West Seattle Crime Watch: Man arrested for lewd conduct near Chief Sealth

(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.

59 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Man arrested for lewd conduct near Chief Sealth"

  • enough October 25, 2013 (10:26 am)

    Hopefully this is the guy and they got him!

  • biankat October 25, 2013 (10:30 am)


  • Admiral California October 25, 2013 (10:33 am)

    Bring back the stocks in the town square. I’ll throw the first brick. No, I am not being sarcastic – I’ve had more than enough of this pervert scum thinking West Seattle is easy pickings. Make a few examples out of these tapeworms and the rest will move on.

  • anonymous123 October 25, 2013 (10:34 am)

    YES! Hopefully we will slowly see all of these guys getting positively identified and put away. Keep this guy in jail please..

  • md October 25, 2013 (10:35 am)

    This has got to be the guy and wow – was he totally oblivious to the fact that the whole neighborhood was looking for him?! Pretty brazen to show up again so quickly. He obviously can’t control himself. It will be interesting to see if he has any prior convictions.

  • Cait October 25, 2013 (10:37 am)

    I really really hope this is the same guy from the other incidents. I mean how many of these sickos could there really be cropping up all of a sudden?

  • AmandaKH October 25, 2013 (10:39 am)

    Oh I hope this is the guy! Good work on the part of the student / school and SPD to move quickly.

  • F16CrewChief October 25, 2013 (10:39 am)

    Kudos to the teen who immediately reported this and kudos to the SPD for responding in such a timely manner.

    Stay alert West Seattlites! We need to keep catching these fools and make them realize they ain’t going to get away with this shat in our neighborhood. My kids are on high alert. They attend WSHS and Gatewood. I have not sugar-coated anything with them. They are aware of these creeps and we’ve been working on what they need to do should they come across these as*holes.

  • DSC October 25, 2013 (10:41 am)

    Please keep him in jail

  • Curtis October 25, 2013 (10:44 am)

    As much “fun” as that sounds, Admiral, You know as well as I do that there is no possible way to deter these folks. They are mentally ill. This is no more curable by making an example of someone than Cancer is.

    They simply must be removed from society until they are able to function without being a threat.

  • concerned parent October 25, 2013 (10:49 am)

    Hooray! Lock him up and throw away the key!

  • Garden_nymph October 25, 2013 (10:50 am)

    I agree with F16CrewChief. I’m proud of the teen for reporting what she saw and for the SPD for the rapid response that lead to this perps arrest!

  • Please October 25, 2013 (11:12 am)

    Publish the photo

  • colleen October 25, 2013 (11:13 am)

    Good Lord, who does things like this?

  • AG October 25, 2013 (11:29 am)

    GREAT JOB to the young lady for reporting it immediately, and to SPD for making it happen.

    Now, let’s get the other guy (if there’s more than one.) For the parents out there, keep talking to your kids about immediate reporting and getting plate #’s or other identifying info if it’s safe enough to do so.

    When I was in high school there was a guy who sat outside our school whackin his pud. We reported him and nobody ever did anything. It felt like nobody cared. I’m so glad to see this community refusing to tolerate these clowns. Thank you ALL for standing together.

  • DF October 25, 2013 (11:48 am)

    Doesn’t sound like the same guy. Based on the previous descriptions, the cars don’t match up. Plus, I’m no expert (if someone is, please correct any misconceptions), but I’ve read that pedophiles often target a specific age range, so high school versus elementary schools would tend to attract different sorts of perverts. We need to remain vigilant, not let our guard down one iota at the other schools recently targeted.

  • rg October 25, 2013 (11:51 am)

    feelers out..
    (-not convinced yet.)
    We are on the lookout for a delapitated saturn, how does this pretty mini-van fit?
    I’d love to see that this creeper is positively ID’d.

  • Westside Mom October 25, 2013 (12:03 pm)

    YAY for the quick-acting student! And for school officials and police! And thank you, WSB, for keeping us so well-informed.

  • enough October 25, 2013 (12:06 pm)

    Could be the same guy just in a different car that he owns. Or there could be more than one guy doing this as descriptions have been a little different. People can and do own more than one vehicle and if he was trying to be smart, he wouldn’t take the same vehicle from crime to crime.

  • Jissy October 25, 2013 (12:34 pm)

    Must be why Q 13 FOX is at Roxhill Park fishing for interviews.

  • wheata October 25, 2013 (12:46 pm)

    Don’t mess with the hood… these kids don’t play. My son said they were all looking out for this guy at CSIHS

  • D October 25, 2013 (12:56 pm)

    Oh MY GOD, he has no HEAD!

  • Annie October 25, 2013 (1:19 pm)

    Just how common is it for guys to be masturbating in their cars parked on the street? I have no idea if this is highly unusual (so that we can assume it’s the same guy) or if it’s relatively common – perhaps the difference being the attempts to get the attention of the kids? Not saying any of it is okay – just would be curious to know. I’m also wondering if they are going to be able to do more than give this guy a ticket.

  • Sarah B October 25, 2013 (1:31 pm)

    This dirt bag lost his rights when he made the choice to expose himself to children. If he wanted privacy, he shouldn’t have gotten into his creeper van and masturbated outside a school. Please stop protecting this guy and post his picture so everyone can see his face and keep their children away from him.

  • Neighbor October 25, 2013 (1:35 pm)

    To the young woman who witnessed this incident: I’m so sorry you have to carry this memory with you but I want to celebrate you for thinking smart and acting fast. You’re a HERO for stopping this man — and for hopefully saving many more young people from his terrible behavior. My family thanks you.

  • Neighbor October 25, 2013 (1:51 pm)

    Sarah B, if the man they arrested is indeed the perv in question then his picture will be made public soon enough, if he’s not then I’m sure he would not be pleased with having his face prematurely plastered all over the West Seattle Blog as the Chief Sealth Stroker.

    Give it some time.

  • kayo October 25, 2013 (2:03 pm)

    I hope this is the same guy so our community can breathe a collective sigh of relief. I feel bad for the 17 year old girl who had to witness this, but am also impressed by her quick thinking in running to school and reporting the incident. She is a hero. I hope the police prosecute to the full extent of the law and this guy gets a healthy dose of public shaming. What a creep!

  • woods October 25, 2013 (2:05 pm)

    @DF – Denny Middle School is right next door to Sealth – around that time of day there are 6th thru 8th grade kids walking around.

  • loveisenuf October 25, 2013 (2:23 pm)

    There are way more of these sickos out there its progressive they will probabaly find child porn on his computer its not really curable a switch in his brain has been switch he will always be a threat

  • Sarah B October 25, 2013 (2:26 pm)

    Dear Neighbor…

    Read the story…(He was positively identified and arrested by officers.) police don’t arrest incident people. Post the picture!

  • Steph October 25, 2013 (2:49 pm)

    Please don’t post the picture. If this is the guy who has done it at other locations, we don’t want to taint any possible identification of him as the suspect in those other cases.

    • WSB October 25, 2013 (2:52 pm)

      The suspect is not yet on the jail register. I’ve added a bit of additional information to the story. Meantime, there was a “lewd behavior” arrest at Westwood Village last night involving a different man (who is already out of jail); we’ve obtained the report on that and I’ll be writing a separate story after a bit more research – TR
      (edit) The previous comment, mentioning the WW arrest, came in while I was writing this one.

  • Alki Resident October 25, 2013 (2:51 pm)

    So,KIRO is saying a man was arrested near Westwood last nite for flashing and now this lewd conduct guy today, so sounds like there WAS more than one guy out there. I want names and faces of these guys as soon as they’re charged. Also, are they repeat criminals? I hope this is it for awhile,I hope these are the men we’ve all been looking for.
    To the girl who ran to school and got help and an arrest.
    We are so proud of your bravery and speediness to get this creep off the streets. Your parents must be so proud of you. You deserve some sort of police recognition rather it be public or private as long as you’re acknowledged .

  • flyntheointment October 25, 2013 (2:58 pm)

    Stay vigilant West Seattle. Meanwhile, your children are texting pics of their genitals to one another.

  • West Seattle Wanderer October 25, 2013 (3:06 pm)

    Sarah B:

    “police don’t arrest innocent people.”

    I’m not saying this guy is innocent but re: your statement… REALLY?

  • erico October 25, 2013 (3:14 pm)

    Sarah B
    I don’t know where you live, but in the United States the police arrest innocent people all the time. That is not a criticism of the justice system, just a fact. The police do not decide guilt or innocence (nor do readers of this blog). Lots of people who are arrested are never charged, lots of people who are charged are not convicted.

    Not saying anything about this guy’s guilt or innocence, just reminding people how the justice system works.

  • Lisa October 25, 2013 (3:44 pm)

    The officer’s head is missing!

  • ACG October 25, 2013 (4:08 pm)

    He will be out again in no time.

  • wondering October 25, 2013 (4:21 pm)

    Pretty sure he is on the jail register now.

  • Concerned Parent October 25, 2013 (4:43 pm)

    Kiro posted his picture and name if you are interested.


  • Neighbor October 25, 2013 (5:32 pm)

  • Sarah B October 25, 2013 (6:23 pm)

    This guy is a senior network engineer. His is on LinkedIn. I know what he looks like now and hope others do the same!

  • soccermom October 25, 2013 (7:14 pm)

    I am glad that this fool and the other fool at Westwood have been arrested. It sounds like we have more than these two fools running around terrorizing children in the WS area. We all need to remain alert and we need to teach our children how to protect themselves. We can either bury our heads in the sand about this issue or do something to get these freaks off of our streets. Get any information you can to the SPD. We don’t want these perverts in our community.

  • Jason October 25, 2013 (9:11 pm)

    Weird it’s only $500 bail, I mean it’s one thing to get caught doing what he was doing, but if schools are drug-free zones, seems like they should be jack-free zones too.
    The guy is all over Google, ironically if you street view his address there is a silver pickup parked out front. Probably not related to the silver pickup spotted at gatewood yesterday, but still…

  • Jason October 25, 2013 (9:19 pm)

    For what it’s worth, he also works at 42nd and Alaska, about a block from Hope Lutheran.

  • Cait October 25, 2013 (10:29 pm)

    Has anyone asked the kids who have seen him in the past if he looks familiar by the picture?

  • ACG October 26, 2013 (6:23 pm)

    Was he just “tending to his business” in the car and the girl glanced in and saw him? Or did he actively solicit the victims attention so she would see what he was doing?

  • G October 26, 2013 (11:14 pm)

    The guy is innocent until proven guilty. And frankly some of the comments on this thread reek of lurid tabloid reporting, and bit of peverse schadenfreude. Do we really need to know he has a wife and two kids? There is a line between being informed and being a gossip


  • D October 27, 2013 (8:45 am)

    I’m so happy they caught him. I have a police report on file from an incident 2 years ago near Lowman Beach, but this is not the same guy unfortunately. I’m not sure what that means for the multiple incidents near schools, but I hope our neighborhood will have resolution on these issues soon.

    For what it’s worth, I’m so sorry for this man’s wife and children.

  • jegomisia October 27, 2013 (9:07 pm)

    You all are so quick to judge, it’s ridiculous. Yes, he should have known better than to do this in “public” near a school, but how dare you even start to judge. And to tell everyone where he works?! Really?!

    You men with kids, how often do you get a PRIVATE moment alone in your house or ever? Oh no wait, everyone is a bunch of prudes. Did you think MAYBE he was on his way to work & just stopped to take a moment to himself? The girl just *happened* to walk by. You ‘re ASSUMING before you get any facts or evidence.

    There is a BIG difference between exposing oneself to children and what sounds like an attempt at a private moment & being seen on accident.

    I’m usually pretty comfortable living here in WS, but knowing if I mess up that dozens of people will immediately slam me on a local news blog really makes me sick to my stomach. I used to be proud to live here, but seeing you people judge someone so easily is awful.

  • I. Ponder October 27, 2013 (9:14 pm)

    The West Seattle mob grows. All good people carrying torches. Guilty! Lock him up forever. Banish him. Unless of course it’s a member of their own family or a neighbor they like.

  • Gutfeel October 28, 2013 (8:56 am)

    I am with DF! Nothing matches! We need to keep looking! This guy made a serious mistake, but I doubt he will even touches his private parts for a long time!

  • Over Reaction Monday October 28, 2013 (11:56 am)

    Network Engineer gets text alert from work about a system failure. He pulls over to respond and while looking down at his smart phone and texting-spooks a young girl who is on edge from all of last weeks news.

    The student may have misread the man’s actions and sets off a cascade of reactions.

    Man is wondering WTF while others are busy burning his name and career on this blog?

    Let the process play out before you go calling his employer and sharing on Facebook…

  • JM October 28, 2013 (4:31 pm)

    Over Reaction Monday gets it! Thank you for being logical, seems like we are short of that in this neighborhood as of late.

  • m October 28, 2013 (9:57 pm)

    @ Over Reaction Monday – wow, you’ve made up quite a story from the vantage point of being nowhere in the vicinity. Why should we believe that your make-believe story is more credible than a high school girl’s uncomplicated report as an eye witness? I believe in innocent until proven guilty AND I believe in disbelieving someone who has nothing to do with the incident in question.

  • Jacob October 29, 2013 (2:41 am)

    This guy was two blocks from a school. Which means he’s not close enough to be doing anything that should be connected to the school . Sure he was doing something discusting however I think it’s more a extremely wrong time and place which caused the press to make a field day.

    $500 bail is nothing for bail I have a friend that had a suspended license with his first offense that’s bail was $10,000 so obviously even the police don’t believe this is the guy who’s causing the other things. Also if he had a history bail would be higher as well.

    Bad decision and extremely bad timing and location made his Friday horrible and I don’t believe he should be viewed as a child pedafiile. If he was in their with his wife having sex his bail would be more than $500.

    If he is guilty I think he is only guilty of trying to get away from his kids and wife for some what he thought was innocent alone time most likely using his iphone to look at porn (he works in IT so obviously is tech savy). I think the press and news are desperate to make a huge deal about it and should really look at the facts.

    2 blocks from school. (Know body’s eyes or binoculars can see that far without being obvious)
    $500 bail (obviously not repeat offender or have a rap sheet)
    8:30 in the morning not a peak time for school students walking to school.

    Only answer possible extreme overreaction caused be only the press and news.

  • I. Ponder October 29, 2013 (9:21 am)

    I think it’s wrong that he is being punished by the mob with the help of the media before he has had his day in court. His name, place of business, and associations published for the sake of public shaming. His name is also being associated with previous flasher incidents he likely didn’t commit. Perhaps he was involved in that child kidnapping from last week. Oh right, it turned out that didn’t actually happen. The mob wants some red meat.

  • Lyckatill November 6, 2013 (11:34 am)

    Why does the moderator allow people to post his personal information in the comments–where he works, that you can google him and find his address, etc.? He hasn’t been convicted of anything yet, and it seems that some of the commenters are creating a potentially dangerous situation for him and his family. I get that he was allegedly jerking it in his car near a school, but as members of the general public, we do not have the whole story and will not know for sure until he has his day in court. If he is in fact a perv, that is for the court to decide–not you. Also, as someone mentioned above, blasting his personal information all over the place may affect proper identification by the victims in the other recent flasher cases. By all means, be vigilant and teach your children about what is and is not appropriate behavior, but be fair about it. I am very disappointed in the mob mentality of this neighborhood. This is not who we are.

Sorry, comment time is over.