West Seattle, Washington
Lots of questions about the police and fire response for an “assault with weapons” call in the 4500 block of 48th SW, near Ercolini Park. We have just talked to responders at the scene, and they tell us a person died by suicide inside a home.
As we always mention in coverage of suicide: If you or someone you know is contemplating self-harm, the Crisis Clinic‘s 24-hour hotline is 206-461-3222.
We heard it – and others saw it: A dozen-plus Seattle Police units (per three readers’ counts) pursuing a car southbound on West Marginal Way just after 2 pm on Saturday afternoon. And today we know why. We also know it started outside West Seattle, thanks to this video from Patrick O’Connor:
He sent that to us on Sunday, explaining that it was recorded on 1st Avenue South in Pioneer Square, but we suspected it was the same incident, given the ~2 pm time frame and proximity to West Seattle. At the time of the pursuit, we heard the sirens from Puget Ridge, where we were covering the Seattle Chinese Garden Kite Festival. We opened a scanner app just in time to hear that whatever it was, was ending, with the pursued vehicle apparently having crossed the city-county line.
We couldn’t find out anything more over the weekend, so today we followed up with SPD’s media-relations team. Det. Mark Jamieson tells WSB, “This was a pursuit of a stolen car involved in several robberies from different jurisdictions. The pursuit was called off as it went across the county line.” He also sent the narrative, which has these additional details:
The officer who wrote the report was on patrol with his partner at Rainier and Graham (map) when they saw a silver Nissan Sentra pull into a gas station. The officers noted that the car resembled one to which they had been alerted the day before, with information from Bellevue Police saying the car was stolen and linked to thefts and robberies in Bellevue and Kirkland. They started to follow the car and then sought authorization for a pursuit, which the report says was eventually ordered terminated by a sergeant.
The officer writing the report noted that he felt a pursuit was warranted because, “Based on recent crime statistics, there has been an increase in robberies (strong-armed and armed) and other violent crimes in the Seattle area. Based on my training, experience, and research of the recent calls, I know that robbery suspects are commonly armed or threaten to use weapons during the commission of these crimes. Knowing that this vehicle was stolen and used in prior robberies and thefts, I felt that if these suspects were not immediately apprehended, they would be a greater danger to the public than if we had let them drive away.” The officer also wrote that further research suggested the same vehicle was linked to four Seattle incidents too.
On Tuesday night, the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meets at the Southwest Precinct for the final time before summer break. The 6:30 pm meeting is another chance to hear about crime trends and bring up community concerns with local police. And this month’s special guest, as just announced by WSBWCN co-leaders Karen Berge and Deborah Greer, will talk about the impending return of SPD’s Community Service Officer program:
City Council set aside funding to re-implement the Community Service Officer program in 2018. Our guest speaker will be Angela Socci from the Finance and Planning Section of the Seattle Police Department. She’ll talk about the plans for reinventing the CSO program. They are in the early stages of the program development process, so we have an opportunity to offer feedback. How would you like to see the new program take shape?
You don’t have to be a Block Watch captain – or even a Block Watch member – to be there; all are welcome. The precinct is at 2300 SW Webster (east of Home Depot) and the meeting room is right off the public parking area by the entrance.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Crime trends, community Q & A, and a briefing you might call “Gangs 101” were all part of last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting at the Southwest Precinct.
CRIME TRENDS: Capt. Pierre Davis opened the meeting with the latest, saying the precinct is “putting out as many resources” as it can, since “things get a little bit more boisterous” in the summer around here. That includes pulling SWAT officers for extra patrols, the precinct’s Anti-Crime Team, and the full-time bicycle squad, “able to patrol our hot-spot areas.”
One bright spot: Non-residential burglaries are down 2 percent – “we’re arresting a ton of people out there.”
No other stats were mentioned as attendees jumped right to community Q & A: Read More
Just received more information on the police search we covered earlier this morning.
That’s the arrest that ended the search around 7:45 am in the 5200 block of 17th SW on Puget Ridge. That’s not far from where the search began, after this 6:30 am car crash nearby, at 16th SW and SW Dawson:
As we reported, this was primarily a King County Sheriff’s Office case, with Seattle Police from the Southwest Precinct assisting in the search. The incident originated in White Center. KCSO spokesperson Det. Jessica Santos says it started when a “deputy sitting in his patrol car with his windows rolled down heard a gunshot near SW 107th and 15th Ave SW. The deputy then observed a suspicious vehicle in the area and drove behind it. The vehicle took off and the deputy activated his emergency vehicle equipment. The driver failed to stop for the deputy,” and a pursuit ensued. The crash scene is 3.5 miles from where the gunshot was heard (here’s a map). Det. Santos says “bullets were found on the suspect” and confirms that “a bomb dog is currently searching for evidence.” The suspect is reported to have suffered minor injuries and was treated before being booked into jail; no one else was hurt. We’ll be checking later on his status. Det. Santos’s report also mentions that nearby South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) was “in lockdown for safety” – as WSB commenters noted in discussion following our first story – and “has since been reopened.”
The 19-year-old Kent man arrested Saturday in High Point after allegedly bolting from a stolen car remains in jail tonight.
A judge set his bail at $25,000 this afternoon. We covered the arrest after hearing of the police search following the abandonment of the stolen Corolla at 35th and Morgan; the suspect was caught nearby after an extensive police search including a K-9 team. The probable-cause documents from this afternoon’s hearing say a police officer “on routine patrol” just happened to see the car and checked its plate, discovering it had been reported stolen earlier that same day in Tukwila. He then saw the stolen car’s driver take notice of the patrol car and pull into the 35th/Morgan gas station/minimart lot, with the patrol car following, its emergency lights activated. After stopping, the officer wrote, the driver started to get out; though the officer ordered him and his passenger to stop and put their hands up, they ran. The ensuing search found the suspect, hiding in a nearby Dumpster; he was in custody 19 minutes after police spotted him. His passenger was not found. We checked the suspect’s record; long list of misdemeanor cases, but no felony convictions. He was last booked into King County Jail in January for three warrants including an Eastside DUI case and a Kittitas County driving-with-suspended-license case.
2:20 PM: You’ll want to avoid 34th/35th/Morgan for a while – there’s a police search under way, K-9 included. We’re headed over to find out more.
2:32 PM: The intersection is not affected – police are in nearby parking lots including the gas station/minimart on the northeast corner. They tell us that two people bolted out of a stolen car that’s currently by the pumps, and that’s who they’re looking for. Adding a photo.
2:41 PM: One suspect has been taken into custody.
2:50 PM: Police tell us the suspect arrested is the person they believe was driving the stolen car.
Four West Seattle Crime Watch reports, plus some crime-prevention advice:
CAR-PROWL SUSPECT ARRESTED: From SPD Blotter, word of an arrest in the Luna Park area late last night:
Officers responded to a report of a man breaking into a red SUV near SW Avalon Way and SW Spokane Street just after 11 p.m. Thursday. Officers arrived in the area and found the 35-year-old suspect sitting inside rummaging through a gym bag. Officers ordered the man out of the vehicle and verified the suspect had already pocketed a GPS unit before he was found sifting through the bag. Officers arrested the suspect and booked him into King County Jail for theft.
STOLEN FROM WORK TRUCK: From Liz:
Overnight between Tuesday 6/6 and Wednesday 6/7 multiple items were taken from the bed of our work truck. The truck was parked on the parking strip just south of our home on 42nd SW & SW 104th. Items missing included a portable air compressor, a sawsall, a Makita drill with impact driver, a set of step drill bits, Channel locks, and a few other misc hand tools. This is a business vehicle and items missing hindered work being done on 6/7 for one of our customers in West Seattle. We are a home based, sole proprietor business that can struggle just to make ends meet during the slower times, as much of our work is seasonal, and we are currently in the slower months.
We’ve requested the police-report number and will add it if/when we get it, in case anyone has found any of the stolen items.
Two burglaries are among a handful of West Seattle incidents with report narratives posted in SPD’s online files – both happened last Sunday:
BUSINESS BREAK-IN: Someone passing a business in the 6500 block of 35th SW around noon called to report its door was open, though the business was usually closed Sundays. Officers discovered the door glass had been pushed out and its frame damaged. They called the owner, who arrived, checked around, and reported that the only thing missing was some change.
HOME BREAK-IN: A resident in the 8400 block of Delridge Way SW told police that a noise awakened him around 10 pm Sunday night but he didn’t think much of it until he discovered in the morning that someone had pried open his basement door, gone into the basement, and used a hammer to try to break into the rest of the house. Police found hammers and a crowbar; the only thing that kept the intruder from getting into the main living area was something pushed up against the door to the basement.
DETERRING BURGLARS: Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Burbridge shares this “bulletin” with home-burglary-deterring advice:
She also invites you to contact her for a free home- or business-safety assessment – email@example.com – That’s also the e-mail you can use to get on her mailing list to directly receive bulletins like this one, as well as her monthly newsletter.
Making note again this early morning of multiple reports to 911 of suspected gunfire, and we heard directly from one of the people who reported it. She said she heard it a few minutes before midnight, south of 13th/14th/Henderson. Other areas that were mentioned as police were dispatched included 9th/Roxbury, 800 block of SW Trenton, 9200 block of 12th. We haven’t heard whether evidence of gunfire was found.
We’ve been out trying to find out more about a police investigation on the slope between Myers Way and Highway 509, and we’ve just learned that they’re looking into a death. Seattle Fire was called earlier, and tells us the person who died is a 25-year-old man. SPD says it was originally reported as an overdose “in a wooded area” that’s known as an unauthorized encampment. But the man’s cause of death will be determined by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office. The SPD response on the shoulder of southbound Highway 509 – part of it is in our photo above – led to quite a slowdown for a while but some of the units have since left.
Two reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:
AUTO THEFT: Darlene‘s silver 2009 Chevy Traverse, personalized plate MGICIAN, was stolen Thursday night/Friday morning near 17th/Dawson. If you see it, call 911, and refer to police report #17-196428.
PREVENTION ADVICE: Auto theft is up in the Southwest Precinct this year – Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Burbridge says that 215 cases were reported in the SWP jurisdiction (West Seattle and South Park) January through April of this year, compared to 179 in the same period last year. Here’s a one-sheet with SPD advice for protecting your vehicle(s).
ROCK THROUGH WINDSHIELD: A texter reports this vandalism in Arbor Heights early today:
It happened near 42nd and 100th.
NEXT WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL MEETING: The special guest booked by WSCPC president Richard Miller will talk, and answer questions about, gangs – 7 pm June 20th at the precinct, 2300 SW Webster.
Via text and via scanner, we’re hearing about gunfire heard near 11th/12th/Barton [map]. Police were dispatched after multiple 911 reports; some reported a vehicle believed to be associated with what they heard, described as a “small compact with loud exhaust.” No reports of any victims so far, and we’re not hearing (yet) if police have found casings and/or property damage.
Carrying out a plan first reported here last Thursday, the city is clearing the 2nd Avenue SW site [map] that has been an unauthorized RV encampment for three weeks. “Move along to where?” is the question that dozens of people have been asking at the site they call “Camp Sanctuary“; pull back from the trailer, and you’ll see police vehicles, with the SPD-led Navigation Team there to offer options.
The Southwest Precinct’s point person on homelessness-related issues, Community Police Team Officer Todd Wiebke, was there when we stopped by around noon; unlike the recently cleared area under the West Seattle Bridge, this is in the SW Precinct’s jurisdiction.
Officer Wiebke told us that while those on the site were warned last week that they, their vehicles, and belongings would be removed today, they have until tomorrow to clear out.
The original announcement of the campers’ arrival said they had been swept from parking spots in SODO; the city contended that it wasn’t a sweep, it was parking-rule enforcement. As for this site, a state-owned parcel adjacent to city land where tent camps have been evicted before, the city says WSDOT intends to use it soon as a staging area for summer work on I-5. We’ll check back tomorrow.
SIDE NOTE: Officer Wiebke’s been writing publicly for a while about his work. His occasional posts are also now being featured on WSB; the latest is in our Forum.
Two reader reports tonight, plus new crime-prevention advice:
CAR PROWL ON VIDEO: From Steve in east Admiral:
Just a quick notice about a car prowl that occurred early yesterday morning in the Belvidere district, on 37th Ave SW between Stevens & Lander. The prowl was at approximately 3:00 am and involved our Camry. Lots of stuff strewn about in the car, but the only things taken were a cheap car charger, my Ray-Ban Wayfarer (original) sunglasses and an inexpensive portable electric air compressor (tire pump) in the trunk. I’ve attached a video from our neighbor showing the van in question; you see it cruise slowly, stop by our car (through the shrubbery), then pull slightly over and turn off their lights.
I’ve filed a police report and they have a still image of the vehicle. I just wanted to get the word out to our neighbors.
CONDO BREAK-IN: Bill from Duwamish Head reports his condo building was broken into last night:
It is the same M.O. as previous break-ins here and along Harbor, Alki, and Beach condominiums. Thief or thieves cut through the metal siding to gain access.
We’re following up to ask what if anything was taken. And speaking of burglaries …
BURGLARY PREVENTION ADVICE AND MORE: Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Burbridge sent her newest newsletter today:
As noted at the end of the newsletter (PDF version here), along with other bonus information, you can get onto Burbridge’s list by e-mailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org – and you’ll get the newsletter sent directly to your inbox.
7:48 PM: If you’re noticing the police presence in and near the 6700 block of Beach Drive SW [map], here’s what the search is about, according to SPD radio – two men stole a car, dumped it there, got out and ran. One suspect is reported to have run uphill toward 48th SW, another one southbound on Beach Drive. Descriptions we’ve heard are partial – one described as Hispanic, around 30, white tank shirt, jeans; the other described as white, mid-30s, 6’2″, baseball cap, red shirt. We haven’t heard where the car was stolen from – we’ve only heard it described as a Subaru.
8:03 PM: Still searching, with a K-9 team among the responders.
8:35 PM: Just talked with police who were with the stolen car (photo added above), whose owner is now retrieving it. They told us it was taken in the 4000 block of California. Meantime, a second K-9 has joined the still very active search.
9:39 PM: No further updates. If we don’t hear anything more, we’ll follow up with SPD in the morning.
MOBILE PRECINCT STILL AT ALKI: We’ve been checking every day/night; this evening’s photo is from 57th/Alki around 8:20 pm, just before sunset. Very busy at the beach. We also saw bicycle officers. No major trouble reported so far but shortly after we checked out the Alki area, this happened to the south:
BEACH DRIVE CRASH: Mark sent the photo from a crash response at Beach Drive/Atlas within the past hour. It cleared fairly quickly – before we even were able to turn around (having just left the area) to go check it out. No injuries reported.
CAR PROWLER ON VIDEO: Brian shared this security video recorded early Friday just north of Lincoln Park:
He was awakened at 4:40 am “to the sound of my car alarm going off. Went through security footage and discovered this brazen individual swooping into our neighborhood and attempting to break into my truck. Luckily the alarm did its job and the guy sped off empty handed. Keep an eye out for a light-colored SUV with a roof rack/basket.”
ANYONE MISSING THIS PURSE? The photo is from Bri’Anna:
She says it was dumped in the 4100 block of Delridge Way SW: “They took everything but the earphones and keys. Keys are pretty important and at times hard to replace, so I thought I’d share.” She turned it in at the Southwest Precinct, so contact police if it’s yours.
Also ditched, likely stolen – these two bicycles:
RED BICYCLE: Andrea sent the photo above: “As I was driving through my family’s neighborhood this afternoon, I spotted this red Nishiki bicycle. Not sure if anyone had reported one stolen in West Seattle around Fairmount Park. Found at SW Brandon St and 40th Ave SW. I have brought it to my yard for now …” Yours? We’ll put you in touch.
And this one:
PURPLE BICYCLE: From Cass: “I noticed this bike on Roxbury near the corner of 30th SW a couple days ago. It’s still there, so I’m assuming the owner doesn’t know and hope you can get the word out.”
5:07 PM: While checking out the new speed-limit signs on Harbor, we continued to Alki to look for signs of Seattle Police presence, with another summer-like evening on the way, two nights after 23-year-old Jordan D. Thomas was shot and killed. Here’s what we found:
That’s the Mobile Precinct, which we spotted parked at Marine and Alki. And a short distance east at 57th/Alki, an SPD bus:
SW Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis tells WSB that emphasis patroling, through the holiday weekend and “mostly geared toward weekends and warmer days where we’ve seen an uptick in vehicular and pedestrian traffic,” will include “Mobile Precinct visibility, bicycle patrols, and an extra foot beat patrol.”
Meantime, we asked SPD today about the murder investigation. Nothing new to report, Det. Patrick Michaud told us.
10:39 PM: At tonight’s Find It, Fix It Walk, we asked SW Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith about the bus. He explains that it’s used to transport the bike squad. Meantime, we drove along Alki about an hour ago. The bus was gone but the Mobile Precinct was still at Marine/Alki, with an SPD SUV a few vehicles west of it.
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.