West Seattle Crime Watch: Morgan Junction vandalism investigated

(photo added Tuesday afternoon)
Police are investigating repeat graffiti vandalism on the garage door of a California Ave home in Morgan Junction where two men live, and citywide media reports describe the vandalism as involving a “homophobic slur.” We linked this seattlepi.com story about it to the Crime Watch page earlier today; now we’ve gotten word that at least one TV crew is there tonight covering the story – here’s the link to channel 13’s online story, sent to us by a West Seattleite who wrote:

It seems like some sort of call-to-action with your reader-base could help find whoever’s doing it. It’s on a busy street – so someone has to have witnessed something (they’ve done it three times over this last weekend!) … this is just the type of thing a neighborhood can prevent when we come together.

We don’t have the police report on this yet but will be working to obtain it. 9:27 PM UPDATE: We’re at the precinct now, and the report is available – read on for a transcription of what it says about this incident, with names and profanities deleted:

Here’s our transcription of the police report narrative:

(Early Saturday morning, the officer) contacted (the victims) at their home … (Victim #1) explained that he and (Victim #2) have been longtime partners. (Victim #1) related a series of disturbing graffiti incidents written on the garage door which have caused he and (Victim #2) to become concerned. (Victim #1) showed me his garage door which sits directly on California Ave SW. (Victim #1) provided the following timeline:

Approximately 1 1/2 years ago, an unknown person wrote (sexually profane phrase deleted) on the victims’ garage (with an arrow pointing up to their apartment).

(Around noontime Friday, Victim #1) discovered new graffiti to his garage (sexually profane phrase alleging that gays molest children).

At 8 am Saturday, (Victim #1) again found the same graffiti written in the same handwriting as the previous day.

(Victim #1) marked out the graffiti after he discovered it.

(Victim #1) believes the graffiti is directed at he and (Victim #2) due to their sexual orientation.

(Victim #1) had no significant suspect information at time of report. … Digital photos taken of the garage. The photos are of little evidentiary value because (Victim #1) marked over the graffiti prior to police arrival.

43 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Morgan Junction vandalism investigated"

  • j May 4, 2009 (9:18 pm)

    While walking my dog on Saturday, I noticed some homophobic writing on one of the windows of the vacant store front just north of the sub shop. This is frustrating and ignorant.

  • alki_2008 May 4, 2009 (9:43 pm)

    There’s also something similar to what Victim #1 discovered “around noontime Friday” written in two different places along Admiral Way. Sounds like it might be a trend, or at least the same person(s).

  • TheWashDog May 4, 2009 (10:26 pm)

    Last Sat 5-2-9, our shop was hit with some homophobic writing. We had it covered by 11:00am.

  • WSB May 4, 2009 (10:36 pm)

    Did you report it to police? I was just down at the precinct looking through reports and I don’t recall seeing any graffiti reports from the weekend aside from the one reported on here … TR

  • TheWashDog May 4, 2009 (10:53 pm)

    No I didn’t. I will call tomorrow.

  • JW May 5, 2009 (8:17 am)

    I was walking down California Ave on Sunday and noticed the garage in the report, but also that this same graffiti appeared on the wall of the blue apartment building south of the victims’ house – it’s the apartment building just north of West Water.

    My heart goes out to all the victims of this crime – this has happened to me before and I have an inkling how you must feel.

  • TC May 5, 2009 (8:45 am)

    There is also homophobic graffiti on the Key Bank
    Drive Up Sign in the Alaska Junction as well.

  • m May 5, 2009 (10:23 am)

    I saw this on the news and I do support gay and Lebsian community. With this Graffiti, I have no respect for the person or persons who does that. by the victim that was on the news saying that they are planning to move to different location which I do not want them to move. these victims were there first before the graffiti started. let this stupid person to be CAUGHT!!!! Would the webcam or video camera help to monitoring the garage door? Hope the condos and apartments in this community is willing to help by monitoring the graffiti

  • iggy May 5, 2009 (10:37 am)

    I just walked along California (Tuesday morning 10:30) going to the Thriftway and saw the graffiti still in the same two locations (blue condo a few doors south of victims’ house and the victims’ garage) as JW saw.

  • Roadsterboy May 5, 2009 (11:30 am)

    I hope that we, as a community, can put an end to this quickly. The individual perpetrating these property/hate crimes does not represent the community and these actions indicate to me that he/she is not really a part of our community. I also hope the victims know that the community around them does not support this kind of harassing behavior. It would be a sad thing if they truly felt they had to move because of these incidents.

  • 56bricks May 5, 2009 (11:32 am)

    We also had some graffiti on the front of our building in MJ and on our dumpsters and recycle bins which are on either side of our building. I have a very good vantage point so if it happens on my watch they’ll be in my sights. Literally.

  • cc May 5, 2009 (11:39 am)

    This is apalling. This is my neighborhood and I would MUCH rather have a gay couple as my neighbor than many other unsavories that, unfortunately, are frequenting our community. I only hope these criminals are apprehended so that we can all feel safe from these attacks…it is unnerving. I cannot believe this type of ignorance still exists.

  • Roadsterboy May 5, 2009 (11:39 am)

    Does anyone know whether these gentlemen need any assistance with repainting their garage door? I’d be willing to come and help on Saturday afternoon. I’m willing to help buy primer and paint, too, if that’s an issue.

  • Mort May 5, 2009 (11:55 am)


  • Jane Taylor May 5, 2009 (12:50 pm)

    Guys, hang in there. There is one person who is causing you grief and a million others who support you, including me. Glad that your neighborhood is on alert. Hopefully whoever is doing this will get caught and stop playing the game.

  • Mustafa May 5, 2009 (12:53 pm)

    It’s a hate crime. Essentially it’s property destruction with the enhancement that it is done as a hate crime. That means potential prison time, bozos. Think about it. If you aren’t motivated by basic morals not to destroy other people’s property with slurs, then you should be deterred by the fact if you’re caught you’ll go to prison and you can try calling your cell-mate a gay slur when he mounts you as other cell mates hold you down. See how that goes over.

  • carrieann May 5, 2009 (1:46 pm)

    Not that it solves the bigger issue here, but I’d also be happy to come help paint over the graffiti (and any others) if needed. Truly, please let us know! This both sickens and saddens me that, in this day and age, and in a city as progressive (or so we’d like to think?) as this, people are still behaving this ignorantly. I hope the victims’ dog recovers quickly and they don’t feel chased out of the home they deserve to share with one another.

  • Gary May 5, 2009 (1:48 pm)

    Gross I didn’t need to visualize that!

  • annon May 5, 2009 (1:51 pm)

    I am happy to have your family in the neighborhood – and I hope this ends soon.

  • MrJT May 5, 2009 (2:17 pm)

    Sad part is that what they wrote is about as far as you can get from the truth.

  • Aaron May 5, 2009 (2:52 pm)

    I’d be more than happy to camp out and catch the vandals in the act. Citizen’s arrest anybody? There’s no room for bigots in our hood!

  • icky May 5, 2009 (2:57 pm)

    Terrible news! And I agree with the previous commenters – stop the vandalis, don’t let them win by moving!

    If help is needed with painting, count me in!

    Cheers ~

  • KateMcA May 5, 2009 (3:36 pm)

    Count me in on a painting party, too! This is so infuriating– please know that it doesn’t reflect any of the views of our community as a whole, only the views of an ignorant and hateful person. I hope this fool gets caught!

  • I had heard May 5, 2009 (4:09 pm)

    I know it’s insanely annoying, but know that the vast majority of people are on YOUR side. My partner and I have been together for 15 years, and knock on wood, have never run into anything like this.

    It just takes ONE childish ‘kid’ or some other deranged attention starved idiot to cause all this.

    Have you considered a video camera? Or motion sensing alarm/light?

  • livingonthebeach May 5, 2009 (4:52 pm)

    Watchful eyes will definitely prevent this. Let’s stick together. PS…sorry you felt like a victim, but hopefully based on the randomness of the others it is a mere conincidence and no reflection of you. None-the-less, it must still hurt. Now, let’s get the bastards and clean up our neighborhood.

  • iml May 5, 2009 (5:02 pm)

    I am saddened to hear of this going on in our community. Please know the majority of your neighbors are open and accepting and do not share this vandal’s viewpoint.

  • onceachef May 5, 2009 (5:27 pm)

    I have to comment about CC’s statement above…it’s about as bigoted and ignorant as the graffiti that’s being written that you would “MUCH rather have gay people live in your community than unsavories”…how kind of you to put gays ahead of the “unsavories”! I really hope it came out wrong. What does it matter if they’re gay or not? As long as they respect their neighbors and neighborhood they should be seen as everyone else is seen….as human beings! If you can’t believe that this kind of ignorance still exists, start with yourself.

  • Glenn May 5, 2009 (7:31 pm)

    As the victims of this vandalism, my partner and I would like to expess heartfelt gratitude at the outpouring of support from the community regarding this incident. Thank you.

  • Not ok May 5, 2009 (9:42 pm)

    (Around noontime Friday, Victim #1) discovered new graffiti to his garage (sexually profane phrase alleging that gays molest children).

    I noticed a similar graffiti today inside one of the painted bus enclosures on Fauntleroy way today. SOmeone has written over a children’s nursery rhyme with some gay/molestation line that seems to blend right into the painting. You wouldn’t notice it until you actually read the nursery rhyme. I can’t remember the cross street but, it’s on Fauntleroy between the 76 station and starbucks. I was wishing I had a sharpie or something with me to cross it out. People doing this are just sick and there is no room for that kind of hate here.

  • ikahana May 5, 2009 (10:13 pm)

    Just read about this on another site, and had to see if it was on here already.

    I have to note that all of the comments on here say a lot more about the people of West Seattle than the work of the one or two idiots who are doing this.

    I have to echo Glenn above ~ As a fairly recent (one year – to me that is recent) gay transplant to West Seattle – You all just made my night. Thank you. My husband and our son love living here and feel very fortunate.

    I hope the victims are able to see/read/feel the support out there for them.

  • JulieB May 5, 2009 (10:51 pm)

    I walked by a store front on California north of morgan street last week. There was marker on a woman that read a woman’s name then….”thinks (gay men) assault kids” I rubbed it off the window making my hand all black. I’d use my shirt if I had to.

  • Inday May 6, 2009 (2:07 am)

    They also wrote it on our mailbox, 2 blocks north on California from the Morgan Junction. It was in sharpie marker. Our neighbors were quick to clean it off. It had to have been kids…it’s around the time of day they get off school and start trolling down California on foot and on the 54 bus.

  • Ron May 6, 2009 (12:01 pm)

    Since I have lived in West Seattle I have had my car stolen, my house broken into, eggs thrown at my house and other misc incidents. Now someone gets there garage spray painted and just because they are Gay everyone is all concerned, get over it and treat it like any other property crime.

  • Roadsterboy May 6, 2009 (12:47 pm)

    Ron, I’m sorry these things have happened to you and I hope you don’t experience any more theft or vandalism incidents. Please understand, however, that the difference in this situation is the element that makes it a hate crime. The victims do happen to be gay, but we’d be just as concerned about hate crimes against any other minority in our neighborhood. If you’ve never been the victim of a hate crime, you may not realize the sense of fear for one’s personal safety that a hate crime creates–it’s a much more serious and personal attack than theft or vandalism.

  • cc May 6, 2009 (4:11 pm)

    onceachef, I view the criminal(s) writing the messages as unsavory and sorry, I don’t want these human beings in our neighborhood. It doesn’t matter to me that my neighbors are gay, homosexual, blue or green (or whatever other description makes me an ignorant bigot?) I know they ARE great neighbors…and they are victims. In my anger, it may have come out all wrong.

  • wallflower May 9, 2009 (11:31 am)

    Hey guys,
    I’m a gay man living five doors away from you. I hope we can band together and get this resolved before you move away. My job gets me home late at night and I’ve been driving by your garage on my way. I have a camera in my car in case I get lucky. We will prevail my friends!!!
    Oh, and I’m an excellent touch-up painter, too.

  • Charles May 10, 2009 (10:04 pm)

    Is graffiti really a hate crime? If this ends up being kids (i.e. under 18), what’s really going to happen to them? Isn’t this dialog and reaction adding fuel to the fire?

  • Roadsterboy May 11, 2009 (9:23 am)

    Charles, graffiti is a property crime but, by itself, is not necessarily a hate crime. However, when a criminal act (such as graffiti) includes a specific, bias-related element that targets a victim for being part of a particular social group (religion, sexual orientation, race, etc.), then it has the added element of being a hate crime. So, YES, in this situation, the graffiti IS, in fact, a hate crime. Furthermore, far from “adding fuel to the fire,” this dialog and reaction in the community are exactly what is needed to put a stop to these kinds of crimes. I also hope you’re not suggesting that we allow this kind of behavior in our community if the perpetrators are kids. They probably are kids but, even if they were my kids (they’re not) I’d agree that they need to be punished and taught that this behavior is unacceptable.

  • Charles May 11, 2009 (11:47 am)

    Roadsterboy – I’m not suggesting we all this kind of behavior in our community, whether adult or minor. I understand the emotional response, but it doesn’t make sense to make assumptions under the guise of “hope”. I was simply asking the questions that weren’t being asked in other posts as this is obviously an emotionally charged issue. Before damning someone to prison and hopping on the lynch mob bandwagon, it may be prudent to step back from the situation and size it up appropriately. That’s all I’m saying. Thanks for the reply and I hope this gets resolved effectively for all involved.

  • Mustafa May 11, 2009 (2:14 pm)

    Depending on the extent of the hate-crime vandalism here, the boys who did this might need to go to prison. At least, if they are caught, I would expect them to do hours and hours of cleaning over graffiti — theirs and others — and a letter of apology to the community. Watch for kids with sharpies. These kids are going to get bolder and more cavalier. They do not read the WSB. They have no idea there is a vigilant man-hunt for their homophobic sorry asses. They going to pay.

  • Roadsterboy May 11, 2009 (4:39 pm)

    My apologies, then, Charles. The answers to your questions are 1) yes, 2) whatever punishment the courts impose, and 3) no. I don’t know what assumptions you think we’re making “under the guise of hope,” but I don’t think stepping back from this is the answer at all. Rather, we need to mobilize the community similarly on other crime problems in our neighborhood. We should give criminals reason to think twice before stealing our cars, burglarizing our homes or vandalizing public or private property in our neighborhood. I’m not advocating a “lynch mob” mentality, as you suggest, but an awareness of what is going on around us and a willingness to look out for each other and report suspicious activity, rather than hoping someone else will step up and do it. Criminals strike where they don’t think they’ll be noticed or challenged and, in our neighborhood, we should be making it clear that we’re watching them and reporting suspicious behavior. That is the single most effective crime deterrent. Fair enough?

  • Charles May 11, 2009 (6:28 pm)

    No need to apologize, Roadsterboy. I understand this is a very emotional issue and very uncomfortable in myriad ways. I didn’t intend to play down community concern either. By “stepping back”, I mean taking a breath, counting to 10, whatever it takes to not lose sight of due process. I agree that vigilance is key and that people need to watch out for each other. What concerns me is human nature and our collective propensity to get caught up in the moment, where reason goes out the window, and where terms like “man-hunt” and “going to pay” are terms du jour. You may have a grasp on how far you’ll go under duress but I would suggest it is neither safe nor sane to assume how another would react under the same or similar circumstances. God forbid someone catches this person or persons and acts on the momentum building right here in black and white and does something illegal themselves. We should not only be concerned about the criminals in our community, but of allowing ourselves to get worked into a lather and taking the law into our own hands. Again, no need to apologize and I didn’t intend to offend. God bless everyone.

  • wsresident May 13, 2009 (12:16 pm)

    What is happening to our community? Two (maybe more) gang related shootings. This disgusting homophobic graffiti. And poisoning an innocent dog.
    I grew up here and I can definitely say we don’t want these people in our neighborhood. I know the police are stretched to their limit..but we need their help to keep the ws we all love..and we need to look out for each other as well. I’ll watch for vandals but I don’t stand a chance against a gun..need help on that one! And guys, please don’t move..stay and help us reclaim our community!

Sorry, comment time is over.