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.

Update: Heard the helicopter? White Center search

October 18, 2014 at 12:08 am | In Helicopter, West Seattle news, White Center | Comments Off

12:08 AM: Multiple helicopter reports from Arbor Heights to Highland Park. Nothing on the scanner/911 log so far, which might just mean it’s a King County Sheriff’s Office case. If you’re seeing police on the ground, let us know so we can figure out what’s going on!

12:11 AM: And Guardian One just tweeted that indeed, it was a case in the county:

Per scanner, they are now headed over to SODO to check out something else.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Gunfire suspect out of jail; tonight’s helicopter

October 15, 2014 at 11:59 pm | In Crime, Helicopter, West Seattle news | 14 Comments

Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes:

GUNFIRE SUSPECT OUT OF JAIL: 30-year-old Daren Atwood, charged with a firearms offense after last Thursday’s gunfire incident near Fairmount Ravine, is out of jail after one day. We reported Tuesday night that he had been charged and booked; this afternoon, he appeared in Seattle Municipal Court. According to the online docket, the city asked for $50,000 bail; a judge let him out on personal recognizance. His next court appearance is set for November 13th.

ABOUT THE HELICOPTER: Just before 9 pm, a relatively brief burst of helicopter activity brought some questions from north and northeast West Seattle. Via Twitter, the Guardian One crew confirmed it was them, helping Seattle Police with “a disturbance call.” No further details, so if we find out anything in the morning, we’ll add it here.

Update: About the helicopters near east West Seattle …

October 14, 2014 at 5:46 pm | In Crime, Helicopter, West Seattle news | 9 Comments

(Added: Guardian One video from the arrest scene)
5:46 PM: We’re getting a few questions about helicopter activity near east West Seattle. KIRO TV says it’s a search by the 1st Avenue South Bridge related to a stolen car, and that three people have been detained. Aerial pictures show a King County Sheriff’s Office vehicle, so we’re trying to contact KCSO for more information.

6:34 PM: KCSO confirms 3 – all the suspects they had sought – are in custody.

Update: Helicopter flybys along the shore

August 30, 2014 at 12:10 am | In Helicopter, West Seattle news | 12 Comments

Thanks to everyone who’s reported a helicopter seeming to be searching for something off the west-facing West Seattle shore. Don’t know yet what it’s up to, but wanted to let you know we’re trying to find out.

1:12 AM: No info so far.

SATURDAY MORNING: Commenter FM says they were searching for overdue paddleboarders. (Here’s hoping they turned up, safe.)

Maybe you’ve been noticing the helicopters …

July 10, 2014 at 12:03 pm | In Helicopter, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

We’ve received a few phone calls about unusual helicopter traffic today – and have heard/seen a few going over WSB HQ. Turns out there is a huge “emergency exercise simulating an aircraft accident” at Sea-Tac, going on for another hour or so. Participants include “eight evacuation helicopters, more than 175 emergency vehicles and 300 victim volunteers.” Airlift agencies that are participating, according to the summary, include “the U.S. Coast Guard from Port Angeles and Astoria, Oregon, U.S. Navy Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington Air National Guard – Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Snohomish County Sheriff, King County Sheriff, and Airlift Northwest.”

Mostly quiet night, with a brief helicopter interlude

June 19, 2014 at 10:44 pm | In Helicopter, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 5 Comments

(Mostly cloudy by sunset – some drizzle, too. Photo by JayDee, from Upper Alki)
With the SPD promise of presence on Alki for potential last-day-of-school gatherings, we’ve been monitoring the situation since afternoon. Nothing major. We did see officers at the beach during our afternoon and evening drive-throughs. We ourselves had a bit of a close call just after sunset at Me-Kwa-Mooks, dodging a group of teens running back and forth in the street on Beach Drive. Not long afterward, the Guardian One law-enforcement helicopter was over that same area for a bit and subsequently tweeted that they “assisted @SeattlePD near 56/SW Oregon with a large group of teenagers partying that took off into the woods. Patrol contacted them.” (Right after that, the helicopter headed north to Ballard, tweeting that they helped SPD handle “a large fight disturbance” at Golden Gardens.)

Helicopter over Fauntleroy/Gatewood: Tour company

June 14, 2014 at 2:55 pm | In Fauntleroy, Gatewood, Helicopter, West Seattle news | 8 Comments

In case you also noticed the small yellow helicopter circling/hovering over Gatewood/Upper Fauntleroy (almost directly over WSB HQ for a while, so we grabbed a bit of video), thanks to Shannon for noting in a Twitter discussion that it was a tour-company helicopter. (Photo added, shared by Rey via Facebook)

Update: Police/helicopter search in Lincoln Park area

May 30, 2014 at 11:06 pm | In Helicopter, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 37 Comments

11:06 PM: The Guardian One helicopter is on the way to join Seattle Police in a Lincoln Park-area search. We’re still tracking down details but wanted to let you know that’s what’s happening, in case you see/hear the helicopter (or are seeing police on the ground).

11:15 PM: They’re looking for multiple suspects, one of whom was described as armed with a knife, last seen running into the north end of Lincoln Park. There’s a K-9 team in that area too.

11:32 PM: They’re still searching the park. Still no word on the nature of the call; all we know for sure is that there have *not* been any major-injury incidents in the area tonight.

11:47 PM: Basically the helicopter – which has been circling for a full half-hour now – is helping point police to just about anyone in the park/vicinity.

11:57 PM: Possible suspects found in the park, toward its central area.

12:06 AM: They’re still working to figure out if the possible suspects are who they’re looking for. And via multiple sources and bits of information, we believe this all started with a business robbery.

12:14 AM: Chopper has moved on – but the case isn’t necessarily closed yet. Their tweet confirms this is a robbery case:

12:23 AM: Seattle Police add that it “started as a shoplift call in 7400 block of Fauntleroy – male suspect drew a knife and fled into Lincoln Park.” (That’s the mini-mart/gas station across from the north end of the park.)

Update: Why Guardian One was up over southern West Seattle

May 22, 2014 at 10:59 am | In Crime, Helicopter, West Seattle news | 20 Comments

helicopterwatch.png10:59 AM: Just checked with Seattle Police; the Guardian One helicopter is helping them look for a domestic-violence suspect. That’s all we know so far; thanks for the texts about Westwood/Roxhill chopper sightings.

11:23 AM: No update on the search but the scanner indicates Guardian One is off to another case elsewhere in the city. On their Twitter feed, the helicopter crew describes the West Seattle assignment as having assisted in a case involving a “foot pursuit.” We’re also checking with Seattle Public Schools regarding commenters’ reports of shelter-in-place at Chief Sealth IHS.

11:48 AM: Still trying to get more info on the incident itself, and whether the suspect was arrested, but we did confirm with CSIHS by phone that the brief “shelter-in-place” has since been lifted.

12:15 PM: SPS spokesperson Lesley Rogers tells us Denny IMS and Roxhill Elementary also were in “shelter in place” for about 20 minutes, and that it was lifted an hour ago. (Added: An Explorer West MS [WSB sponsor] parent tells us they got word that school also took precautions for a similar amount of time.)

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