West Seattle, Washington
9:04 AM: In discussion following recent gunfire incidents in our area – with or without victims/damage – someone invariably asks what elected officials are doing about it. One answer just came in via the agenda for tomorrow morning’s meeting of the City Council’s Gender Equity, Safe Communities, and New Americans Committee – an item titled “Seattle Police Department Briefing on Gun Violence” is first up at 9:30 am. No documentation is attached to the agenda yet; we’ll check back. The SPD briefers are scheduled to include Chief Operating Officer Brian Maxey. The committee is headed by West Seattle-residing at-large Councilmember Lorena González; its meeting starts at 9:30 am Wednesday at City Hall – if you can’t be there, you can watch live via Seattle Channel, online or cable 21.
P.S. As of SPD’s most-recent SeaStat briefing last Wednesday – see page 5 of this slide deck – shots-fired incidents were ahead of this point last year, with 155 reported citywide (the graphic at right is from that slide). The Southwest Precinct area – West Seattle and South Park – has the second-highest number of them, though at 27 so far this year, that’s a distant second to the 72 reported in the South Precinct.
5 PM UPDATE: The slide deck for tomorrow’s briefing is now available here.
Thanks for the tips. Multiple people reported hearing gunfire near 35th and Morgan in High Point, and now police have Morgan blocked off east of 35th as they investigate. No victims reported; we don’t know yet what if any evidence of gunfire they’ve found.
Officers arrested a 25-year-old man Wednesday after he fired a handgun in a West Seattle park.
Officer Stephanie Hemsley was patrolling near 29th Avenue SW and SW Barton Street at 11:30 pm when she heard gunshots near Roxhill Park. Officer Hemsley began searching the area and saw a man and woman running towards a parked gray Pontiac.
Officers stopped the vehicle and, saw a handgun sitting on the floor of the car under the driver’s seat, and found the man was carrying bullets in his pants pocket.
The man admitted to officers that he had fired multiple rounds inside the park.
Officers released the woman from the scene after determining that she had not discharged the firearm.
The man was booked into King County Jail for discharging a weapon within city limits and a concealed weapons violation.
We’re checking right now to find out more about the suspect. (Added 11:24 am) The suspect remains in jail but details on the citations aren’t available in the Municipal Court system yet, so we’ll have to check again later.
The questions come up often in story comments here on WSB – why don’t you see Seattle Police Traffic Enforcement officers at certain trouble spots? Why do you see them at certain spots some consider to be “speed traps”? How can you get them assigned to enforcement where you believe they’re needed? Those are just a few. Next Tuesday (May 16th), you can bring those questions directly to the commander of the traffic unit, Capt. Eric Sano, who is the scheduled guest at the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting. The monthly WSCPC meeting is also where you can bring local crime questions/concerns to Southwest Precinct leadership, and hear the latest on crime trends. The meeting’s at 7 pm Tuesday in the meeting room just off the precinct parking lot, 2300 SW Webster.
Thanks for the tips. We just checked out what was reported as a sizable police response in Highland Park, near 12th and Thistle. It’s wrapping up; responders at the scene tell us it involved a “person in crisis.” No injuries, we’re told.
Several people have asked about a sizable police response on Admiral Way at 38th SW, which SPD blocked for a while, earlier this evening. Christopher Boffoli checked it out for WSB and here’s what he found out: It was originally reported as a possible “person in crisis” situation but police talked to the woman they were called about and eventually classified the call as a family disturbance, no crime involved, no one hurt. Police are no longer there and 38th has reopened.
7:22 PM: Thanks for the texts. The big police response in North Delridge (and beyond) has to do with a search for a suspect and at least one of two vehicles reported to be involved in some kind of incident at Delridge and Findlay. The vehicles were described as a blue SUV and a Mustang. This is from the scanner – we don’t know yet what started all this but at some point along the way, one of the drivers was reported to be trying to run over officers. More as we get it.
7:48 PM: The search for one suspect who reportedly bolted toward the Longfellow Creek greenbelt continues, with K-9. (Other areas are being searched too.) The Mustang is being towed from the gas station on Delridge north of Findlay.
We just talked with police, who say the suspect they’re seeking was associated with the Mustang and is being impounded because there might be a gun in it. And that, they tell us, is how this started – a gun-flashing incident involving a confrontation between people in the 2 cars. No gunfire or injuries reported.
Question/concern/comment for Southwest Precinct police? Get to Junction Starbucks before 2:30 pm – Coffee With a Cop is happening now.
10:46 AM: If you’re wondering about the police response along 32nd SW in south High Point – it’s a standoff with someone we are told is a suspect in a domestic-violence-related incident. No word of any injuries. But avoid 32nd for a few blocks south of Morgan until this is resolved. More to come.
11:01 AM: We’re trying to verify this, but it appears the situation is winding down. Our photographer saw one person taken into custody and officers subsequently went into the residence to be sure no one else was inside (and have already emerged).
11:09 AM: It’s over and the street’s reopening.
Three items in West Seattle Crime Watch:
ABOUT THE HELICOPTER: Thanks for all the tips about Guardian 1 circling in the 26th/Roxbury vicinity within the past half-hour or so. Nothing on the scanner, so we headed over to see if we could find any police activity on the ground. We found deputies near Roxbury Safeway; they told our photographer that they had been looking for a shoplifting suspect who fled. Guardian 1 just happened to be up and offered to help. No word of an arrest so far.
BURGLARY ATTEMPT: Just got a note from Greg that “someone tried to break into my house on SW Charlestown St this afternoon around 2:10 pm. Alarm went off and SPD took a look as I was driving back home. Only damage was broken glass on a French door, but there is glass all over the place.”
SATURDAY ARREST FOLLOWUP: Saturday morning, we reported on an arrest in North Admiral, and recovery of a stolen Subaru. Probable-cause documents obtained today through the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office confirm the details we heard via radio transmissions that morning – a neighbor called 911 about a prowler in the alley behind the 2100 block of Ferry SW, and told police the prowler was seen in a vehicle. That vehicle turned out to have been stolen in Tacoma, where the 35-year-old suspect lives. He was arrested and booked into jail. We’re waiting to see what bail amount was set this afternoon, and will also be watching later this week to see if he’s charged. (6:07 PM UPDATE: His bail is set at $5,000.)
In West Seattle Crime Watch tonight, a reader report and the first newsletter from the Southwest Precinct‘s new Crime Prevention Coordinator:
CAR PROWL: From Ian – “My family and I got our car broken into last night and misc items taken. We must have both accidentally left the car doors unlocked as no forced entry. We live on 37th and Genesee. [map] Please keep an eye out!”
CRIME PREVENTION COORDINATOR’S NEWSLETTER: Even if you haven’t met Jennifer Burbridge, the Southwest Precinct’s new crime-prevention coordinator, in person, you might feel like you know her through our recent reports – the announcement of her hiring, our subsequent interview, and her talk at last week’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network meeting. She told that group she’ll be writing a monthly newsletter; here’s the first edition:
(If it’s easier for you to read, here’s the PDF version.)
MISSED OUR CRIME WATCH COVERAGE FROM EARLIER THIS WEEKEND? See the links on the CW page.
Three reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:
PROWLER CALL LEADS TO STOLEN CAR: What we have on this so far is via radio exchanges – we won’t be able to get the report before Monday: In North Admiral, someone called 911 around 7 am after reporting seeing a suspected prowler outside a neighbor’s home. Police arrived and, before too long, found the suspect. They also found, in a dead-end alley, a Subaru reported stolen in Pierce County (our photo above shows a tow truck taking it away). We’re watching the jail register to see if the identified suspect shows up there. (NOON UPDATE: He has, and it says he is being held for investigation of burglary and vehicle theft.)
CAR, PHONE, WALLET REPORTED TAKEN BY ROBBERS: After seeing an early-Friday-morning call classified “armed robbery” on the SPD Twitter log, we requested the report. It says a man called police around 2:45 am from the Junction 7-11, saying a man and woman had robbed him of his vehicle, phone, and wallet about 45 minutes earlier. The report says the man appeared “highly intoxicated” and told police he had come over the West Seattle Bridge but didn’t know the area well, so he pulled over to get out of his car to smoke a cigarette and figure out where he was and where he was going. A woman came up to ask for a cigarette, he told police, and then a man came up and knocked him unconscious; when he came to, his car was gone. He said it was a blue 1999 Pathfinder but he didn’t know the plate number because he’d acquired it recently from his aunt. Police tried some searches but couldn’t come up with a match. The victim declined medical assistance and said he’d make the stolen-vehicle report later (we’re not seeing a Pathfinder on @getyourcarback so far); police arranged a ride home for him.
PACKAGES TAKEN: Mark in Admiral shared these videos from 11:20 am Wednesday:
Mark reports, “A primer black Pontiac sedan pulled in front of our house in North Admiral. We had just had packages delivered and sitting on our front porch. One suspect got out of the passenger side, came up to our front porch and took the packages. He returned to the vehicle and they drove away. Suspect is white, about 5’9”, dark hair, wearing a black t-shirt, charcoal sweats, and sneakers.” The first clip shows the package removal; second clip shows the vehicle. Info? Let police know.
Two burglary reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:
BREAK-IN WHILE RESIDENTS WERE HOME: A scare this morning for residents of a house in the 10200 block of Marine View Drive SW. They called 911 this morning just after 8 am to say someone had just broken into their house – while they were home. They thought there were two people and that they took off in a vehicle, but had no description. This is all SPD could tell us when we called at midday; we have requested the full report but it wasn’t available then and despite followup requests, we haven’t received it yet. Whenever we do, we’ll add any additional details.
THE BURGLARS WHO LET THE CAT OUT: Over the weekend, we featured a lost-cat notice from Julia in Highland Park, who had come home with her husband to discover a break-in, with their dog injured – apparently tearing a ligament chasing the burglar(s) out – and their cat missing. After he was found, we asked if she would share details for Crime Watch:
Friday evening around 5:30, my husband and I went out to grab some dinner. We were pulling out of our driveway and my husband noticed that there was a younger man with a gray sedan parked across the street fiddling with a broken passenger-side mirror. My husband said that he thought that the guy looked suspicious, but he dismissed it (I was messing with the radio and missed the guy entirely). We got home at 7 or so and the back door was unlocked and the dog was going crazy. The screen on the window above the sink was missing and all of the stuff surrounding or under the window was displaced and, when we got into the bedroom, there were dresser drawers pulled out and suitcases open. The burglar took a jar with some cash and a jewelry box with some cheap (albeit sentimental) jewelry, but no portable electronics, so we think the dog must have woken up and charged him before he got far. Unfortunately, the dog, who is a sweet old girl, hurt herself (or was kicked), and the cat was let out (But found! Yay!) during the escape. A police report has been filed (Many, many props to the extremely kind officer who came by and helped us out. When we were leaving for the ER on Saturday night, we noticed that he was sitting outside in his cruiser. We went up to see what was happening and he said he just wanted to make sure that the burglars knew the police were now watching our house! What a sweetheart!).
NEIGHBORHOOD CRIME CONCERNS/QUESTIONS? See these two opportunities for talking with police in the next week and a half.
Two upcoming opportunities to hear from and talk with local police:
WEST SEATTLE BLOCK WATCH CAPTAINS NETWORK: 6:30 pm tomorrow (Tuesday, April 25th) is the next monthly meeting of this local group, which just announced that the new Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Burbridge will be the special guest. You’ll also hear about crime trends and updates at the start of the meeting. All welcome – you don’t even have to be involved with a Block Watch. It’s at the precinct, 2300 SW Webster.
COFFEE WITH A COP, ROUND 2: As reported here last week, the first Coffee With a Cop at Junction Starbucks was a bit underpublicized due to some date confusion, but the rescheduled event has just been confirmed for 1-2:30 pm Wednesday, May 3rd, same location. Burbridge tells us she’ll be there, as will Community Police Team Officer Todd Wiebke, the precinct’s point person on homelessness-related matters, as well as others from the precinct. All welcome to drop in with questions and comments, or just to say hi, at California/Alaska.
If you had hoped to check out the first West Seattle edition of Coffee With a Cop at the Junction Starbucks this afternoon, but couldn’t get there … there will be a sequel. It seems Starbucks thought it had been rescheduled, explained Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Burbridge, but nobody got the memo, so she and some officers showed up, including the bicycle squad, as evidenced by parking outside:
Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis dropped by too:
We haven’t yet verified the new date – hoping to get that info tomorrow – but we’re hearing early May. This is a national program, and Starbucks is supporting 100 of the meetings coast-to-coast this year.
Despite the overnight gunfire spree hours earlier, turnout was low at last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, so we recorded highlights on video. Above is what precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis told attendees; below, special guest Officer James Ritter, talking about the SPD Safe Place program, which has now been adopted by more than 50 cities across the country.
Toplines: Capt. Davis said a multi-city/multi-agency task force is working on the gunfire situation, which has seen recent incidents in South Park as well as West Seattle (SP also is part of the SW Precinct’s jurisdiction). None of the WS incidents have resulted in injuries – so far; the precinct is working with special teams including the Gang Unit and SWAT and trying to get more officers out on patrol to try to get ahead of the problem. They are working to identify potential suspects who might be from out of the area – he mentioned Kent, Renton, Federal Way – but spending time with family in this area.
Also, as he has mentioned at other recent community meetings including the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce lunch last week (WSB coverage here), Capt. Davis said shoplifting is spiking and the Community Police Team is working with business owners (and, when necessary, contacting out-of-town corporate ownership) to help them prevent it.
And yes, they’re gearing up for the warm-weather crowds at Alki and elsewhere.
One more bit of news: Southwest/South Precinct Liaison city attorney Matthew York is leaving that job after almost three years – he’s just been appointed to an open judge position in King County District Court’s southeast division.
P.S. As mentioned again in today’s preview, if you’re on-peninsula and interested in talking with/hearing from police, you’re welcome at West Seattle’s first Coffee with a Cop event at the Junction Starbucks (SE corner of California/Alaska), 1-2:30 pm.
In West Seattle Crime Watch tonight:
PACKAGE-THEFT ATTEMPT: From Jim:
We found a package half opened in our front yard today… looks like someone grabbed it from our porch and, when it turned out to be very light in spite of its large-ish size, half opened it and saw there was just a hat inside and dropped it… We’re on 20th SW just south of Barton. I think we got lucky, but wondered if anyone else might have been hit through here today.
SUSPICIOUS PERSON: From a Beach Drive resident:
I wanted to alert my neighbors in the Beach Drive/Seaview area about a man who has been casing my property multiple times this week; one time we noted him driving a 2010ish silver Toyota sedan. We activated our security camera and (Sunday) we caught him and a woman on camera walking around our front yard. We are hoping someone may recognize them and contact the police with additional information. This is our incident number with the SPD, 2017-132766.
TWO CHANCES TO TALK WITH POLICE: If you have questions or concerns – this week brings two public events where you can talk with local police. Tomorrow (Tuesday) night, 7 pm, at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster), it’s the monthly West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, including a guest who’ll talk about the SPD Safe Place program and Metropolitan Police Museum. Then Wednesday at 1 pm, it’s the first West Seattle Coffee with a Cop, at Starbucks in The Junction (California/Alaska).
By Patrick Sand and Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog co-publishers
“We’re making a dent in the crime issues in West Seattle.”
If you go to monthly meetings such as the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council or West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network – and/or if you read our regular coverage of those meetings – you’ve seen/heard Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis say that repeatedly lately.
Today, he brought SW Precinct crime trends/updates to a different audience – the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s monthly lunch meeting. He was there with the precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith and newly hired Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Burbridge (read our recent story about her). Here’s our video:
Last year’s property crimes were, he acknowledged, “almost 19 percent over where we needed to be.” So the progress they’re making is to get back down from there. And he talked about how his officers are arresting some repeat offenders “over and over … when my officers arrest these individuals, they don’t want to see (them) back out on the street again” before the ink on the paperwork is dry. There are efforts to change the justice system’s revolving door, he said, as police work with others (including prosecutors).
One recent success story: Car prowls are “down double-digits,” he told the Chamber, as he has told other recent meetings. That’s largely because they’ve gotten repeat offenders behind bars – some of whom are not just car prowlers, but also burglars and shoplifters, generally because they need money for drugs. Read More
Three West Seattle Crime Watch notes:
CAR PROWL: From Brian:
Thought I’d report this in case so Neighborhood Watch will be on the lookout. Car prowler entered my girlfriend’s car Tuesday night. She doesn’t keep valuables so nothing was taken. Her paperwork from the glovebox was strewn about. My cross street is Brandon and 23rd. Reported to police. Going to set up surveillance.
DUMPED LOOT? Steve e-mailed the photo below after finding “a pack and a lunch sack on 42nd between Andover and Dakota”:
Yours? Let us know.
WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL: WSCPC president Richard Miller has announced the special guest for next Tuesday’s meeting (7 pm April 18th, Southwest Precinct, 2300 SW Webster): Officer James Ritter, who will talk about the SPD Safe Place program and the Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum. And as always, SW precinct reps will talk with attendees in an open discussion of crime trends and neighborhood concerns.
5:20 PM: If you’re wondering about the police search in East Admiral, including K-9, they’re looking for a suspect in a burglary attempt. That’s all we know right now.
5:45 PM: The search continues. The break-in attempt happened at a house on or near the east side of Admiral Way north of the bridge.
First, three reader reports, two with video; then, details on an arrest in the Genesee Hill area on Sunday:
PACKAGE THIEF: Fabio says this happened near 14th/Henderson at 6:24 pm Sunday (April 2nd):
If you know the person in the video, you can inform SPD and refer to incident #17-115548.
PACKAGE THIEF, THWARTED: From Patrick:
Just wanted to let the community know about a package thief working in the vicinity of SW Hudson and Fauntleroy. I was working in my home office at about 2:45 PM (today) and saw a man get out of a ’70s VW Bug (bright red) and approach my neighbor’s. He took a package that Fedex delivered earlier. I ran out yelling at him. He apparently was having difficulty getting it in gear so I opened the passenger door and grabbed the package. He took off and headed north on Fauntleroy. Man had a goatee and was wearing a Navy blue/blackish hoody. I called 911 and also just spoke to an officer. Officer said that that car description is a new one for them but should be easy to find since it is distinct.
EGGING VANDALS: While this next clip is not crystal-clear, Timothy is hoping that someone will recognize the vandals throwing eggs at his house, and/or their car:
He says, “I’m hoping someone recognizes the car or the characters inside. I realize the video quality isn’t great, but enough to be identifiable to the right person. It’s also disconcerting that the perpetrator is heard gleefully exclaiming that he’d hit a window. They were trying to do damage.” It happened last Friday night and he says he’s heard reports of other houses hit too.
HIT & RUN ON 35TH: Maybe you know who hit James’s car sometime Saturday night or Sunday morning:
“Someone sideswiped their car into mine (a black 2013 Mazda hatchback). My car was parked on the east side of busy 35th Ave SW in the 7500 block. The hit & run caused body damage along my driver’s side door and broke-off my driver-side mirror. The police have been notified. If anyone was an eyewitness to this incident and/or knows any information, please call me, the vehicle owner, James @ (206) 658-5295. Thank you.”
SUSPECT FOUND IN STOLEN CAR: From SPD Blotter today, the details on a sizable police response in the Genesee Hill area on Sunday morning. In short, police found a 43-year-old suspect asleep inside a stolen car, “in possession of other unreported stolen items.” The 2016 Nissan had been taken early Sunday from the 3500 block of SW Trenton, and its owner used a tracking system to show it was in the 4700 block of SW Dakota, engine running, “full of unreported stolen items (clothing, power tools, air compressor, etc.). Officers took the suspect into custody without incident.”