West Seattle, Washington
Car prowls remain our area’s biggest crime problem – we hear that every time someone from SPD speaks at a community meeting, and we see it in the reader reports we receive and publish. So tonight, the Southwest Precinct is sharing a “crime prevention bulletin” one-sheet with advice on preventing/deterring/reporting car prowls. Click the image above, or go here, for the full-size PDF version; use the Share This button below to e-mail or otherwise circulate it.
P.S. Questions/concerns about crime in your neighborhood? Bring them to the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting at the precinct (2300 SW Webster) next Tuesday, 7 pm.
Just back from checking out a tip (thank you!) about a major police response at 11th SW and SW Barton, where officers tell us they are investigating another case of gunfire. A bullet fired from somewhere outside a house (not the one in the photo) went through a wall, reportedly into a bedroom. No one was hit or hurt. That’s all they could tell us so far; we’ll look for the report tomorrow to see what else they find out.
12:45 AM: Once again, police are investigating reports of possible gunfire on Puget Ridge. We’re hearing about it via text and scanner. No injuries reported but possible damage.
2:46 AM: We haven’t been able to reach police to find out if any evidence of gunfire was found, nor has anything we’ve monitored indicated one way or another. One call has been classified as a “disturbance.”
4:45 AM: Police are reported to be investigating gunfire in North Delridge. We heard from one person who heard something that sounded like shots around quarter till 4, and now a second person who says police found shell casings near Cottage Place and SW Edmunds [map]. No reports of injuries. We’re checking and will add anything more we find out.
5:22 AM: Police were gone by the time we arrived; we stopped by the precinct and confirmed that the original dispatch did come in with word of damage to vehicles in that area, as our second tipster mentioned, but we’ll have to get the official report later for further details.
12:47 PM: Just obtained the report from SPD. It says damage was done to three “party buses” (photo below) and a window at their owners’ residence, and “several” shell casings were found.
The owners told police they didn’t know of anyone who would target them but they did hear two males arguing out back before it happened. A nearby resident had told dispatchers of hearing three shots and seeing a red Cadillac SUV leaving the area. Police obtained surveillance video that might have recorded it.
Just in from SDOT:
On Wednesday, March 2, the City of Seattle will conduct Bus-Only transit lane enforcement (eastbound) on the West Seattle Bridge from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Officers from the Seattle Police Department will be issuing warnings and citations to motorists traveling in violation of posted restrictions that the Bus-Only lane should be used a through corridor by buses.
This is an effort to educate and enforce traffic laws that support transit. With 45 percent of downtown commuters using transit, the enforcement work will help ensure the reliable and efficient movement of transit riders along Seattle’s important bus corridors, and improve safety for all travelers.
Driving in violation of posted restrictions is a violation of SMC 11.53.230 (traveling in a bus only or BAT lane) can result in a fine of $136.
P.S. A few years back, SPD used to send out what it called the Aggressive Driver Response Team and follow it up with stat roundups like this one.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Block Watch captains around the city were startled back in November when SPD revealed their names had been provided to someone who requested them under terms of the state Public Records Act.
That’s part of the reason why the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network invited SPD’s new director of transparency and privacy, Mary Perry, to its monthly meeting this past Tuesday.
But that wasn’t the only issue the group discussed with her. First, though, as always, the meeting at the Southwest Precinct opened with an update on local crime trends:
MIDNIGHT: Via scanner: Police are checking out multiple reports of possible gunshots heard in North Delridge. They haven’t found any evidence of gunfire yet (shell casings or property damage). If you heard them but hadn’t called 911, please do, because that helps them zero in on what might have happened and where.
12:41 AM: Still no indication any evidence was found. If you spot anything in the morning, call it in.
TRENDS: Last week’s SPD SeaStat citywide briefing slide deck included a map of where gunfire was confirmed in the previous four weeks. It shows five incidents in the SW Precinct – including South Park – between January 19th and February 15th. (That cutoff date was just before last week’s two incidents in Highland Park, outside the 7-11 on February 16th and outside a house in the 7900 block of 16th SW on February 18th.)
Thanks to everyone who called/texted (206-293-6302 any time) about the big police response outside the burned-out auto shop on the northeast corner of Delridge/Henderson. We just came back from going over to find out what was happening. According to officers at the scene, they were called because of a loud argument/fight between two men, which apparently started up the street and drew attention as the altercation moved toward the arterial. As they arrived, they determined the two knew each other, and that neither was seriously hurt so police were focused mostly on trying to break it up. Some of the SPD cars, and SFD Engine 11, were already leaving as we pulled up.
ORIGINAL WEDNESDAY REPORT: Just in via SPD Blotter:
SPD detectives are asking for the public’s help locating a missing man who sent his friend a cryptic text before disappearing earlier this month.
Richard Arneson’s friends and family became concerned about his well-being after he failed to show up for work on February 5th. A friend went to check on the 62-year-old at his West Seattle apartment and found the back door open. Officers checked inside Arneson’s home and didn’t find any sign of him, or any indications of foul play. Later in the day, the friend contacted police again after she received a text message from Arneson, which read “my luck has run out.”
Police have not yet been able to locate Arneson, who has been known to frequent walking trails in West Seattle and Rainier Valley. If you have seen him or have any other information in this case, please call Detectives Elizabeth Litalien at (206) 684-5007.
ADDED THURSDAY AFTERNOON: The missing man’s sister sent two clearer photos. We have substituted the headshot for the one police originally posted above. Here’s the other:
Again, if you have any information, call the detective mentioned above, or 911.
Thanks to those who called/e-mailed to ask about the “assault with weapons” call on the 911 log for 59th and Admiral. We just talked to the last officer who was about to leave the scene. He says it was called in as two men attacking a third on the sidewalk just southeast of the intersection; when they arrived, they found the person who was the alleged victim, but he was “noncooperative,” not in need of treatment, and left.
9:31 PM: Thanks for the tips – we’re at 61st and Alki, where a double-digit turnout of Seattle Police cars has converged along the businesses on both sides of the intersection. A private (AMR) ambulance is here now too, and we’re waiting to talk to police to find out what’s going on.
9:37 PM: Here’s what police tell us happened: An officer in the area was flagged down by someone reporting a belligerent bar patron at Celtic Swell. The officer came into contact with that person, who got even more belligerent, and the officer called for backup – that’s why the big showing. The situation is now under control, and most of the police have left. The suspect, we’re told, left in the ambulance.
FRIDAY MORNING NOTE: See the comment section for details from someone who was there as it happened.
1:18 PM: Police are converging on Westwood to look for a black 4-door Mercedes sedan reported to possibly have an armed person inside making threats about shooting someone. There is no report of anyone having been hurt, or actual gunfire, so far, but if you are seeing an increased police presence in the area, that’s what it’s about. The car may have up to six people inside; the person with a gun was described as a black man in his late teens or early 20s, and was last reported to have been seen near 26th SW and SW Barton. We’ll update with anything more we find out about.
1:37 PM: We’ve talked to police at the scene. So far, their investigation indicates this started as a dispute in the McDonald’s parking lot, with the threat stemming over jealousy related to a romantic relationship. They’re still looking for the car and suspect(s).
9:26 AM: Thanks to the texter who let us know about a police search with K-9 in the Belvidere area this morning. We’ve tracked down the details of what happened: Two people were reported to have broken into a house under renovation in the 2400 block of Prescott (map) this morning and stolen some items including tools; the contractor reported it, and it was a fresh-enough report that police were able to get a track. Officers at the scene tell us they arrested one suspect a few blocks away, while another one remains at large. The investigation is still active and we hope to have a few more details later.
5:48 PM UPDATE: We checked with the SPD media-relations office before day’s end. The full written report on this case isn’t in yet, so the only new detail available is that some “items” apparently were recovered at the location where the suspect was found. We’ll check again tomorrow to see if the report’s in.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Crime trends come and go but one thing is constant – the need for more police. Attendees and SPD leadership both pointed that out at last night’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting, and the topic re-emerged at a City Council committee meeting this morning.
One area in which the Southwest Precinct is having some staffing success right now – replenishing the Community Police Team. Two officers were promoted/moved from the SWP and now, Officers John O’Neil and Clayton Powell have joined. During part of last night’s meeting, they were showing Cub Scout Troop 282 around the precinct, including the new mobile precinct:
Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis said he’s hoping to bring in a fifth CPT officer, to join Powell, O’Neil, and Officers Jon Flores and Kevin McDaniel. The CPT deals with a variety of issues and generally work outside what’s dispatched via 911. Overall, the captain wished aloud for at least another 15 officers. That was part of his section of the meeting:
Another death under investigation right now in West Seattle – under the West Seattle Bridge, apparently someone who died by suicide. Police were still in the right lane on the eastbound bridge as of a few minutes ago, with a vehicle believed to have been related to the incident.
That’s all we know right now but as we always mention in relation to cases of suicide, if you or someone you know is considering self-harm, the Crisis Clinic is one of the resources available to help 24/7 – 206-461-3222.
We followed up with police after receiving multiple reports of possible gunshots heard in the Delridge/Brandon/Findlay area late Friday night, not far from the recent 32-casings incident. Officers checked it out, but, says Southwest Precinct Lt. Alan Williams, “there was no evidence located that indicated actual shots fired. Also, there were no witnesses who saw shots fired.” If you did see something – or find evidence today (casings, damage) – be sure to let police know.
As MLK Day 2016 winds down, more views to share:
DAY OF SERVICE AT DENNY: From principal Jeff Clark: “Thank you to Ms. Moland for organizing the Denny International Middle School Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service today! The scholars and volunteers did a great job cleaning up the school grounds as a way to serve our school community. Go Dolphins!”
DOWNTOWN MARCH: West Seattle photographer Vy Duong shared scenes from the downtown MLK Day March:
Marchers carried signs for a variety of issues, from racism to school funding to nuclear-weapons abolition to presidential campaigning. Police monitored from behind the march, including members of the West Seattle-based Mounted Patrol:
Any other MLK Day scenes? email@example.com – thanks!
ADDED 8:05 PM: Tim just shared this photo from the downtown march:
He explains, “Took two young ladies to the March today. They’ve been studying MLK at school and are aware of the history and why the march was important.”
Another police report we’ve been seeking to follow up on a recent incident became available today. This one is from the police standoff Saturday night at an apartment building north of The Junction.
(WSB photo, Saturday night)
The report says almost 50 officers ultimately were there as police eventually convinced an armed man – originally reported as having threatened self-harm – to come out of his apartment and surrender peacefully. The report says the man was booked into jail for investigation of domestic-violence assault and a gun-possession violation. According to the report, police learned during the standoff that he was a convicted felon, with a record of assault and weapons convictions in Oregon.
The report says his wife told police he was intoxicated, angry, and confrontational after going out for a walk Saturday night. She reported that he had duct-taped a handgun to his right hand, a .357 revolver that had belonged to her father and had been stored in a safe for a decade. She said he threatened to shoot and kill her and “everyone else,” pointing the gun at her, and at himself, saying he wanted “death by police.” He left the apartment with his keys and phone. She called a friend who, the report says, told her to leave the apartment and call 911. She apparently did not, but the friend did, reporting that the man had threatened his wife with a gun and might be seeking a “suicide by cop” situation. Police rushed to the area, found the man’s wife, and set up containment as well as calling for a negotiator.
Several responded, including the officer who wrote the report. He reported talking with the man’s wife and “obtained further background information on (him) that could assist negotiators in resolving this incident in a safe manner for all involved.” For those who wondered about the magnitude of the response, note that the officer wrote, “Due to the nature of the call, involving a suicidal subject with mental-health issues and with prior military-combat experience, SWAT was requested to respond to the scene,” and they decided to wait until SWAT arrived before trying to make contact with the man in the apartment. Meanwhile, they talked with his wife, who said she thought the gun was loaded, and that it had been modified to shoot single-action only.
The report added, “In an effort to resolve this incident in a safe manner, it involved a huge police response of 48 officers” – patrol officers from two watches in this area, officers from the South and East Precincts, hostage negotiators, SWAT, and the Arson/Bomb Squad.
Around 9:40 pm, the officer writing the report “rode in a SWAT armored vehicle” to outside the apartment building, where the man came out onto the balcony in a bathrobe, smoking a cigarette. They noted he no longer had a gun taped to his hand. They started talking to him and “discussed a safety plan … gave him instructions on how to walk to his apartment door and meet with the officers waiting outside.” Within five minutes, he was in custody. The report says his wife gave consent for them to search the apartment, where they found the gun, unloaded, with what “appeared to be tape residue.” We don’t know his name, so we don’t know his current status.
(Added: WSB photos)
7:52 PM: Thanks for the texts about a big police response north of The Junction. We’re just arriving in the area where police have converged, near California/Dakota. We know they’re focused on an apartment building with a possible suspect inside but we don’t yet know why. Updates to come.
7:58 PM: More police vehicles in the northbound lane of California just south of Dakota, and through traffic is having to go through the center lane to get around it. Avoid this area if you can. Police at the scene aren’t saying what the suspect is wanted for.
8:09 PM: From the scanner – the man on whom police are focused is believed to have a gun.
8:18 PM: California/Andover and vicinity is blocked off by police, so if you have to get to/through this area, take the side streets to the west – this is all happening east of California. It does appear from our vantage point, though, that diverted traffic is traveling along 42nd, including a Metro bus.
8:33 PM: We’ve finally been able to obtain information on what started this. “Person in crisis” situation – armed person threatening self-harm, according to Det. Patrick Michaud with the media-relations unit, reached by phone.
9:05 PM: SWAT officers are arriving to assist. The new “mobile precinct” vehicle (photo above) has been in the area for a while, too.
9:43 PM: Officers are in contact with the man now. Awaiting word that he’s in custody. We have a crew at the scene as well and asking them to confirm. All indications from radio traffic is that the situation is now under control. An ambulance is being brought in and police are going in to “clear the residence.”
9:51 PM: Our crew confirms that the man is out of the apartment and this has been resolved peacefully. California is going to stay closed for a while, per scanner, but Andover will be reopened soon.
10:15 PM: Our crew has just talked with a sergeant at the scene. The man was in the apartment by himself all along. California SW is likely to reopen within half an hour – right now they’re waiting for the SWAT officers to pack up and clear out.
ADDED MONDAY MORNING: As a commenter points out, when stories involve suicide or threats of self-harm, we usually include info about the Crisis Clinic, which is always there to help, including a 24-hour hotline at 206-461-3222.
(UPDATED midday Friday with police-report narrative)
11:20 PM: Advance alert that you might be hearing the Guardian One helicopter in Highland Park – police have been searching for a man who might have a gun, in the 8100 block of 11th SW. No injuries reported but a caller had reported a possible shot fired outside a house.
11:41 PM: As discussed in comments, the helicopter is still in the area. Per scanner, the possible shot was not confirmed, but the person who was the subject of the 911 call was reported to have a gun. Police have been tracking one person from the air; it’s not clear what’s happening on the ground.
12:19 AM: In case you haven’t seen this in comment discussion – police have made contact with the man and the situation is declared to be “under control.” Sounds like they are calling Seattle Fire to come check him out for possibly being under the influence of something.
12:25 AM: It also is reported that the person who is in custody – as noted in comments, not necessarily arrested, that depends on whether police believe a crime was committed – was armed. We will follow up later this morning to see what the investigation determines.
1 AM: Guardian One’s wrapup tweet:
Assisted @SeattlePD with an armed suspect near Elmgrove and 11 Ave SW. In custody.
— KCSOAirsupport (@KCSOAirsupport) January 8, 2016
7:36 AM: The King County Jail register shows the 33-year-old man was booked for investigation of unlawful gun possession as well as for a Department of Corrections warrant related to an assault charge. Court records show he was declared ineligible for gun possession because of a domestic-violence assault conviction last fall. In that case, he was sentenced to time served in jail – 84 days – with an additional 364 days suspended. We’ll follow up to see what happens from here.
ADDED 11:12 AM: Here’s the police report narrative, which has a few more details about how this played out and what was found at the end, including a casing in the back yard of the original location, which is described as where the suspect lives. (Note: “C” stands for “complainant”; “S” is usually suspect but we also note one case in which it means subject – someone who was not a suspect, nor victim, nor complainant:
On 1-7-2016 I was working uniformed patrol as 3F33 in a marked patrol vehicle. At 2303 hours I was dispatched to a report of a shots fired at 81XX 11 Av SW. I arrived and made contact with C/XXXXXX who stated that his friend S/XXXXX who resides in a back room in his residence may have fired a gun in the back yard.
C/XXXXXX stated that he did not see S/XXXXX fire a gun he only heard the gun being fired. C/XXXXXX stated that he attempted to talk to S/XXXXX but he ran away from him across the street. He stated that S/XXXXX was mumbling something but it was unclear what he was saying. C/XXXXXX stated that he lost sight of S/XXXXX when he ran across the street.
C/XXXXXX stated that S/XXXXX then returned to the residence and that was when he observed S/XXXXX carrying a gun in his left hand. C/XXXXXX stated that was when S/XXXXX exited the residence and that was when he called 911.
When officers arrived we observed S/XXXXX walking from the rear of the residence. Officers yelled at S/XXXXX to try to get his attention, but he did not acknowledge us and walked away NB on 11 Av Sw. S/XXXXX continued to walk down the street and he went to several homes on 12 Av Sw. Officer continued to try and make contact with him, but he would not comply with any of the commands that were given. KC Guardian 1 monitored the suspect from the air and they were informing officers on the ground with updates and location of the suspect’s whereabouts. S/XXXXX was observed by Guardian 1 running NB down 12 Av SW with two dogs that were not on a leash. It was unsure what the suspect was doing with the two dogs.
Guardian 1 informed us that the suspect was walking to 79XX 12 Av SW and he was knocking on the door. They stated that the homeowner confronted the suspect through the door he stated that he was afraid that the suspect would break his glass door. The homeowner was advised to stay in his residence due to the fact that S/XXXXX may be armed with a firearm. While S/XXXXX was in the 7900 block of 12 Av SW the two dogs that were with S/XXXXX attempted to have sex or attack a dog that was walking with his owner, S/XXXX. S/ XXXX never made contact with S/XXXXX.
S/ XXXX stated that he was able to separate the dogs from fighting by kicking one of them. He stated that he was later contacted by Ofc. Heric # 7528 informed him of the incident that was going on in the area and was advised to avoid the area.
Guardian 1 stated that the suspect was just standing in front of the address knocking on the door. We were later informed that S/XXXXX was walking WB with the two dogs and we later discovered that he was actually walking EB towards 11 Av SW and SW Elmgrove where we were holding containment south of the complainant’s address.
S/XXXXX walked EB on SW Elmgrove until about mid-block and then we believed that he was behind a bush or a tree mid-block on SW Elmgrove because he was not seen by officers anymore. All of the officers at 11 Av SW and SW Elmgrove took cover and concealment while Ofc. Chang #4617 continued to give him commands to come to the intersection to talk with him.
S/XXXXX came back into view and he crossed the street and he continued walking EB towards officers on 11 Av SW and SW Elmgrove St. S/XXXXX was ordered to get on the ground, but he did not comply when officers were telling him to get on the ground. Approximately 2-3 minutes of giving S/XXXXX commands to get on the ground he finally complied and got on the ground.
S/XXXXX was taken into custody. During a search for weapons a Taurus 9mm firearm was recovered along with .40 and .380 caliber ammo. After observation of S/XXXXX it appeared that he was under the influence of narcotics. A glass pipe did fall from S/XXXXX’s hand when he was attempting to go ground,but it was undetermined what the pipe was used for or what was inside of the pipe.
SFD E #11 responded to the scene to treat S/XXXXX. There was some blood located on S/XXXXX’s clothing, but SFD performed a body search and it was determined that blood was not from S/XXXXX, but was probably from one of the dogs that were involved in a dog fight on 12 Av SW with S/ XXXX dog.
S/XXXXX was transported to HMC by AMR. Ofc. Hancock # 7653 rode in the back of the AMR with the suspect. After searching the residence of where the shot was said to the fired we located a .9mm casing that had been fired. S/XXXXX is a convicted felon and it is illegal for him to have a firearm. After S/XXXXX was evaluated and released from HMC he was booked into KCJ for Inv. Of VUFA and the D.O.C felony warrant. I would also like to request charges for 12 A.14.071 aiming or discharging a firearm. Sgt. Trinh #5433 screened the arrest.
1:23 AM: We’ve heard from several people about possible gunshots in North Delridge a short time ago. We haven’t (yet) heard any confirmation of gunfire – police need to find casings and/or property damage for that – and definitely no victim(s) reported anywhere. Though a few people mentioned hearing a helicopter, the area’s one law-enforcement helicopter, Guardian One, is nowhere nearby, according to the last transmission we heard. We’re still checking – please let us know if/where you see police activity.
1:35 AM: One person who heard it says the 911 dispatcher confirmed police are looking into this. We’re off to see if we can find where they’re focusing.
ADDED 9:39 AM: While the full incident report isn’t available yet, we were able to get a few details from SPD media-relations Officer Lauren Lovanhill: She says “multiple bullet holes were found in a residence in the 5600 block of Delridge (Way SW),” and 32 casings were found in the front yard and driveway. Four people were seen running from the area and getting into a car. And she confirms that, as we believed to be the case at the time, no one was hit.
ADDED 8:27 PM: As noted in comments, the precinct’s second-in-command, Operations Lt. Ron Smith, was at tonight’s Southwest District Council meeting. This didn’t happen in that district and so wasn’t on the agenda but we talked to him briefly as soon as we saw him pre-meeting – he said so far there’s no indication any of the recent incidents are connected, and that this is being investigated by the department’s Real-Time Crime Unit and “intel” unit. The written report still wasn’t available by day’s end so we’ll renew our request for it tomorrow. The meeting’s guest speaker was newly inaugurated Councilmember Lisa Herbold; she was asked one question about public-safety issues in general, and said one that’s on her radar for starters is 911 response times, and she is working to get documentation on that from SPD.
(Photo added 9:55 pm – by WSB’s Christopher Boffoli, who found police checking in Admiral)
8:45 PM: Thanks to everybody who’s texted/messaged about possible gunshots or fireworks heard in the Admiral area a short time ago. As we’ve replied to everyone, please call 911 when you hear something like this – it helps them zero in on what might, or might not, have happened. Once in a rare while, it might lead them to a shooting victim. One person who did call 911 says they were told some others have called and that police are heading that way to look around. The people we’ve heard from say they heard around half a dozen booms or pops. Unless they find something – shell casings, property damage – we might never know, but we’re mentioning it because so many people contacted us to ask about it.
9:35 PM: If you haven’t seen the comments – prevailing opinion seems to be, fireworks. No word of anything found so far suggesting otherwise. Meantime, we also have a couple reports of one “boom” heard, primarily in the North Delridge area. Police were dispatched on that, too, but this also hasn’t led to any discoveries so far as we can tell.