(VIDEO ADDED 11:08 PM: KCSO video of part of the operation)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 8:17 PM: If you’re seeing police in Highland Park, there’s a search on for possible car-theft suspects who were pursued northbound from the White Center area by King County Sheriff’s Office deputies. We understand Guardian One is on the way or there now. The search area includes 14th and Trenton, according to radio communications. One possible suspect is described as a white male about six feet tall, shaved head and black hoodie, last seen going eastbound on Trenton; the car apparently has been abandoned in the area.
8:36 PM: Our crew in the area says the helicopter is still assisting in the search.
8:44 PM: Added a photo. One person has been found and is being questioned, according to a commenter and our crew on the scene.
9:10 PM: Chopper has left. No other updates.
10:02 PM: KCSO’s Sgt. Cindi West tells us this all started in Burien, around 12th/136th. The car was indeed stolen; it first caught a deputy’s attention because it had plates with two different numbers. Followed to Highland Par, five people abandoned the car and ran; three are in custody, including the driver. She says most if not all are “known” from other cases. Seattle Police worked with deputies to make arrests, she says, including a K-9 team.
11:55 PM: Note that we have added video uploaded by the KCSO Air Support Team – a five-minute stretch of time during which suspects were found in Highland Park. The audio suggests a Taser was used on at least one.
Saturday night, readers in the Highland Park and South Park areas messaged us about a helicopter; it wasn’t a mystery for long, because shortly thereafter, the King County Sheriff’s Office Guardian One crew tweeted that it was the resolution of a pursuit involving Burien Police. Checking their feed just now while investigating a NEW helicopter report (Delridge area, noontime, gone before we arrived), we discovered they’re sharing the Guardian One view of the pursuit via video uploaded to YouTube (if you can’t see the embedded version above, go here). When the video begins, the chase is headed north – then the suspect’s car U-turns and heads south.
3:33 PM: We asked KCSO for more on the incident. From Deputy Charlie Akers:
A deputy was behind a car in the 12800 block of northbound 509. The car was traveling about 15 MPH under the speed limit and was weaving across the roadway. Believing the driver was DUI, the deputy tried to stop the car and the chase was on. Before the Guardian 1 arrived, the chase exited the freeway and went down surface streets. The driver also evaded spike strips that were deployed. A PIT maneuver was used when the lead deputy believed the driver was slowing down to do another u-turn down a on-ramp in the wrong direction. A 26 year old Burien man was taken into custody for investigation of Felony Eluding. It did not appear to the deputies on scene that the driver was DUI. The case was sent to detectives for follow-up and filing of charges.
5:10 PM: Just because we have received tons of calls and texts: Police have an operation under way to the south that has drawn TV helicopters. They have been hanging over West Seattle just in case anything happens with said operation. It’s NOT a current West Seattle crime or incident.
6:06 PM: As far as we can tell, this didn’t pan out, and the choppers should be gone.
11:01 AM: We’re getting questions about the King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter over downtown White Center. In case you’re seeing it and wondering too, here’s what we published on partner site White Center Now: KCSO says the search is for someone who broke into a car and stole a purse. Deputies are searching on the ground too, and were seen in the 14th/96th vicinity.
11:56 AM: Search is over – per @kcsoairsupport, they didn’t find the person they were looking for.
12:27 PM: Our ground crew says the search was centered toward the park end of SW 96th, east of 14th SW. They took the relatively rare opportunity to get a clear photo of Guardian One – which assists other law-enforcement agencies at times, including Seattle Police, which doesn’t have its own chopper – in case you aren’t familiar with what it looks like (sometimes handy in order to distinguish between law-enforcement and TV choppers).
3:52 PM: Update from KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West: “The suspect from (this incident) was arrested near 102 and 8th SW after being spotted prowling cars in Steve Cox Park.”
12:19 AM: Several passes over WSB HQ so far, in fact. Don’t yet know why.
12:29 AM: The chopper has finally moved on. Still a mystery!
12:34 AM: And now they’ve tweeted:
Over Lincoln Park helping patrol look for a sexual assault suspect
— KCSOAirsupport (@KCSOAirsupport) October 4, 2013
11:02 AM UPDATE: Checked with Seattle Police, who say they have NO reports of any attack in the park or anywhere in the area, nor any other incident that would have brought the helicopter. It assists many law-enforcement agencies but is operated by King County Sheriff’s Office, which in turn is now checking to see what the call was about.
11:32 PM: Thanks to everyone who has texted and e-mailed about a helicopter that’s apparently over White Center/Highland Park right now. Not sure yet what’s going on but we’re checking. There was a Seattle Fire dispatch to the 9400 block of 15th SW and the arriving engine reported via scanner that there was no patient at the scene plus “all the deputies and police have gone somewhere else.” If you’re seeing the law enforcement response on the ground, county or city, please let us know! We’ll continue to sleuth.
MIDNIGHT: Guardian One, the King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter that assists other agencies too, says via Twitter that it was “over White Center assisting with a robbery call.” No further details.
7:28 PM: Thanks to everyone who tipped us about Guardian One circling over Myers Way just south of Roxbury (map). It’s a King County Sheriff’s Office search, according to a Seattle Police officer who told us she could only say they’re “looking for somebody” and SPD is assisting. We’re trying to reach KCSO to find out more.
7:42 PM UPDATE: Just talked to KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West, who says the search started with a report of a domestic-violence situation at a supermarket on 1st Avenue South in Burien; a plainclothes detective happened to be there, saw the male suspect on the run, called for backup, got in his car and followed the suspect, whose vehicle was determined to have stolen plates. The suspect abandoned the car and fled in White Center, and was believed to have made it to the Joint Training Facility vicinity, which is where the helicopter was searching. No word of an arrest yet, Sgt. West said, and she also didn’t know about the domestic-violence victim’s condition/status.
8:34 PM UPDATE: Sgt. West says the suspect’s not in custody yet but they did determine that not only were the plates on the car stolen, the car itself was stolen too.
1:09 PM: Thanks to Danny McMillin for the photo of four military helicopters spotted passing Alki and Admiral within the past half-hour or so; we’ve seen Twitter mentions of sightings elsewhere around the city but don’t know yet if there’s a particular occasion, a VIP, or … ? We’re still checking around; please let us know if YOU have a clue!
1:21 PM: Could be a coincidence – but this is Boeing Family Day up at the factory in Everett, and the Chinook is Boeing-built.
8:31 PM: Still no official info. But an Alki Beach visitor got them on video:
The clip is by Ben Slivka. If we find out anything more about the choppers tomorrow, we’ll add an update here.
New way to try to find out what that helicopter’s doing overhead: King County Sheriff’s Office Air Support on TwitterJuly 25, 2013 at 2:08 pm | In Helicopter, West Seattle news | 14 Comments
(Photo tweeted today by @KCSOAirSupport)
Sometimes when a helicopter’s hovering, it’s TV – three of the four major regional TV stations have helicopters, and staff them into the early evening hours on weekdays. But sometimes, especially if it’s after dark, it’s Guardian One, the King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter that assists other law-enforcement agencies too (including Seattle PD, which does not have its own helicopter). And now there’s a new way to try to find out what Guardian One is up to if you suspect it’s what you are seeing or hearing: A new Twitter feed, @KCSOAirSupport. Even if you are not a Twitter member, you can still access that via the Web, or better yet, we’re adding it to the mix in the Twitter box on the WSB West Seattle Crime Watch page, so that you can check there.
11:37 AM: Half-hour or so ago, three military helicopters passed over southern West Seattle; now it seems at least one has made multiple passes over north West Seattle. We’re checking, but haven’t seen them ourselves, so descriptions appreciated to help us sleuth – thanks!
P.S. We’ve already checked with the Mariners and, while they have a student event happening at Safeco Field right now prior to the day game coming up in an hour-plus, they say it’s not a stadium flyover.
11:48 AM UPDATE: Just added a photo courtesy of Jameson, while we continue calling around… (Added later: Video from Danny:)
(And from the earlier triple flyover in south West Seattle, a photo from Megan:)
12:13 PM UPDATE: Mystery solved! The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers confirms its commander, Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, is being toured around the area. The spokesperson doesn’t know exactly what they were looking at in West Seattle, though, only that the visiting commander was out on a chopper tour that had included a project at Seahurst just south of us. The Corps runs the Ballard Locks, but we also note with a quick bit of web research that it was project manager for construction of the high bridge three decades ago. We checked with the Corps after recalling reading about another of its officials on helicopter tour to the south of us this time last year.
ADDED 1:59 PM: This may, it seems, have been two separate flyovers, and the commander might just have been the earlier one. Just got a note from Leslie Barstow with Boeing Field, who says, “The King County International Airport’s Air Traffic Control Tower has informed airport staff that the helicopters were Army Blackhawks doing an ‘extraction’ exercise over Alki. They have completed their exercises for today.”
6:21 PM: Don’t know why. Let us know if you are seeing ground activity. One texter guesses it might be photographing the West Seattle Runner run we mentioned earlier – otherwise, no fire/police incidents we can find.
8:43 PM: TV-viewing WSB’ers confirm in comments, that’s indeed what it was.
If you see/hear a helicopter in southeast West Seattle tonight – it’s probably just a drill. We have advance notice just in from Seattle Fire Department spokesperson Kyle Moore:
Tonight the Seattle Fire Department along with the King County Sheriff’s Office will be conducting a Night Time Hoist Helicopter Training Drill at the City of Seattle Joint Training Facility. The purpose of the exercise will be for firefighters to practice rescuing patients at night from a high rise building.
The drill is part of an All Hazards Regional Aviation Response Partnership which includes the King County Sheriff’s Office, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, the Seattle Fire Department and other regional agencies.
Beginning at 6 p.m. neighbors of the City of Seattle Joint Training Facility located at 9401 Myers Way South [map] will notice an increase in activity and noise until 9 p.m. The drill will involve the takeoff and landing of the King County Sheriff’s Guardian 2 Helicopter.
(One of more than half a dozen law-enforcement cars spread out over search area in Shorewood)
9:38 AM: We’re getting a few reports of the King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter Guardian One over the Shorewood area again. Just checked with KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West and she confirms the helicopter is assisting with a ground search, but no details just yet – so far it does not seem to be related to the recent search in that area. We’re headed that way and will update with new information when we get it.
9:55 AM: The search is centered even further south so at this point unless we receive information of it heading north, we’ll be focusing our updates on partner site White Center Now.
10:36 AM: Again, more details at that link (including 3 Highline Public Schools campuses taking precautions), but bottom line in new info from KCSO: Deputies pulled over a stolen car; someone inside had a car-theft warrant, and bolted.
10:43 AM: As updated on WCN – Sgt. West says the suspect is in custody, so this situation is wrapping up.
Update: Deputies searching for escapee in Shorewood; schools take precautions; suspect’s West Seattle recordMarch 5, 2013 at 12:02 pm | In Crime, Helicopter, Shorewood, West Seattle news | 145 Comments
(SCROLL DOWN for updates)
12:02 PM: We started this coverage as part of our earlier story about helicopter sightings – but it’s ongoing, so we’ve moved it here. Here’s the man deputies are looking for in the Shorewood Market vicinity (map) – escapee Alan Polevia:
He had been arrested on theft warrants last week and was being taken to Harborview Medical Center after apparent drug ingestion, when he bolted – still in handcuffs. (Read more about the case in this Monday update from CapitolHillSeattle.com.) KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West says Polevia’s head is now shaven, since that photo. He is described as 5’8″ and about 170 pounds. ADDED: Here’s what Sgt. West told us a few minutes ago:
12:26 PM: Just checked back in the search zone – deputies still staked out. Will check back again shortly.
12:52 PM: Still searching. We’ll update if and when he’s found. If you see him – call 911.
1:41 PM: See comments for some reports of schools that took precautions, though there is no report at this point that he was seen anywhere near a school. We’ve got an inquiry out to the district for a topline report on public schools’ status. Meantime, we looked up Polevia’s background. In November 2006, he was found guilty of third-degree assault for an incident involving him and his father getting kicked out of Poggie’s in The Junction, then going across the street and attacking a man outside Talarico’s with a beer bottle and a tire iron.
1:51 PM: Two more updates. First, from Teresa Wippel at Seattle Public Schools: “Sanislo, Roxhill, Arbor Heights, Sealth/Denny, Boren STEM, Highland Park, West Seattle Elementary” were under “shelter in place” at least for a while – she’s checking on who still is. Second, we are reminded by the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network leadership that Polevia has one more West Seattle tie: He is the suspect arrested – but apparently to date not charged – in connection with the theft case related to the 36th/Morgan nuisance house in September.
2:12 PM UPDATE: Wippel says no one (in Seattle Public Schools, anyway) is in shelter-in-place – they’re all allowed to end their days as usual.
3:06 PM UPDATE: From Sgt. West at KCSO – an updated photo of Alan Polevia:
4:23 PM UPDATE: Just checked in with Sgt. West again; he’s still on the loose, no new updates. She is researching a case that put him in jail for a short stay in December – we saw that on the King County Jail Register, a four-day stay for investigation of burglary and for a “failure to appear” case involving theft, for which he had spent a day and a half in jail a week and a half before that. The jail register also shows his two-day stay in the 36th/Morgan related case, for investigation of stolen-property possession.
10:59 AM: Thanks to everyone who’s reported a helicopter over Harbor Avenue – we’re still working to figure out what it’s up to; King County Sheriff’s Office says Guardian One is on a search miles away.
11:13 AM UPDATE: Mystery solved. Seattle Police Det. Renée Witt tells WSB that SPD was “conducting a training exercise with Harbor Patrol and Guardian One.”
11:21 AM UPDATE: Now we hear the aforementioned search has brought the helicopter to the Arbor Heights vicinity. More on that as we get it.
11:28 AM UPDATE: According to KCSO’s Sgt. Cindi West, the search is related to an escape reported in regional media last week – a handcuffed man wanted on theft warrants, who escaped February 25th while being taken to Harborview Medical Center post-arrest because he was believed to have ingested drugs.
11:39 AM UPDATE: Multiple KCSO units (including SeaTac and Burien Police, both of which are part of the Sheriff’s Office) on the ground in and beyond the Shorewood Market vicinity. Traffic is still getting through.
11:59 AM: We’re going to break this story out in a minute since the search is ongoing and we have photos and video to add. NEW ONGOING STORY – GO HERE.
11:42 AM: Police initially tweeted there was a report of a robbery at West Seattle Coins at California/Oregon. However, the manager told us at the scene that they were NOT robbed – they had to deal with a disruptive person in the store. The store is open for business.
11:58 AM: We also reconfirmed with Seattle Police public affairs that further investigation revealed *no* robbery.
4:10 PM: Thanks for the tips about the helicopter. The only thing working in the area right now is that police are investigating a suspicious vehicle and one possible suspect in the Roxhill Park area. NO new robberies or other crimes – and they’re not saying exactly what was suspicious about this car. At one point, they were checking out three cars and eight people – but Det. Jeff Kappel tells us only one vehicle and one 18-year-old remain under investigation. More as we get it. We had already been to the scene to check it out before the helicopter(s) turned up – have added a photo from that stop – and have since gone back to see if there’s anything new.
4:40 PM: The helicopter departed; the vehicle was being towed from the park.
(WEDNESDAY MORNING UPDATE: New info added to end of story)
(Added 10:40 pm – photo from neighbor who reports casings found in her neighborhood)
FIRST REPORT, 9:45 PM: We’re getting multiple reader reports of possible gunshots heard in Highland Park – no shootings on the 911 medical-call log, though – and a helicopter (believed to be the law-enforcement Guardian One) is overhead. The scanner indicates police are investigating – so far they have not found anything.
9:56 PM: Co-publisher is in the area and says Guardian One has left. Meantime, police are still checking out various areas where people reported hearing the possible gunfire, but no indication they’ve found any evidence so far.
10:15 PM: Nothing new, and the scanner traffic on this has quieted down. Earlier via the radio, SPD was reported to have checked with the county to see if anything had happened on their side of the line – the answer was no. We’ll follow up a bit later to see if anything ever turned up.
10:39 PM: Just heard from a resident near 12th and Elmgrove, where she says casings have been found and police are searching for more evidence. Added the photo she sent (atop this story).
ADDED 10:15 AM MONDAY: Just checked with SPD spokesperson Det. Renee Witt, who says police recovered nine casings in all, in the 7900 block of 12th SW. No injuries or property damage reported. Police were told that a white car, possibly a Gran Prix, was seen with a passenger pointing a “rifle out of the window,” firing shots “into the air,” but police did not find the car or any suspects.
10:37 PM: We’re not sure yet about the reason for the search, but police are looking for a suspect in the Schmitz Park Elementary area, and per scanner communication, the Guardian One law-enforcement helicopter is on the way, so you will likely hear it soon if you’re in that area. We have a crew on the way; more information when we get it. The description mentioned over the air is a white man, early 20s, six feet tall, hoodie and long, dark-colored shorts.
10:47 PM: Police tell our crew in the area that they are looking for a domestic-violence suspect. No other details. They’re bringing in a K-9 to help search on the ground.
10:51 PM: We’ve learned that the original scanner traffic on this incident mentioned possible harassment and vandalism – tire-slashing – as part of why they’re seeking the suspect.
11:14 PM: The search in the original area – centered on a home near 49th/Hinds – did not pan out, but they’re following other leads, including one that the suspect might have headed east, toward California SW. If you see anyone matching the description, call 911.
11:19 PM: Sounds like they may have a suspect in custody. Will verify when we can.
11:27 PM: Precinct verifies the arrest. We’ll seek out additional information tomorrow when the report’s available.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 5:54 PM: A helicopter’s been seen over south West Seattle, and we believe it’s linked to a stabbing reported at 13th/100th in White Center. According to King County Sheriff’s Office via Twitter, the suspect is the victim’s son. Headed that way.
6:24 PM UPDATE: The 69-year-old victim has died, and her 42-year-old son is in custody, KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West says. We’re continuing to cover this on our partner site White Center Now (where our coverage includes video of Sgt. West explaining what they know so far).
1:04 AM: Thanks for the texts and other messages – there’s an air/ground search in the Highland Park area. We’re checking on it.
1:20 AM: No info available from an official source at this point but we did hear a snippet of scanner traffic mentioning a burglary, and SPD’s Tweets by Beat – automated bits of information about police calls, delayed about an hour, sent out via Twitter – mentions a 12th/Holden burglary before midnight. (The full list of the latest “Tweets by Beat” for the West Seattle patrol sectors is available at all times, continuously updated, on our Crime Watch page.)
8:40 AM UPDATE: We now know what this was all about – talked with Det. Mark Jamieson in SPD Media Relations. He says a burglary was reported just before midnight in the 7000 block of 12th SW; while that was being investigated, another officer spotted three suspects “pushing a shopping cart full of apparently stolen property” in the 1200 block of SW Holden. When they saw police, they ran off in different directions. A K-9 team and additional officers came in to help search; the K-9 found one of them hiding under a bush at 13th and Webster. That suspect, 16 years old, was arrested and booked into the Youth Services Center. The Guardian One law-enforcement helicopter (which belongs to the King County Sheriff’s Office but is called in by other agencies as needed – SPD does NOT have its own helicopter) came in to help with the search for a while, but the other two suspects weren’t found. What officers DID find: Some stolen property, near where the arrest was made – including three large flatscreen TVs.
We’ve received calls about helicopters over White Center, south of downtown WC. King County Sheriff’s Office deputies are investigating a body that Sgt. Cindi West has tweeted was found in the Mallard Lake area, near the Coronado Springs Apartments at 14th and 107th. We’ve gone to the scene and will have continuing coverage on partner site White Center Now.
Finally got some information about the incident that brought the law-enforcement helicopter Guardian One to the Highland Park/White Center area early this morning – several people called, e-mailed and texted us about it in the 2 am hour, but we couldn’t find out at the time what was going on. Now we know that it involved a report of gunfire near 17th and 98th in White Center – first word of that came thanks to a comment on the WSB Facebook page, and it was confirmed by King County Sheriff’s Deputy BJ Myers, with whom we just talked at White Center Jubilee Days (where we’re tabling today on behalf of our partner site White Center Now). No proof of the reported gunfire, though – nobody hurt, no property damage, no shell casings found. A suspect was reported to have been seen running; deputies did make one arrest of a person who they say had a gun, but no one has identified him as having been involved with the alleged gunfire.
4:57 PM: Asked about the helicopter that seems to be searching in that area, Seattle Police here at Summer Fest told us there’s a bank robbery in White Center – so we’re trying to find out more from King County Sheriff’s Office.
5:03 PM: Sgt. Kathleen Larson with KCSO says the robbery happened less than an hour ago at the KeyBank on 17th SW in White Center. They’re looking for a man described as white, in his 20s, 5-5, wearing a beanie, gray sweatshirt, light blue jeans. He was last seen running out of the bank. No injuries reported.
If you see helicopters this Friday-Saturday, they are probably headed to the Museum of Flight for the American Heroes Airshow, “Courage at the Speed of Flight.” Twenty-two helicopters are scheduled to arrive: three on Friday, July 13th around 3 pm and the rest on Saturday morning. They will all start departing the museum around 3 pm on Saturday.
“Courage at the Speed of Flight,” Seattle’s only helicopter airshow, is a free event meant to celebrate public service. Here’s the Museum of Flight’s description:
Visitors can see how helicopters play an important role in law enforcement, fire service, public safety, communications, national defense and homeland security. The American Heroes Air Show features static displays, special presentations and entertainment. Representatives from many organizations including local flight schools, Border Patrol, Search and Rescue units, and the U.S. Coast Guard will be available to answer questions. See helicopters like the Blackhawk flown by the U.S. Army 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, as well as those flown by Airlift Northwest, KING 5 TV and many others.
Stop by the museum’s parking lot between 10 am and 3 pm to participate. You can even come early (starting at 7 am) just to watch the helicopters land and enjoy some free refreshments. This year, the airshow will also include a U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service naturalization ceremony for members of the military, first responders, and aviators who have applied for U.S. citizenship. The public is also welcome to this event.
Jen Boyer, the show’s director (who also provided the photo above), has been a West Seattleite for eight years. She is both a helicopter pilot and member of the Whirly-Girls, a female helicopter pilots association. The Whirly-Girls have volunteered their time as the event’s organizers since 2005, when the first show was held. Jen does it to teach the community, and especially younger generations, about the importance of the aircraft she loves:
When I was a little girl, I attended a small event like this where I sat in my first helicopter. I’d been interested in helicopters before, but seeing, touching and sitting in that helicopter did it for me. One day I reached my dream and became a pilot. I do this each year to inspire future generations, boys and girls alike, and to help the community on a whole learn about the value of helicopters in our community.
Find more info from the Museum of Flight here.
11 PM: In the past few minutes, we’ve received reports of a helicopter heard/seen over White Center, Highland Park, Arbor Heights – checking to find out what’s up.
11:07 PM: We don’t know for sure if it’s law enforcement. We have gone out to try to see where it’s focused, but it’s doing very long loops – not concentrating on any one area – from the Sound, back inland a ways, and then outbound again.
11:20 PM: Sorry to say we still don’t know. Have been tracking it from the ground but that hasn’t yielded anything obvious; nothing working in this area on the scanner, and nothing on the 911 (SFD) log indicating anything injurious.
11:24 PM: Seattle Police Southwest Precinct Lt. Alan Williams checked on this and says SPD does not have Guardian One up for anything. So either it’s King County Sheriff’s Office *or* not law enforcement.
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