The WSBeat: Fire followups; abandoned tween; more

By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog

It’s been a busy week for real-time coverage, so this week’s WSBeat publication is a bit delayed. But there are still a few things to share from reports on cases handled recently by Southwest Precinct officers:

*Followup to a case reported on WSB earlier this week: Administrators say that a 16-year-old student suspected of setting two fires on Monday, several hours apart, in two West Seattle High School bathrooms, will be placed on long-term suspension.

Five more summaries ahead:

*On Friday 1/21, someone used an unknown tool to cut a chain and steal an
outboard motor locked to a fence in the 8600 block of Fauntleroy Place SW.

*On Wednesday the 18th, around 11 p.m., a little girl, 12-13 years old, approached a woman near 24th and Holden, said she had been abandoned by her parents, and asked to use the woman’s phone to try to contact her uncle. She had no luck, so the woman — luckily a good Samaritan — invited the girl to spend the night at her apartment. The next day, the girl (who displayed some developmental disabilities) told officers that although she didn’t know her last name, she did know her birthday. She had two siblings (a third — a brother — had been removed from the home after abuse charges). Mom and stepdad had a couple of habits — one involved drugs, and the other involved leaving the children alone for days at a time. Finally, one night Ma and Pa went out and never returned. The kids just carried on going to school and living in the family apartment. Then, one day, the sisters never returned home. So the 12-year-old stayed alone in the apartment until she was kicked out by the landlord. After that, she explained, she spent a month living with friends and living on the street. She said that her mom used to hit her with a broken wooden crutch (which explained the scars and lacerations around her ears, forehead, and arms). Officers completed all of the paperwork to allow the girl to be taken into custody by Child Protective Services. A records check using the birthday the girl provided showed that her grandmother may have filed a missing-child report.

*Car keys? Check. Lunch? Check. Ammo? Check. On his way to work Monday morning, a 21st Ave. SW resident checked his handgun to be sure that there was a round in the chamber. There was, but not for long: The man accidentally shot himself just above the knee. After showing officers his concealed-weapon permit, he was transported to Harborview for treatment.

*Early last Saturday, a High Point-area couple was startled to see a young woman sitting on their back porch Calm, but disoriented, she stated, “I was raped by five guys.” She didn’t want the police called, but asked that the homeowners call her mother. Officers were dispatched to the scene anyway and interviewed the 19-year-old, whose story kept changing and whose ability to focus on questions was limited. Mom said the young woman had just moved here from California and wasn’t familiar with the area. Last mom knew, the young woman had planned to attend a concert with coworkers. Dad picked her up at the Southwest Precinct.

*Thursday afternoon 1/20, an Arbor Heights woman called 911 to say, “I love you” and “I’m dead.” These pronouncements were followed by the sounds of grunts and groans. Officers dispatched to the scene kicked in the door and found the victim with the phone in her hand and pill bottles strewn around the room. The 55-year-old was taken to Harborview for a mental evaluation. A witness stated that earlier in the day the woman had been wandering around outside, dressed only in a T-shirt and yelling for help.
24-hour suicide-prevention hotline: Crisis Clinic, 206.461.3222

WSB Editor’s Note: The WSBeat has an archive category of its own, though we’re still linking the weekly reports on the WSB Crime Watch page, so you can catch it there if you miss it in the main news stream. We also continue to publish crime reports the rest of the week, when we get tips or hear noteworthy incidents via the scanner, so don’t be shy about letting us know when you see/hear something happening.

7 Replies to "The WSBeat: Fire followups; abandoned tween; more"

  • GenHillOne January 30, 2011 (9:06 am)

    “so the woman — luckily a good Samaritan — invited the girl to spend the night at her apartment.” Tell me this isn’t suggested over calling the authorities. Compassionate yes, but certainly all kinds of scenarios (some still possible after the fact) could make that a bad idea.

  • Eilene Hutchinson January 30, 2011 (9:31 am)

    That poor child and her siblings! It hurts to think of what so many must go through. I wonder how the landlord (if her perception was accurate) could kick her out rather than call CPS or the police? It was a good thing that she found one adult that looked out for her safety and well being, it was a pity it had to be a stranger.

  • Linda January 30, 2011 (10:29 am)

    OMG, what is wrong with people? Didn’t anybody notice these kids by themselves? What are we coming to in this world. It’s not wanting to stick your nose in your neighbors business, but it’s just wanting to keep an eye out and look around you to make sure nothing serious is happening. Come on, you should be able to tell if no adults are around. Kudos to the lady that took her in!!! There should be more people like this!

  • Lorelee January 30, 2011 (8:20 pm)

    This story about the abandoned “tween”: it’s heartbreaking in every way. It’s heartbreaking that THIS is minor news. This should be headliner stuff on the evening news. They should be showing the faces of these shameful parents all over -“wanted”. Too bad our society doesn’t act like this is a serious enough crime.

    • WSB January 30, 2011 (8:42 pm)

      Lorelee … I agree with you. Sadly this is the kind of thing we almost never hear about until someone – as Megan does every week. as part of this very-part-time gig – goes to read through the police reports. We know instantly when flames erupt, cars crash, sirens wail, but something like this goes on undiscovered for who knows how long, and ends maybe only in a police car or CPS worker taking someone away … I don’t know how much followup will be possible because privacy laws are very strict, and juvenile-related incidents are hard if not impossible to look up (even if I knew the girl’s name, which I don’t) … but if we manage to find out anything about how she’s doing and how it all turned out, we’ll follow up … TR

  • bridge to somewhere January 30, 2011 (10:33 pm)

    Oh my gosh, that story about the couple in High Point who found a girl on their back porch is similar to a crazy, weird night we had in Roxhill a couple of months ago. One night I opened the shades to my backyard window and was absolutely horrified and surprised to find a teen girl, obviously high or disoriented plastered against it! I yelled (I was completely scared out of utter surprise) but she had absolutely no reaction. I then told her to sit at our backyard table, which she did, and I quickly called the police who came (quite quickly) and jumped over our backyard fence and took her away. They had no idea why she was there or what her issue was. How she got into the yard — which has a 6 foot tall fence surrounding it — we did not know, and why she chose my yard also remains a mystery. I wonder if the HP couple saw the same girl? Kind of a small, skater chick girl with dark hair?

  • c January 30, 2011 (10:55 pm)

    There is a taught secrecy in these families. They are taught from an early age not to talk to strangers/authority about their home life. I am appalled that the landlord kicked her out without calling CPS.

    I am glad that she found help.

    I am a former foster parent and have heard many stories like this.

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