West Seattle Crime Watch: Ryan Cox back in jail

First, we’ll start by saying that WSB’s usual policy is not to identify suspects until/unless they are charged, but every story is evaluated on a case-by-case basis – as it was when we worked in “big media” – so sometimes we may digress from that policy. This is one such case: Ryan J. Cox is in jail again, as of about an hour and a half ago. He is the man arrested twice in the past 10 months in connection with serial graffiti vandalism around West Seattle that usually involved a three-word profane, anti-gay slur. Both times, the charges were dismissed because he was found incompetent to stand trial, and he was sent to Western State Hospital for evaluation for possible civil commitment. (We went to Mental Health Court for the most recent hearing on January 20th – here’s our report.) Exactly what happened at Western State in both cases is not a matter of public record because of privacy laws; we had heard recently that Cox indeed might have gotten out fairly quickly after that January hearing, but could not confirm it. Then we received this reader Crime Watch report via e-mail this morning:

I want to remain anonymous, but my tire was slashed this morning by a mentally unstable male this morning on the 4200 block/Raymond St. at 6:40 this morning. The police collected the knife and the male after I did an ID of him. According to police he has a “record” here in West Seattle for malicious acts and graffiti. I had a brief encounter with him in my alley yesterday morning, and this morning at the same time he slashed my tire (he saw me get in my truck yesterday)…I am very concerned for the safety of myself and others. Am glad I wasn’t “on time” this morning. It is only considered and misdemeanor, and is circumstantial as I hear my tire go and looked out to see him walking away, but did not “see” him slash my tire, although it is completely flat, there is a slash and the knife was 10′ away in tall grass.
Everything he wears is baggy, white jacket with blue stripes on sleeves, haven’t seen him with his hood down, gray baseball cap, blue jeans, tennis shoes, a backpack, dark blue, and what looks to be a medium-sized shoulder bag black. Blue umbrella..I would keep my eye on him. For everyone’s safety. he looks to be in his late 30’s and of Hispanic ethnicity. (medium colored skin, graying hair, short) about 5’9″.

I just wanted to let you know as I feel I should let someone know as I appreciate West Seattle, have lived here for a long time and feel our safety can only be helped in numbers and watching out for each other. I consider this person dangerous given the circumstances that I see him for the first time yesterday morning and the very next morning at the same time my tire is violently flattened…

Though the description didn’t sound exactly like Cox, the rest of the circumstances sounded similar enough that we started checking around – and have now verified, he was indeed arrested; the King County Jail Register shows him booked on a property-damage charge as of 9:11 this morning. What happens now? We will be checking with the City Attorney’s Office, with whom we spoke extensively in connection with the previous cases, and will add to this story as we find out more. (Side note: The challenges authorities face under current law in cases like this were well-detailed in this report last weekend from our citywide-news partners at the Seattle Times.)

38 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Ryan Cox back in jail"

  • rich February 26, 2010 (10:51 am)

    ticking time-bomb.

  • k February 26, 2010 (10:51 am)

    I have seen him walking in the Admiral District lately. He has been wearing his hood and keeping to himself. I am sorry to hear this.

  • d February 26, 2010 (10:51 am)

    not good.

  • Grammar Police February 26, 2010 (10:55 am)

    “my tire was slashed this morning by a mentally unstable male this morning on the 4200 block/Raymond St. at 6:40 this morning.”
    I’m sorry, I missed when this happened. Was it this morning?

    Seriously, it’s obviously not a good sign if he’s moving on from passive acts like graffiti to violent acts such as slashing tires.

    • WSB February 26, 2010 (10:59 am)

      GP, we don’t generally edit reader reports aside from spelling/punctuation. We do very much appreciate them, no matter how they are written, as that is how we, and in turn you, find out about cases like this. As I wrote in the story, we had heard he hadn’t been committed – but privacy laws meant no one could confirm that – until this happened, and his presence in the King County Jail is finally that confirmation … TR

  • mark February 26, 2010 (10:55 am)

    Just a matter of when, not if, someone gets hurt. Keep slashing those mental health budgets and this is what the end result is. Very sad.

  • Lorelee February 26, 2010 (11:15 am)

    Any chance you can post his photo again? This sounds like a guy we should all avoid interactions with.

  • Ed February 26, 2010 (11:19 am)

    Did I see this guy at the Admiral Safeway again last night?!?!

  • JL February 26, 2010 (11:21 am)

    I agree. A photo of him will so that we would recognize him in the future would help make my family feel safer in our neighborhood.

  • The Velvet Bulldog February 26, 2010 (11:21 am)

    Type in “Ryan Cox Photo” in the Search bar and you’ll get some photos.

    • WSB February 26, 2010 (11:25 am)

      I will probably add one of them later, this story is still a work in progress. But our previous coverage does have photos distributed by police, both a mugshot and in his apparently-usual garb.

  • MJB February 26, 2010 (11:22 am)

    does anyone else ever see the dude that hangs out behind the southwest branch of the library, always with his hood up, usually early on weekday mornings? this is right by my house, and i havent seen him doing anything other than stand there or sit by the dumpsters and look somewhat creepy, but im always a little worried when i see him.

  • Denise February 26, 2010 (11:45 am)

    The ongoing story of this guy is going to end in tragedy for some innocent person.

  • Rick February 26, 2010 (12:21 pm)

    I saw a new tag using his three word slur yesterday morning in the 6000 block of California ave. I wondered if he was active again. Guess so.

  • SB February 26, 2010 (12:28 pm)

    Do we know for sure that this is the same guy who sells “Real Change” outside of the Admiral Safeway? I agree that they look similar, but hadn’t made the connection until I read the earlier post.

  • neighbor February 26, 2010 (12:36 pm)

    I live on the 4200 block near Dawson and I’ve seen the Hispanic male described by the victim walking up and down the alleys quite often. He noticed I was watching what he was doing and he repeatedly spun his head around looking at me and then put his hood on and hands in his pockets before jogging off in the opposite direction. This individual is to be watched out for whether it’s Ryan Cox or not.

  • J February 26, 2010 (12:48 pm)

    3 word tag seen on the inside court of North Admiral Court building on california ave, week or two ago.

  • madashell February 26, 2010 (1:06 pm)

    For the most part, the “Real Change” sellers are alright by me! Unfailingly courteous.

  • Cait February 26, 2010 (1:12 pm)

    It was noted by someone who knows his family in a previous thread that the guy selling Real Change IS Cox. They also advised that 911 be called if you see him there to pick him up – not sure if that still holds, but it is the same guy.

  • photo from blotter February 26, 2010 (1:15 pm)

    tvb- actually, I typed in just “Ryan Cox photo”, this photo doesn’t turn up until the 3rd page of results


  • laurel February 26, 2010 (1:17 pm)

    Will he fit into a crab pot?

  • Alki Area February 26, 2010 (1:20 pm)

    I’m getting @#$&! tired of people like this jerk! They’re “too crazy” to stand trial and take responsibility for their actions, but NOT crazy enough to force them to get medication or anything…so they get to just wander around the city do any damaged they want with an endless “get out of jail” free card. ENOUGH. Either treat him or jail him, but you can’t just let some a-hole like this endless damage our community.

  • Brian February 26, 2010 (1:20 pm)

    Photo from the search is here to save someone the effort

  • Lisa February 26, 2010 (1:51 pm)

    It IS incredibly frustrating, and frankly unbelievable, that something cannot be done to stop this guy. We live in the vicinity of the latest crime, and on Ryan Cox’s prior rampage thru West Seattle, had our garage tagged with a horrible anti-gay slur, as well as tires slashed, The tire slashing happened after I got home with my 2 year old son at 7:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. when my husband went out to retrieve something out of his car. I too believe it is only a matter of time until this man really hurts someONE is instead of someTHING–particularly concerning since he may be inadvertently surprised while in the act of slashing. I’d advise to be really aware getting in/out of your car, particularly when it’s dark and you’re distracted with unloading–kids, groceries, dogs, whatever. . .

  • DH February 26, 2010 (2:19 pm)

    Coming off the recent Seattle Times article (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2011140959_involuntary21m.html), this is the type of story that should be broadcast again on the Times as well.

    If he ends up being convicted, that’s the kind of citywide pressure the judicial parties involved may need to get serious when it comes to sentencing.

    • WSB February 26, 2010 (2:25 pm)

      DH, I linked that story in the end of this one. We are partners with the Times, which among other thing means we call stories to their attention that we think are worth linking; I sent this one to them a couple hours ago. It’s up under Local News Partners (scroll down their home page). Whether they do anything more with it is up to them; other citywide news sources patrol us frequently for stories to pick up so we’ll see if anyone else decides to pursue it. Meantime, I’m waiting for answers to the questions I posed to the City Attorney’s Office – among other things, whether they will consider refiling the charges for which Cox was arrested in December – that’s an option open to them since the charges were dismissed “without prejudice” – TR

  • DH February 26, 2010 (2:30 pm)

    WSB – thanks for calling this to the Times attention – keep us your incredible work with keeping us informed and empowered.

  • bill February 26, 2010 (2:55 pm)

    There is a friendly older man that sells Real Change at the Admiral Safeway who IS NOT Ryan Cox. Just saying, so that’s not the only I.D. people are using.

  • Iggy February 26, 2010 (3:37 pm)

    What’s scary is that he has escalated from non-violent graffitti to more violent tire slashing and that crimes directly harming someone might not be far away. I knew someone who lived on Capitol Hill where the young woman was knifed to death on New Year’s Eve (Christmas Eve?) several years ago by a man with a mental health history who the system wouldn’t/couldn’t help and was on the streets to murder someone. Definitely, the City Attorney’s Office and Mayor and Dow need to be aware of this fellow. As for the Real Change folks, the fellow at the Junction Safeway has been very friendly and polite.

  • LP February 26, 2010 (4:53 pm)

    What can we do??? So frightening. And disheartening. Another recent story in the Times that made me think about Ryan Cox: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2010898251_graffiti27m.html

    “Ian Goodhew, deputy chief of staff for County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, said there is no reason why prosecutors wouldn’t push ahead with the malicious-harassment case even with Moore’s mental capacity in question.

    “He’s a risk to public safety,” Goodhew said. “When he’s acting irrationally he’s a risk to citizens and the county.”

    • WSB February 26, 2010 (5:11 pm)

      I am going to watch the case as closely as possible, for starters … You could certainly contact the City Attorney’s Office to express your interest in the case. Follow the link from “City Attorney’s Office” in the story.

  • the victim February 26, 2010 (5:38 pm)

    I’d like to add that here’s a little reminder,(see story linked) one of many of what “can” happen. As for morning TYPO reference in my story (GP) Find something better to do in my opinion. There is a place and time for all things. This whole activity has me a bit out of sorts as I could only wonder if it was meant for me. I wasn’t outside at the same time this morning as yesterday morning, thankfully. Scary and very uncomfortable. Thanks to those who spread the word. I was warned he may be “out” tomorrow.

    • WSB February 26, 2010 (5:49 pm)

      I’m watching the jail register too and will publish an update if he is released. Last time, though, even before the charges were upgraded, he never did bail out, and was in jail more than a month until the hearing we covered at which the charges were dropped. … TR

  • kim February 26, 2010 (6:28 pm)

    WSB, there is a legislation review going on right now regarding tightening the regulations regarding meeting “capacity” or “incapacity”. It is very difficult currently in Wa state to involuntarily detain a person who has any level of mental illness. Taking away a person’s rights is very serious and this what the legislature is reviewing currently. May be an interesting sidebar discussion.

    • WSB February 26, 2010 (7:30 pm)

      Yes, that’s what the Times story I linked to is about … when I read it last weekend I was going to link it here and bring up the Cox case, didn’t get a chance to, and now this has happened. Depending on what the city attorney decides to do, definitely followups ahead.

  • the victim February 26, 2010 (9:26 pm)

    BTW thank you WSB…

  • commonsense February 27, 2010 (9:51 am)

    Seattle is being overrun with stabbings and shootings and yet they are worried about a tagger?-

  • fearful February 27, 2010 (4:30 pm)

    Excuse me commonsense, but he is way more than a tagger. He has cost our business thousands of dollars this past year after he super glued our locks three times, broke two huge windows ,and slashed co workers tires as well as writing homo phobic slurs on our windows.We have seen how his behavior has been escalating over the past year and a half and it is unsettling to say the least.Each time we are assured he won’t slip through the system but he does. It is not Ryan Cox I am angry with but the legal system. Ryan is clearly not well and I wonder if he ever will be. He is a danger to the public and I have no doubt that one of these days someone will be seriously hurt or killed by him.

Sorry, comment time is over.