(Photo by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
10:12 AM: Police have just confirmed the arrest of the man at the center of our photo, taken into custody after a student reported seeing him masturbating inside that van parked near Chief Sealth International High School this morning, though they don’t know yet if he is connected to any of the “flasher” incidents over the past few weeks. Here’s the report just published on SPD Blotter:
Southwest Precinct officers arrested a 34-year-old man for lewd conduct earlier this morning in the 2400 Block of SW Thistle Street.
At about 8:30 this morning, a 17-year-old female student was walking to school when she passed a dark blue mini-van parked on the street. As she passed the van, she observed the suspect inside masturbating. The girl immediately ran to school and reported it to the principal’s office. Officers immediately responded and located the van and contacted the suspect. He was positively identified and arrested by officers.
The suspect was transported to the Southwest Precinct where he is being interviewed by detectives. He will later be booked into the King County Jail. It is unknown at this time whether this man is connected with the previous incidents near other West Seattle schools.
We heard the original call – which drew quite the police response, given the recent incidents – and took the photo above while officers were questioning the man at the scene (we’ve blurred out the suspect’s head and the van’s license plate). But we had not confirmed, prior to the SPD Blotter post, that the person taken in for questioning had been arrested and would be jailed. We’ll update with anything else we find out later today.
2:42 PM: The suspect is not on the King County Jail register as of last check, and the official police report as it currently stands does not indicate any link to other incidents, so far. He is a Highland Park resident who does not have a felony conviction record.
4:53 PM: The suspect, Danen Romine, is charged with misdemeanor indecent exposure in Seattle Municipal Court – as opposed to King County Superior Court, when you are cited, it is an official charge. His bail is set at $500 and he is scheduled to answer the charge tomorrow morning (the jailhouse courtroom has arraignments in city cases on weekends).
9:58 PM: The jail register shows Romine posted bail and got out after less than five hours, just before 7 pm tonight.