the photo)
12:40 PM: Thanks for the tips (206-293-6302 any time) about the Guardian One law-enforcement helicopter over Arbor Heights. It was gone by the time we got there to look, and nothing was detectable via the scanner, but King County Air Support has just tweeted that they were helping look for a stolen car, and that the car was found.

ADDED 2:20 PM: We asked KCSO spokesperson Sgt. BJ Myers for a few more details. Among other things, this explains why we didn’t hear anything on the scanner:

Early this morning, a deputy on his way to another call got an indication on his in-car LoJack sensor that a stolen car was in the Arbor Heights area. The deputy wasn’t able to follow up on the alert, so Guardian One came out today with their LoJack sensor and located the stolen vehicle dumped near SW 102/26 Av SW. A detective came out and recovered and processed the vehicle for evidence. It was stolen from Seattle.

UPDATE: Sunday morning helicopter over south West Seattle

March 22, 2015 at 8:49 am | In Helicopter, West Seattle news | 31 Comments

helicopterwatch.png8:49 AM: Some are asking, so here’s all we know: Heard the helicopter long before we saw it, to the south of where we are (Upper Fauntleroy/Gatewood). Sounded military. We stood outside waiting for a glimpse, finally got it as it passed, eastbound, to the south of us, over Arbor Heights. Hard to tell on a gray morning but it looked private, not military. (If you got a clearer look, let us know!)

9:50 PM: After much discussion in comments throughout the day/evening, we’ve learned that it was most likely the King County Sheriff’s Office Air Support Unit‘s second helicopter, Guardian Two, headed back in from the South Sound. It’s a UH-1H military surplus helicopter, which would explain the loudness.

VIDEO: Two overnight incidents with Guardian One responses

March 12, 2015 at 1:05 am | In Helicopter, West Seattle news | 9 Comments

(ADDED: KCSO aerial video from search that followed Delridge/Trenton incident)
1:05 AM: The Guardian One law-enforcement helicopter was just over eastern West Seattle for a bit, and now we know why. They tweeted that they were helping Seattle Police look for suspects who ran from a stolen car. The search was focused near 18th and Graham. A K-9 team has been helping on the ground, but no luck finding the suspects so far.

2:18 AM: Guardian One is back because of a separate incident, this one at Delridge/Trenton. It drew a large police/fire response because of an apparently false report of “three people stabbed.” So far, they have found one person with a “small laceration” on a finger. Police had been called to the same area for a similar report earlier tonight.

8:05 AM: We’ve added, above, the aerial video from the second incident, Delridge/Trenton, that’s since been posted on the KCSO Air Support YouTube channel. (What you hear over it is the same audio we heard via scanner at the time, SPD on the ground and the helicopter deputy.)

Update: Helicopter over High Point, police search on ground

February 14, 2015 at 10:44 pm | In Helicopter, High Point, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 25 Comments

10:44 PM: Thanks for the tips – the Guardian One helicopter is in West Seattle now, in the High Point area, over Graham/Lanham. Not sure yet what it’s about – they seem to be focused on a vehicle – we’ll add what we find out.

10:55 PM: Officers are searching on the ground, too – one tells us this involves “stolen property.”

(Police at the Calugas Apartments in High Point)
11:01 PM: Guardian One appears to have moved on. We’ve heard on the scanner multiple times that this involves law enforcement from Mercer Island as well as SPD. Not sure how much more we’ll find out tonight.

11:06 PM: Guardian One’s Twitter account confirms:


11:32 PM: Photos added.

Update: Police search after ‘lewd conduct’ reported near Chief Sealth IHS

February 12, 2015 at 11:16 am | In Crime, Helicopter, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 10 Comments

11:16 AM: Thanks for the tips about the helicopters. A police search is under way in the Chief Sealth International High School vicinity after, per SPD, a man “reportedly exposed himself (near Sealth) … and ran off.” Police add that they are “evaluating conflicting witness statements.” Earlier this morning, a significant police presence was visible in the area, following the three incidents reported by students yesterday. No description available yet, so we don’t know if this incident matches any aspect of the “flasher” report a few blocks east of Sealth on January 26th.

11:47 AM UPDATE: Just as we were on the phone with police seeking more details, they tweeted this:


There is some partial description info, Det. Drew Fowler told us: White man, 20s, gray shirt, black boots.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Police search in South Delridge

February 11, 2015 at 1:11 pm | In Crime, Helicopter, West Seattle news | 10 Comments

1:11 PM: SPD is searching in the Delridge/Trenton area for a possible burglary suspect. That’s what the heavy police presence is about. More as we get it.

1:14 PM: You might soon see/hear Guardian One in the area to help with the search. No official description from police.

1:23 PM: Partial description of the suspect: Buzzcut, 20s, gray backpack with yellow trim. A neighbor says police also said the suspect was described as white or Asian.

3:18 PM: The search ended without word of an arrest. We now know the burglary was in the 8800 block of 22nd SW.

ADDED FEBRUARY 17TH: Aerial video from the search, available via this new YouTube channel:

Guardian One’s third West Seattle/White Center visit of the night

February 6, 2015 at 9:56 pm | In Helicopter, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 11 Comments

9:56 PM: Guardian One is in the area for the third time tonight. This time we’ve heard it’s a call near 20th/Delridge but don’t have details yet. Earlier, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office Air Support Twitter timeline, the helicopter assisted with calls described as a hit-run search in West Seattle and a robbery search in White Center.

10:44 PM: We couldn’t find any police activity in that area but Guardian One’s subsequent tweet says it was helping with “a robbery north of White Center.” Fragments of scanner traffic lead us to believe it was a store robbery, not a street robbery, but we’re still trying to confirm with police. No helicopter visible in the area (or anywhere else as we drove back north along 16th, and then onto Delridge, from there).

ADDED EARLY SATURDAY: Delridge 7-11, per comment.

About the helicopter in Lincoln Park/Morgan Junction area

January 29, 2015 at 8:54 pm | In Helicopter, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Thanks for the texts/other messages about Guardian One circling for a few minutes in the north Lincoln Park/Morgan Junction area a short time ago. Mystery to us until G-1 tweeted:


They’ve since moved on.

Advance helicopter alert: Drill announced for next Tuesday

November 19, 2014 at 2:06 pm | In Helicopter, Seen at sea, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

That’s a recent photo of the King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter Guardian One; today, KCSO sends an alert that you might spot it flying along the West Seattle coastline next Tuesday, and that’ll be part of a drill:

Notice of Joint Maritime Training Exercise

On Tuesday November 25th the King County Sheriff’s Office TAC 30 team (our department’s tactical unit) will be hosting a multi-agency maritime operations exercise in the area of the Des Moines waterfront. Citizens may see our helicopter flying from the Alki Point area south to Dumas Bay. Hours of the exercise will be from approximately 8 AM until 5 PM.

The main landing zone for the helicopter will be the Des Moines Marina. Agencies participating in the exercise include the Washington State Patrol, Seattle Police, Bainbridge Island Police, the U.S. Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection and King County Medic One.

There will be numerous law enforcement boats involved in the exercise, along with one boat from Argosy Cruises. The main landing zone for the helicopter will be the Des Moines Marina. During the exercise there will be no public access to the pier.

We’ll remind you again when it gets closer, but for now, just so you know; the law-enforcement boats might be noticed as they head that way, too.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Search for armed robbers in Highland Park, with helicopter, after break-in

November 4, 2014 at 6:41 pm | In Crime, Helicopter, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 17 Comments

6:41 PM: Thanks to everyone texting us about Guardian One, the law-enforcement helicopter – it’s over Highland Park because of a search for burglary suspects. We don’t know yet exactly where the break-in was, but we’re seeing some police vehicles along the 9000 block of 8th SW near Westcrest Park.

7:23 PM: Police describe the break-in that led to the search as “an armed burglary.” We don’t yet know if anyone was home or not; there were no medical calls in the area, so no indication that anyone was hurt. A K-9 team also was used in the search.

9:23 PM: According to Southwest Precinct Lt. Alan Williams, early reports indicate “two male suspects armed with handguns entered a residence in the 9000 block of 8th SW) around 6 pm. They “encountered residents inside the house and fled on foot shortly thereafter.” Despite an extensive search, no arrests yet; no one was hurt.

ADDED 1:52 PM WEDNESDAY: SPD Blotter has just published details of how police were told this unfolded:

Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Watch: Search for armed robbers in Highland Park, with helicopter, after break-in…

Hearing a helicopter? Not law enforcement, SPD says

October 24, 2014 at 11:08 pm | In Helicopter, West Seattle news | 32 Comments

11:08 PM: We’ve received multiple reports of a helicopter heard in the Seaview and Arbor Heights areas. We’ve checked with Seattle Police, and Lt. Alan Williams says it’s not Guardian One – quiet night for SPD. Still checking, but it’s a mystery for now.

12:08 AM: Just back from tracking it for a while. As noted in comments, it was flying too high for a search. Too dark, of course, to have any idea what it looked like. Not sure if we’ll be able to figure this one out, but we’re still trying.

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