Followup: West Seattle police check out fireworks calls

7:13 PM: Right now, police are responding to a report of possible trouble atop the SW Charlestown hill, a few blocks west of California, a popular sledding spot today – someone called 911 to report fireworks, a bonfire, and possible alcohol use. The fireworks component reminds us that we finally got an answer to a question several asked about an incident southwest of The Junction last night. Neighbors saw multiple police cars after what sounded like gunshots. Southwest Precinct Lt. Pierre Davis tells WSB it was determined to be fireworks – witnesses saw them being lit.

ADDED 8:09 PM: Neighbor CR sent these photos from Charlestown, following our publication of the report above, and says:

As a neighbor at the top of Charlestown Hill, I’ve enjoyed watching the kids and adults have fun here all day. Everyone was very respectful and friendly, I can’t imagine why someone called the police. Fireworks? yes, a couple Bonfire? yep, on the concrete where it was nice and safe. How often do we get a real good snow here in Seattle? People really need to lighten up and let the overworked police focus on bigger stuff.

74 Replies to "Followup: West Seattle police check out fireworks calls"

  • Joan Bateman January 18, 2012 (7:16 pm)

    The fireworks were quite a surprise and quite beautiful.

  • Christina January 18, 2012 (7:18 pm)

    We’re getting fireworks down here in White Center too. Probably one going off every hour or so.

  • Christina January 18, 2012 (7:18 pm)

    We’re getting fireworks down here in White Center too. Probably one going off every hour or so.

  • junctioneer January 18, 2012 (7:24 pm)

    Fireworks and beer-drinking has been going on there since this morning. It wasn’t called in until now?

  • Ok January 18, 2012 (7:31 pm)

    As long as they aren’t driving or underage, why does anyone care as long as it’s on private property.

    • WSB January 18, 2012 (7:39 pm)

      Don’t know if it’s on private property. Sledding on city streets, however, is prohibited, as the city keeps sending out reminders to that effect … one in the inbox minutes ago … TR

  • JayDee January 18, 2012 (7:34 pm)

    I heard about both second hand as I walked to the junction at 2:30 PM. I was more worried by the dirt bike towing people around the area.

  • junctioneer January 18, 2012 (7:42 pm)

    The drinking and the fireworks were in the middle of the intersection, not on private property.

  • Cyndilu January 18, 2012 (7:42 pm)

    Sledding on city streets is prohibited? I live at the top of Charlestown Hill and have been watching the fun all day. No one was causing any trouble at all. Yes, there were fireworks and a bonfire but it was all in good fun and everyone was being very respectful and friendly. Who was the killjoy that called it in? Probably one of the same folks that complains about the Blue Angels every year LOL

  • mightymo January 18, 2012 (7:48 pm)

    It was definitely going on at noontime (not the bonfire). Kids, teens, adults. Beer and I smelled marijuana, but everyone was having fun.

  • bridge to somewhere January 18, 2012 (7:50 pm)

    fireworks at Roxhill Park.

  • Ajax January 18, 2012 (7:52 pm)

    There are way too many packs of feral humans wandering around West Seattle. I’ve noticed this as we’ve seen increased home invasions, thefts, car break-ins, vandalism etc. I don’t know if it’s the economy or just the fruition of extremely lax parenting, but these young adults/teenagers enjoy creating havoc with little or no consequences. When I was an out of control teenager in the 80’s we actually had to sneak around to stay out of jail.

  • Haha January 18, 2012 (8:02 pm)

    Oh Ajax, get a life.

  • John January 18, 2012 (8:05 pm)

    Ajax is perceptive. It’s called a ghetto.

  • Haha January 18, 2012 (8:07 pm)

    Is it really so terrible that young people are enjoying life while your panties are in a bunch over your inability to have a little fun yourself?

  • sc January 18, 2012 (8:08 pm)

    The hill is a sheet of ice. A 14 year old was taken to the hospital with a broken clavicle. Beer cans are scattered everywhere, along with assorted trash used for make shift sleds. And many who gather to party are not even from the neighborhood.

  • Haha January 18, 2012 (8:10 pm)

    I’m sorry, I was unaware.

  • Jwws January 18, 2012 (8:13 pm)


  • MB January 18, 2012 (8:13 pm)

    I could make a big guess of whose out there right now!

  • Jwws January 18, 2012 (8:21 pm)

    Sigh, enjoy the snow day folks,tomorrow it willbe gone!

  • Cami January 18, 2012 (8:26 pm)

    Sounds like every summer night on Alki to me!

  • Pumpkin January 18, 2012 (8:29 pm) does the neighbor know the bonfire is ‘safe’? on the sidewalk? Not your call..

  • munchkin22 January 18, 2012 (8:37 pm)

    Feral humans? Perhaps a trap, spay and neuter and relocate program is in order?
    Mightymo: how does one know what marijuana smells like? ;)

  • HunterG January 18, 2012 (8:38 pm)

    Just as long as everyone cleans up after themselves, nobody gets hurt (outside of sledding injury which is ENTIRELY their own fault), or violent it sounds fun! Anyone want to give me a ride there? What the hell do people in Seattle have against having fun? Christ, live a little.

  • Westside J. January 18, 2012 (8:43 pm)

    I’ll see you there. Ill even bring a garbage bag. It all in fun.

  • DJ Allyn January 18, 2012 (8:49 pm)

    Ah, to be a kid again…

  • munchkin22 January 18, 2012 (8:50 pm)

    Too many nanny staters out there….

    Fire appears to be in the street. Hill is closed to traffic. I agree, lighten up. It’s a rite of passage in WS. Just like painting your graduating year in the middle of that same hill. I never got to…just sayin’

  • Eaglelover January 18, 2012 (8:51 pm)

    Live a little, sounds like fun.

  • Soccer Mom January 18, 2012 (8:52 pm)

    It is a tradition in WS to gather at the top of Charlestown Hill for fun when it snows…it has been going on ever since I moved my family here over 30 years ago. There is a three letter word for what goes on and that word is FUN! We so seldom get this beautiful snow, why not let people have fun, GET REAL, GET A LIFE and let these young people live! The police have far more important things to worry about then fun in the snow on Charlestown hill.

  • alkigirl January 18, 2012 (9:00 pm)

    i can’t believe the killjoys! come on….let people have some good ole’ fun! it happens so seldom that we can sled in seattle…lighten up people! and mightymo….go read the pi!! sniff sniff…

  • aquatic January 18, 2012 (9:14 pm)

    I remember sledding down Charleston in the 50’s. It was fun. Seemed like you could go a mile.

  • KS January 18, 2012 (9:14 pm)

    I was sledding on the hill today. Yeah there were some people drinking beer, and I heard some fireworks later on. who cares. All in good fun.

  • John January 18, 2012 (9:17 pm)

    Sledding, a big fire, drinks, smores, etc. Great. Love it. Illegal fire crackers / works — give the idiots fines and community service at an animal shelter and make them clean-up parks. This ‘sorta’ idiot adult behavior is what happens in ‘bad’ neighborhoods, with poor schools, higher crime rates and sinking home values. Hmm, that’s an adept description of much of my WS right now.

  • Alki Resident January 18, 2012 (9:20 pm)

    We would’ve joined the fun on the hill but we were too late in buying sleds.It’s nice to hear so many got out and joined the fun with others.Back to school and work before you know it.

  • rod January 18, 2012 (9:21 pm)

    Yep, west seattle sure ain’t what it used to be. At least most of you on this thread get it. Let it be!

  • Chuck & Sally's Van Man January 18, 2012 (9:22 pm)

    Free the bonefireists!

  • John January 18, 2012 (9:34 pm)

    Post my comment.

  • Seriously? January 18, 2012 (9:36 pm)

    You guys are really saying it’s normal to have a bonfire in the middle of an intersection? Weird. Sledding on the other hand actually is good ole’ fashioned fun. We had skiers, sledders, snowmobilers and snowshoers on our street.

  • me January 18, 2012 (9:37 pm)

    Its the fault of all those Damn Californians that moved here in the 80’s! :)

  • Amalia January 18, 2012 (9:41 pm)

    I wish the idiot who’s been driving a 4-wheeler up and down Othello for TWO HOURS would get tired of making noise and air pollution and give it a rest. Go home and watch WWF or nascar or something.

  • Amy January 18, 2012 (9:43 pm)

    Did I get censored? Just saying lot a killjoys out there. Go enjoy the snow Charleston folks! Next year we’ll join ya! Maybe even bring some wood for the bonfire.

  • Ok January 18, 2012 (9:50 pm)

    On second thought, allthe better it’s in the middle of the street. And kids have been getting injured doing fun things since the dawn of time. I guess we should just wrap them in bubble wrap and stick them in front of the xbox…

  • 2 Much Whine January 18, 2012 (9:51 pm)

    Wait, let me get this straight. Sledding, beer, fireworks, bonfire and a community coming together? Let’s call the police. Someone must be having fun.

  • Mel January 18, 2012 (9:52 pm)

    The only question to ask yourself is, “is what I’m doing out here in the open, with kids in attendance, knowingly wrong?”
    Seems to me if the answer is “yes,” you shouldn’t be doing it, whether it’s “fun” or not.
    Yep, “only” “safe” bonfires, fireworks (“safe” too? Got a trained technician, do you?) and marijuana with kids around. Leaving trash to boot. A-1 smarts there.

  • Soccer Mom January 18, 2012 (9:53 pm)

    I’m with you Amy! See you next year on top of the hill!

  • GWS January 18, 2012 (10:07 pm)

    As one who lives on the hill, I enjoy having all of the activity on the hill when it snows. There have been some unique “sleds” out there today including the kiddie pool. It’s all in good fun so enjoy yourselves (cleanup the litter though if you don’t mind).

    Sunday would have been a good day for sledding also until the city in it’s wisdom ran a snowplow down the hill — ruined it for everyone. Why anyone would plow a road/hill closed due to snow is beyond me.

  • Jim P. January 18, 2012 (10:15 pm)

    “beer, fireworks, bonfire ”

    Hmm, let them be. Darwin will be along soon to pick up the remains.

    If they were just having fun, one might not necessarily mind, but I will bet ten to one that a mess is left behind for others to clean up.

  • Amy January 18, 2012 (10:21 pm)

    Soinda like a date soccer mom! My tots are still a bit too young. I suppose I should complain I couldn’t park in my alley due to those hoodlums :)

  • HunterG January 18, 2012 (10:51 pm)

    Get over yourself Mel, don’t be such a killjoy, did you ever have any fun, ever? Are you a rule follower without question, just because it’s a rule? Do you know why small towns are close knit (i came from one and know first hand)? Because they don’t have negative nancy and overprotective oliver living on every street corner. They actually get a chance to have fun, as a group and get to know one another. We get few chances to come together like this, snow seems to be an excuse, let it happen.

  • Cyndilu January 18, 2012 (10:56 pm)

    When you guys all come to Charlestown to sled, I’ll make the hot coffee and bring it on out for you! I like knowing my neighbors and visiting with folks from other parts of West Seattle too. Let the naysayers live behind their curtains with 911 on speed dial, I’m going to welcome the visitors to my neighborhood!

  • WSLOVE January 18, 2012 (11:15 pm)

    Parents, if you want to know where your kids are, and ARE NOT okay with it, then PARENT! In the meantime- we get one or two snow days a year, live it up!!!!!!!!!

  • WMF January 18, 2012 (11:37 pm)

    To whomever called the cops… I hope your pipes burst tonight :p

  • AM January 18, 2012 (11:38 pm)

    I was there for 2 hours today — I’m 31 and still had THE BEST TIME! Parents took turns watching for traffic and it’s the rare occasion where a bunch of “kids” get together and all get along.
    I just passed there onthe last 20 minutes & there was still at least 30 people up there.

    A fantastic sledding day, one that doesn’t happen enough. :)

  • Ajax January 19, 2012 (12:10 am)

    @Haha – I’ve had one hell of a life to the point where it often landed me in the hospital or jail. Some of the fun I’ve had would probably make you blush or send you on a Google search. Now that I’m a responsible adult with an enormous mortgage and responsibilities I’d prefer not having people trash my property or disturb my peace in the name of fun. You can bet I’d rather be sledding down a hill with a vodka bottle in one hand and a one hitter in the other, but I’m no longer that self absorbed.

  • Sparkle January 19, 2012 (12:44 am)

    Sliding is clean fun for the family once a year. Something kids look forward to and parents make very safe. It was sad to see a snow plow go up Charlestown to destroy the ability to sled first time in 9 years I have seen that. I didn’t like the pot smoking around my kid by parents. I didn’t like hearing the firecrackers. I was worried it was a gun. It happened all day off and on. It’s nice to feel safe and free to have fun. Let’s keep it that way. If you want to get towed behind a car on a sled that is your right. Be safe.

  • Dani January 19, 2012 (1:57 am)

    Hahaha… Snow in Seattle = fun

  • leanna January 19, 2012 (8:58 am)

    Fun is great , I’m all for it and it was fun to see lots of folks enjoying the snow – however, urinating on other people’s private property (we stumbled upon two such “responsible adults” ) and leaving crushed PBR cans all over the place is just plain disrespectful. The fireworks were tolerable the first two times during the day but the ones after 11:00 and the constant hooting and hollering for the next hour or so were not. Before anyone decides to chastise me for not endorsing fun- think about how you’d feel if it was literally your backyard…and as the saying seems to go – just sayyin’

  • DenDen January 19, 2012 (9:07 am)

    I will turn 60 next month and remember inner tubing down the hill on the back of my brother (RIP) Sometimes we could make it all the way to the parking lot of the old Thriftway. WOW!! My grandparents lived in the house on the NE corner of 46 & Charlestown. We lived 6 houses South of the hill. I would bring my kids to the top of the hill when they were little and they still talk about the “World Famous Charleston Hill”. Like the Blue Angels it comes only once a year. Fire trucks and Police sad, I agree, get a life folks.

  • NFiorentini January 19, 2012 (9:46 am)

    Minors+alcohol=Call the cops
    I don’t know what is so hard about this.
    And if I see kids drinking, I will absolutely dial up 911 and probably snap a few photos.

  • Charlestown Hill Residents January 19, 2012 (10:55 am)

    If you were sledding on Charlestown hill yesterday and last night, please return and pick up your trash (i.e. makeshift sleds [folding table, matrice boxspring, trash bags, broken sleds, bottles, cans, etc.]) We loved having you and glad everyone had a good (safe) time. Please do your part! Thanks in advance.

  • John Schuster January 19, 2012 (10:58 am)

    It sounds like this is something that if people keep their heads on straight, could be a fun event in the future! I am new to the West Seattle area and had no idea this was happening; next year I will come out! I will bring a trash bag though and probably will refrain from the booze; have had one too many sledding accidents in my time;) Way to keep things fun WS! Maybe next year the police could come join in the fun…I bet they like to sled too! Anyone have barrels for fires?

  • solu January 19, 2012 (11:47 am)

    Sounds like exactly what kids did when I was young! I’m just Sorry those kids have so many uptight neighbors narking them out.

  • nrknbr January 19, 2012 (1:17 pm)


    so you’ll be by to clean up?

  • rm January 19, 2012 (9:50 pm)

    I agree that the sledding on the hill was a lot of fun. Brought my 10 year old son and loved it. Even a beer being consumed on a public street by legal age adults does not really bother me. I did not however like the pot smoking, overwhelming use of the “f” word with all the kids around and the trash being left on the ground. I agree “get a life” and let’s have some fun. Drugs and trashing people’s neighborhood and incessent use of curse words are not required to have fun. Sledding on a steep hill covered with snow? Awesome.
    Also, thanks to whoever built the jumps, those provided much amusement!

  • Ben Dover January 20, 2012 (1:57 pm)

    To all the people who think this is not a big deal, please respond with your addresses and we’ll show up to do the following:

    talk/yell/curse and keep you up at night
    PEE in your yard
    drink and smoke and leave the butts and cans/ bottles/cardboad for your recycling pleasure
    You’ll also have to clean up the impromptu fire pit.
    I’ve seen the remnants of a firepit in the intersection in previous years so I bet this has been going on whenever we get snow, which isn’t that often, but my feeling is someone close to the scene finally got fed up with this behavior and called it in since technically many laws were being broken like the noise ordinance, drinking in public, drug use, etc.

  • Jake January 20, 2012 (1:59 pm)

    I agree that any actions that make the community less family safe, needs to be fixed.

  • datamuse January 20, 2012 (5:27 pm)

    I guess the lesson here is that people will stop acting like nannies when other people stop acting like they need them.
    Really, leaving the mess behind for the neighbors to clean up? Not cool.

  • Guy January 20, 2012 (9:32 pm)

    59th and Hanford crew!!!

  • Jason Petorak January 21, 2012 (1:02 pm)

    Used to sled down that when I was a kid. Sorry to see that drama has taken over. The people that lived around there when I was a kid would sell us hot chocolate for a nickel ( 80’s ) just to keep us happy. Now it seems that it’s more rebellious around there. Sorry to hear that.

  • GS January 21, 2012 (4:44 pm)

    Dear Neighbors and Parents,

    Now that the snow has melted, in all kindness and sincerity, here are the plain and simple facts:

    For several years now, a snow-covered Charlestown Hill has become the winter “Spring Break” rendezvous point for young adults, teens and yes, even tweens. While a handful of considerate families, young adults and teens from the Charlestown neighborhood and surrounding areas make the joyful trek for a day of innocent sledding and fun in the snow, as the day and evening progresses, the hill is literally seized by lawbreaking party goers arriving with cases of beer, liquor and drugs. Photographs of the party bonfire, beer, hard liquor and drug consumption are sent via mobile phone and are posted on social networks to draw other young adults and teens to the “best party in town”, not the “best hill to sled on”.

    On January 18, 2012, the police were called twice, not once. Police handled the first response with wisdom. They kindly asked the group of party goers to extinguish the small fire, cease from public alcohol consumption and pick up the trash. The small fire was extinguished but within less than 30 minutes after the police left the scene, several young men brought out more cases of beer, built a larger fire and started shooting off firecrackers and fireworks. The large crowd was given every opportunity to continue sledding without drugs, beer and fire. They chose not to because they weren’t there for the sledding. If this was their response to a polite request by the police, the lawlessness would have surely increased if the police had not been called a second time. When the police responded to the second call, they arrived with the fire department who extinguished the larger fire. The police announced that they had received several complaints, the crowd was now on video and if they were doing anything illegal, they would be issued citations. About fifty people quickly dispersed the scene upon hearing this. As they walked away, many of the individuals yelled out the locations of other party sites where they could meet up to keep drinking.

    After the crowd broke up, some neighbors came out for the first time to enjoy sledding. The next day, people of all ages were enjoying sledding and community friendship free of liquor, drugs and serious hazards. There was much laughter and safe fun for everyone.

    In spite of public disorder, fire hazards, lawbreaking and extreme noise throughout the evening, the primary concern of these neighbors was the drunk driving by teens and young adults. They did not want anyone getting killed or injured.

    The following events were witnessed by several neighbors throughout the day and several hours into the evening of January 18. Similar events took place during the 2008 snow storm, no one called the police and it was three days of sleepless torment and property damage. Liquor, beer and loud vehicles overpowered sledding and the simple, quiet beauty of the snow.

    1 Open and blatant use of drugs and alcohol on the hill, on sidewalks, in alleys and in front yards.

    2 Several individuals were seen removing multiple cases of beer from their vehicles throughout the afternoon and evening.

    3 Liquor was being served from the back of vehicles with several minors nearby.

    4 Several beer runs were made to the corner 7-Eleven to keep the party going.

    5 Empty beer cans, liquor bottles and trash were thrown in yards and placed in residential mail boxes.

    6 Urinating in public streets and in yards with children nearby.

    7 Crudeness, lude behavior and foul cursing. Trampling over personal property.

    8 The bonfire was attended by intoxicated individuals setting off fireworks. Trees and individuals were nearby.

    9 Intoxicated downhill “watchman” waived sledders down the hill as cars were approaching. There were several close calls.

    10 Young, intoxicated individuals driving extremely loud quad runners, dirt bikes and snowmobiles from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM.

    11 Speeding, donut circles and games of chicken at high speed from the top of the hill to the bottom. Again, by young drunk drivers.

    12 Body slamming of Stop Signs and fences. Attempts to remove Stop Signs.

    13 Intoxicated teenage girls partying with intoxicated young adult males.

    14 While a few parents accompanied their children to the top of the hill during evening hours, most children sledding at night were unaccompanied
    by an adult or an adult was waiting for them at the bottom of the hill. Children from Charlestown and other neighborhoods were left alone with
    several intoxicated teens and young adults.

    15 Many neighbors wanted to call the police, but were afraid of being found out and becoming the victims of retaliation and more serious property damage.

    Thank you for your time. Make your own decision. We don’t mind the public lashing. Better to hear from your neighbor, “Oh my, I simply can’t imagine why anyone would call the police!” than, “Oh my, how in the world did a drunk teenager end up dead driving away from a safe neighborhood like Charlestown?”. We are very hopeful that the next snow day on the hill will be safe. We have wonderful neighbors and greatly appreciate them.

  • ya me January 21, 2012 (4:59 pm)

    ok. where did the word “killjoy” come from. i heard it last night as a reporter on tv was getting verbaly beat up by some women with nothing else to do. She should have stayed by her firer with her beer lol

  • sc January 22, 2012 (2:39 pm)

    If anyone is missing a blue plastic wading pool or a small tan car carrier top they’re at the top of Charlestown hill!

  • Bohica January 22, 2012 (2:48 pm)

    Still a lot of trash and improvised broken sledding items .. Please come back and haul off your S### !

  • D B January 23, 2012 (6:44 am)

    Where are all the folks complaining about how uptight the people that called the cops are now???

Sorry, comment time is over.