Update: RapidRide passengers stop armed robber; suspect arrested

(UPDATED TUESDAY MORNING with more details from police report – scroll down)

(Photos by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand, added 7:42 pm)
6:42 PM: Multiple Rapid Ride buses are stopped in Morgan Junction right now on California just north of Fauntleroy as part of a police investigation that’s led to an arrest. We’re still working to find out exactly what happened but avoid the area if you can. More to come.

6:50 PM UPDATE: Our crew at the scene says this is actually happening closer to California/Raymond, north of Graham.

7:00 PM UPDATE: While we have no official information yet, multiple people including commenters say this involved a man pulling a gun on a bus. We’ve reached the King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, who would speak for the Transit Police, but we’re told that Seattle Police are leading the investigation, so we’re working to get more comment from them.

7:15 PM UPDATE: Police have now confirmed at the scene that the man they arrested is suspected of trying to rob people at gunpoint aboard the bus. Multiple witnesses tell us he was stopped by riders who tackled him.

7:33 PM UPDATE: Just talked with a man who says he was among those who subdued the suspect. He said he mostly wanted to give “a big shoutout to a guy named Joshua” who was the first to “start bringing him down … he did an admirable thing.” He says the would-be robber had pantyhose over his face and a gun that “looked like a large black revolver” and was “putting the gun against people’s faces, grabbing their cell phones.” (Others we’ve heard from mentioned that cellphones appeared to be what the man was after.) How did Joshua try to stop the man with the gun? we asked. “First thing he did was grab the arm holding the revolver and managed to get his finger in” to where he could stop the trigger from being pulled. “We were sitting on (the armed man) trying to restrain him,” and it seemed like five minutes before police arrived, he said.

7:57 PM UPDATE: A few more details from police now, via SPD Blotter: The suspect is 19 years old and got on the bus at 3rd and Pike downtown, but “kept to himself” until the bus arrived in the 6000 block of California SW. After the arrest, police say, the suspect kicked out a squad car’s window, and was subsequently taken to jail in this van we photographed at the scene:

SPD says the suspect was booked for investigation of three counts of robbery.

ADDED 8:23 AM TUESDAY: Some have asked about the detail in the SPD Blotter report suggesting the suspect was seen wearing a mask long before the robberies. We’ve just obtained a copy of the police report this morning, and the officer did indeed write that one robbery victim “said he noticed (the suspect) because (the suspect) had a stocking covering part of his face.” Also from the report, here’s what police say that victim told them about how it unfolded:

(Victim) told me that the bus made it all the way from downtown to the 6000 block of California Av SW. About that time he saw (suspect) rob a female passenger … of her cell phone by sticking a black handgun into her face and demanding her phone.

(Suspect) then stepped across the aisle and pointed the gun into (victim’s) face and demanded his cell phone. (Victim) initially refused to give his cell phone to (suspect, who) then shoved the handgun into the back of (victim’s) head and said, “give me your phone, don’t make this harder.” (Victim) then gave (suspect) his phone. (Victim) told me that (suspect) then walked further down the aisle and shoved his gun into the face of another male passenger … and demanded his cell phone. (That passenger) grabbed the gun and shoved it away from him. (A passenger) then started hitting (suspect), with several passengers … shoving (suspect) to the floor of the bus. (Four passengers in all) held (suspect) down until officers arrived.

We are checking to see if the suspect will appear for a bail hearing this afternoon. The report also says that while he was described as “very agitated and belligerent toward officers and the other bus passengers after he was placed into custody,” the suspect “did not appear intoxicated on alcohol or narcotics.” So far as we can tell from court records, he does not have a criminal history, at least in this state, just a couple of traffic tickets from earlier this month.

105 Replies to "Update: RapidRide passengers stop armed robber; suspect arrested"

  • Busrider November 25, 2013 (6:45 pm)

    Riding the C now to West Seattle. Heard an announcement to reroute buses but don’t have details.

  • Dana November 25, 2013 (6:51 pm)

    I live right in front of here. A guy waiting for the bus told me they pulled a guy off a bus who had a gun.

  • William November 25, 2013 (6:52 pm)

    I only saw one bus stopped, but I was stuck in traffic behind and then next to it for a few minutes before the police started letting cars go through again. Very curious as to what it was all about, and a little nervous about what I might have been next to.

  • Tracy Willis November 25, 2013 (6:52 pm)

    Guy on c bus tried to rob riders at gunpoint. They boarded and overtook him and he’s on his way to booking. Police used martial arts swords or something like that in apprehending him. Crazy scene but glad everyone is unharmed.

  • jacob November 25, 2013 (6:52 pm)

    I overheard some of the people walking south that were on the bus say that a man pulled gun on someone on the bus, and that a bunch of people tackled him. They thought the gun was fake, but weren’t sure.

  • Jill November 25, 2013 (6:53 pm)

    I was on the bus in question, someone pulled a gun and was taken down by other riders from what I could see. People started yelling to get off of the bus someone has a gun and everyone ran off. Multiple people called 911. I don’t know if anyone was injured

  • KM November 25, 2013 (7:01 pm)

    Police used martial arts swords? Huh?

    • WSB November 25, 2013 (7:07 pm)

      Police do not carry “martial-arts swords” that I know of. I’m sorry we don’t have official information on this yet before rumors go wild but we have messages out to SPD media liaisons plus our crew is waiting at the scene in hopes that someone will become available for more questions. We just talked to a KCSO spokesperson in hopes they could tell us more, since Transit Police are under their jurisdiction, but they say SPD is the lead on this. Thanks for any additional firsthand info – and if anyone doesn’t want to leave a comment, we’re reachable by e-mail at editor@westseattleblog.com – TR

  • Laura A November 25, 2013 (7:13 pm)

    I was on another C and was let off the bus. Ended up talking to one of the women who had been on the bus and she had said that the passengers actually tackled the guy and then yelled “gun” and everyone ran off the bus. She said she hid behind a car. There were at least 4 C buses stopped, 8 police cars, a police van showed up later as well as a fire truck and two ambulances. Although, I never heard that anyone got hurt. One man said that they had apprehended the man with the gun but he was kicking the police officers and they were struggling to get him in the police car. Thus the van I guess…

    Would like to know if anyone did get hurt. Perhaps a police officer?

    Oh! Also, in response to the editor. Someone said that the guy pulled out the gun to steal someone’s cell phone and that another one pulled out a knife to stop the gunman. Could be another rumor though. But that would explain the “police with swords”.

    • WSB November 25, 2013 (7:19 pm)

      Thanks, Laura. There was an aid car but no injuries that we have heard so far. The suspect apparently was agitated – sometimes that leads to a medical call. Our crew was finally able to talk with SPD at the scene and get the robbery-attempt part of the story confirmed. If anybody reading this knows any of the heroic suspect-tackling fellow passengers, we’d love to hear from them too … But most importantly, hope all involved are indeed OK. – TR

  • Mama me A November 25, 2013 (7:13 pm)

    Nice work to the brave citizens for standing up to the violence!!! Not expected but ALWAYS respected!! And seriously we don’t take that crap here on the WESt SiDe!

  • GC November 25, 2013 (7:20 pm)

    If they can be identified, those riders each deserve some sort of public (and ideally negotiable) reward.

  • Jill November 25, 2013 (7:20 pm)

    Two men who lived in apartments near the scene tried to board the bus with swords after the man was subdued by passengers. They were obviously not let onto the bus. The police did not have swords.

  • Jason November 25, 2013 (7:36 pm)

    Now I am sitting here wishing we had these sword cops.

  • ds November 25, 2013 (7:48 pm)

    Jedi swords, maybe. Police sabers????

    Good. Grief.

  • Charlie November 25, 2013 (7:52 pm)

    You and me both, Justin!

  • CB November 25, 2013 (8:00 pm)

    I was on the bus. To clarify, the police didn’t have swords. But at one point when we were restraining the guy another guy walked by the bus and stuck his head in asking if we needed help. He appeared to have a sword.

  • ~HockeyWitch~ November 25, 2013 (8:00 pm)

    Way to go Joshua and other passengers, that stopped something that could have turned out to be something REALLY horrible. They were just doing a story on the news this evening about violence on Metro buses.. Then this happens. Glad people weren’t afraid to get involved. Kudos to all that helped!

  • imcoveredinbees November 25, 2013 (8:01 pm)

    I’m not in favor of the police having swords. Too many weapons already!

    Bravo to the heros! I have secretly always wanted to take down a gunman. Way to go!

  • Elise November 25, 2013 (8:09 pm)

    This all happened in front of ZippyDogs! We had a “dogs eye view” from our 2nd floor and were wondering why there was screaming and commotion out on the side walk. Every one just ran off the bus and scrambled into our walk way. Then sirens and lots of them. Police were there in minutes. The guy who subdued the man was there with his wife and three kids – headed to the airport. Saw one police officer run on to the bus to help the guy who had the perp on the floor of the bus. Then a bunch of cops and then the kid was hauled off the bus. I also heard about swords and think it was a couple of guys from the apartment building next door trying to help. Some excitement in West Seattle. Crazy!!

  • Strange November 25, 2013 (8:11 pm)

    Am I reading correctly? The blotter says he was wearing the nylons stocking mask over his face when he got on downtown…really?

    “….investigation indicates that the suspect got onto the bus at 3rd Avenue and Pike Street wearing a nylon stocking mask pulled down over his face.  He sat down and kept to himself until the bus reached the 6000 block of California Avenue SW. “

  • Alkilady November 25, 2013 (8:18 pm)

    I’m for police with swords if they are also on horseback.

  • Noelle November 25, 2013 (8:20 pm)

    Strange – That is odd! Who walks around in Seattle with a stocking mask?

  • Diane November 25, 2013 (8:20 pm)

    good question Strange

  • Diane November 25, 2013 (8:27 pm)

    “suspect is 19 years old and got on the bus at 3rd and Pike downtown, but “kept to himself”
    THE most hellish bus stop downtown, swarming with thugs, every damn night; to all the naysayers who keep saying “it’s all in your mind”, and that data shows downtown is safe; is this not proof enough? or do we have to wait for some bus riders to be killed before downtown and our buses/bus stops get proper attention? now the downtown criminals are riding into our neighborhood to threaten people?
    thank god and highest praise to all of our brave neighbors who took down this gunman, and to those who held it together enough to call 911, and try to calm others; that whole thing sounds scary as hell

  • CB November 25, 2013 (8:30 pm)

    Nice to read that a few brave folks foiled this jerk’s plans. We need more people like this.

  • Eilene Hutchinson November 25, 2013 (8:47 pm)

    Many thanks to those brave folks that tackled this man and kept others safe!Took a lot of courage. It could not have been an easy task, based on the description of his behavior after being arrested.

  • anne November 25, 2013 (8:48 pm)

    Last week at the same 3rd & Pine southbound bus stop I saw a young guy carrying 2 large bottles of liquor in his arms, “scalping” them (for lack of a better verb) for cash to any interested bystander. By the time I boarded my bus he sold one. I called the police when I arrived home but it was too late for them to act. The 3rd & Pine stop can get pretty strange after work, but safety is a larger concern. Thank you for the coverage tonight.

  • Concerned C Line and light rail rider November 25, 2013 (8:57 pm)

    Can anyone confirm if there has been a rash of robberies for cell phones on public transit? I’ve heard of similar situations on the light rail too? If true does SPD or the TA have any plan to manage this?

  • Happy Momma November 25, 2013 (9:04 pm)

    I second HockeyWitch!! I am glad Joshua and others were able to subdue him without getting hurt. I have been worried about taking the bus with my little one but feel better knowing that passengers do stand up for one another.

  • F it November 25, 2013 (9:05 pm)

    Well, let’s keep pumping funding into transit and keep making it easier for pukes like this to have easy access to our nice communities. If there were not $2.50 buses from downtown to West Seattle or stop let people get on for free maybe this kind of stuff couldn’t happen?
    Instead of trying to make people who work for a living and drive cars pay for the buses, how about raise the price of buses to like $5 each direction so only people who can afford it can take the bus?
    I commend the passengers who were brave enough to take this POS down though.

  • Genesee Hill November 25, 2013 (9:11 pm)

    Thank you to the brave folks who took this scuz down. There are folks, like me, who vent and whine and criticize. Then there are the folks who are brave, have courage, and act.

    Thank you, brave and courageous folks. I hope to be more like you in the future.

  • D.D.S. November 25, 2013 (9:26 pm)

    This is For all the People who want to expand mass transit.(Mass Crime)

  • christina Darragh November 25, 2013 (9:33 pm)

    Own Eco Beauty Salonspa and incident was right in front of 6040 cal ave sw,t 6:12pm, I called WS blog to get make sure that he knew what was going on….saw the guy get arrested on the bus after the passengers took him down.Then the guy tried to kick out the window of the officer’s car. Then the guy was taken away in a policepaddywagon.

  • EmmyJane November 25, 2013 (9:34 pm)

    3rd and pine/pike-I’ve witnessed selling alcohol, selling drugs openly so many times I’ve stopped counting, a guy getting beat up by a group of people and, my personal favorite, a guy getting stabbed. I’ve also been yelled at by a seriously mentally unstable woman and inappropriately touched on the bus by a man getting on there (police called- he ran). After all these years I still can’t believe they don’t have cops permanently stationed there.

  • SD November 25, 2013 (9:35 pm)

    Very scary. I’m thankful for the bravery of the people who acted and that no one was hurt.

    I’m also very curious about the SPD blotter report saying the suspect had the mask pulled down over his face when he got on the bus–did no one think that was unusual or suspicious? Which then made me wonder–did no one say or do anything because they were afraid to call 911 and have the guy hear them do so? Is texting 911 a possibility in that type of situation (or any other where having the person hear you call might be dangerous)?

  • 1000amys November 25, 2013 (9:41 pm)

    Um, charge $5 so only people who can afford it ride buses??? Those people have cars!!! And I hate to be the one to break it to the previous commenter, but poor people already live in your nice community. So perhaps you have another suggestion?

  • Diane November 25, 2013 (9:50 pm)

    yes, Anne; at the 3rd/Pike outside-drug-store (in front of Walgreens) there’s a swarm of criminal activity at night; out in the open selling drugs, booze, cigarettes, clothes, bus transfers…. perhaps the only legit sales is Real Change

  • Noelle November 25, 2013 (9:52 pm)

    This really is interesting as it applies to BUS STOP location & safety. 3rd is literally the most dangerous street in town according to this story by KIRO.


  • Diane November 25, 2013 (9:54 pm)

    I so agree EmmyJane; I’ve been begging for cops at this bus stop, for years

  • CJ November 25, 2013 (10:01 pm)

    Wow wow wow! the bravery shown today is awe inspiring! You have my utmost respect. I’m sure your loved ones are squeezing you tighter tonight! I hope all involved will soon find peace of mind after such an unnerving experience.

  • Eric1 November 25, 2013 (10:05 pm)

    Scary situation. Thanks to all those who acted. I know it is just “stuff” and the police will tell you to just give it to the robbers but the general public can only take so much.
    Once again kudos for making sure this guy gets arrested.

  • F it November 25, 2013 (10:07 pm)

    I agree D.D.S, you get it. And they want to expand it at car owner’s expense…Not on my watch.

  • Gatewood November 25, 2013 (10:16 pm)

    An hour to get anywhere from west seattle, no place to park, less bus service, more crime on transit, more crowding by developers…Goodbye quaint West Seattle!

  • Magpie November 25, 2013 (10:28 pm)

    3rd and Pike sucks! Even when it is light out, but after commuting hours, it is really sketchy. I particularly like that there are all kinds of contraband for sale and usually a heavy marijuana smell..not adults, usually teenagers. I miss when the WS buses came down 5th. I am so glad everyone was physically ok. This happened in front of where my son lives.

  • ttt November 25, 2013 (10:31 pm)

    That stop is awful, and the shady people that get on from that stop do not need money, as I have witnessed the bus driver let them on as they beg to ride for free or for less than the fare– I think the driver is just afraid they will get hurt if they don’t let them ride the bus…
    Hoorah for citizens that won’t take that kind of crap and are keeping our buses safe!!

  • B-Check November 25, 2013 (11:12 pm)

    Congrats to the three stout souls who thwarted the would be crime. Also nice of Napoleon Dynamite to make an appearance afterwards with his bow-staff – really? Who shows up with a sword? Ah well.

    For those rallying against mass transit – buses/transit don’t create poverty/crime, and as others mentioned, we have low income neighbors – that doesn’t mean they are criminals. It’s hard to believe if you watch TV news, but crime rates have actually been on a downward trend since the 1970s, it’s just that we have more people and more coverage of every negative/sensationalistic event (same applies to car accidents/fatalities).

  • Alki Resident November 25, 2013 (11:39 pm)

    Thank GOD my daughter and her friend missed the bus and called me to come get her. First the flashers and now this. An armed robbery with toy guns at 9th SW store. I don’t feel safe anywhere around here anymore much less letting my daughter take the bus after school anymore.
    If it weren’t for Joshua, this could’ve ended up so much worse. Im so proud there are still people willing to protect the public.

  • Westside Vigilante November 26, 2013 (12:03 am)

    Props to the guys that tackled this dirtbag and prevented him from making this a much worse scene. We need more and more of this – citizens pushing back against thugs. It’s the only way to keep our city. Remember that onlookers that did nothing.

  • Mariah November 26, 2013 (12:26 am)

    What I want to know is who was driving the bus. My partner drives that route.

  • Bread November 26, 2013 (12:36 am)

    I think that this is the guy:

    Custody/Facility: Seattle Correctional Facility
    Book Date: 11/25/2013 19:20
    BA: 213031651
    Bail Amount: Bail Denied
    Charge: ROBBERY INV

  • BrassyMomma November 26, 2013 (1:40 am)

    That’s it.

    We can’t afford to buy a car (the bus is expensive enough) but that’s it – I’m done. I’ve been a tried-and-true busrider since I was a kid into my 40’s. But this is the last straw. My kiddo and I are going to find a away to not do this anymore. yeah, yeah car theft and jackings – whatever. We are bound and dependent on this route. The overcrowding, the crappy seats, the cost, and yes – the amount of people who are clearly falling apart on meth or drunk or whathaveyou has been pushing us to walk everywhere more and more. My biggest fear is this type of event (I was in Fremont when the bus went off the bridge – that fear still lingers) I am just worried over all the time. And now, it’s here and that’s it. I’m done.

    By the way – for the all harassing and hassling those so-called Fare Enforcers do (kicking off the wrong people, bothering black women about their transfers and homeless men using Salvation Army cards, missing people jumping on right after they leave who obviously had no intent to pay) were they on the bus at all? How about the one who always were a bullet-proof vest? Where were they?

    I am so proud of our West Seattle family and community for taking this wacko down (dare I say, they went Brooklyn on his ass?! I miss old Brooklyn.) Over the bridge in Seatown I’ve seen people harassed and threatened and guess what – repeatedly the victim is kicked off the bus for raising their voice. I’ve come to the defense of quite a few people getting freaked out on by nuts and only _once_ in 18 years did someone else do something – the driver stopped the guys from railing on a woman and her kid. A bus full of huge guys and no one but little ol’ me and the driver dealing with this woman trying to protect herself and her kid from a pair of psychos.

    West Seattle can’t die out with the rest of Seattle, Ballard, Fremont, Central, Downtown. :(

    We need our WS Buses to wear a banner that reads:
    Don’t F*** with us and we’ll let you ride.

  • DarkHawke November 26, 2013 (3:29 am)

    Chilling, and kinda surprising to see this happen on the hipster C line instead of the 120, which has at least sketchier-looking folks (yours truly included) on board. A not so subtle reminder that we can’t rely on the oft-hamstrung SPD to keep us safe, and we can’t let only the bad guys have guns.

    Oh, and Monique Ming Laven credited WSB information at the beginning of her report about this fracas on KIRO’s 11 PM news last night! A small but nice bright spot, there.

  • T November 26, 2013 (4:56 am)

    I should start riding my bike everywhere? This stuff started since they started having the C line transit hub at Westwood. This stuff never used to happen. I almost feel like a prisoner here in WS. So sad.

  • Ally November 26, 2013 (5:10 am)

    Too many people now in west seattle with all these apartments they built. More people equals more crime. The rising crime rate in WS not only scares me, but my neighbors have mentioned it. My doors are locked always and only go out at night if necessary. Prisoner in my own home.

  • CandrewB November 26, 2013 (5:50 am)

    Now that is a criminal mastermind right there. I wonder what he thought his escape plane would be, lie low at the Beveridge till the heat died down?

  • WestofJunction November 26, 2013 (5:56 am)

    As a long time rider, I’m really getting disgusted. The C-bus is overcrowded even at off times, really smelly, and seems to always have at least one rider with serious mental health issues. One trip there was a guy carring an open bucket of rotten bait- even with the windows open, the stench was overpowering – nothing was done about it – enough is enough!

  • Kayleigh November 26, 2013 (6:04 am)

    So glad everyone is safe and that I have such awesome and brave neighbors. For real. I’d have been terrified out of my mind. I’m on that bus regularly.
    Third and Pine/Pike is so disgusting and scary that I honestly feel like I’m in a movie or something when I have to walk through there. I’m baffled as to why the police can’t do *something* to clean up that block. Does anyone know why the crime collects there?

  • Darryll November 26, 2013 (6:26 am)

    Maybe the simple answer is that more of us need to attend city council meetings, visit the mayor’s office with our concerns, and vote for public safety. Maybe even question why SPD does not aggressively police known hotspots.

  • ws born&bred November 26, 2013 (6:34 am)

    I hope the heroes that took this kid down are awarded! I will echo what others have said about the 3rd and Pike stop. Its been bad at that stop at least since I started riding metro as a teenager in the 90s. The buildings may have changed, but the people haven’t. What appalls me more than the crazies at 3rd and Pike though is the ignorant thinking behind those that suggest raising fares and not expanding mass transit. Some of us active and law-abiding citizens that care about our community and want to help alleviate traffic congestion can’t even afford the current $2.50 per direction let alone $5. Your idiotic ideas are only hurting us. Not the scumbag that gets on for free because the poor driver might get shot for trying to enforce the fare. But yeah lets keep making it more difficult to take the bus so everyone can drive alone in their car and spend 5 hours sitting in a sea of cars going nowhere and spend $500 a month to find a place to park. I commend you for your forward thinking (insert eye roll here), but I’ll stick with my fellow west Seattle bus riders. I feel safer knowing at least my community hasn’t changed in that way. As we used to say when I was a kid, don’t mess with the West.

  • FionaEnzo November 26, 2013 (6:46 am)

    Thanks to bus heroes! I take this bus – hate 3rd and pine stop. Always seems on the verge of some explosion. I think this is another wake up to disconnect from our devices or at least to look up and look around regularly. I have always figured that there are folks watching to rob people when they get off the bus individually. Be aware of who is getting off the bus at the same time. Not unique to Seattle, just city crime.

  • Kelly November 26, 2013 (7:26 am)

    Yes, this is scary (and I wasn’t there–I can only imagine). But I have been a very regular bus rider from West Seattle to Downtown for 10 years and I have had an overwhelmingly positive experience. I’m not saying I haven’t sat next to a drunk on the 21 local, that the C isn’t crowded, or that the 120 doesn’t serve a different income bracket than the 56 (understatement of the year). But regardless of the route I’m on, the vast majority of the people I see are just like me–commuting to and from work or school, listing to music, poking at their shiny devices or reading a book. Regardless of the route, these people are my neighbors.
    It’s not fair to blame the bus system for crime, it happens. I echo what FionaEnzo said, above: I think being aware is the best we can do. I don’t catch the bus at 3rd and Pine, I walk to a safer stop. If it’s late at night, I pay special attention to who else is on the bus and I put my shiny device away.

  • blanchus November 26, 2013 (8:01 am)

    Nice work riders….maybe that’s how we start dealing with crime. Get involved ourselves.

  • Anonymous November 26, 2013 (8:23 am)

    You know, at first when I read this I was more shocked and had thought about how I don’t miss taking the bus, but thinking back on it, I’ve had so many positive experiences on the bus over the years. It’s not a regular thing for someone to get on a bus and rob people on the bus. I typically take the 120 home, and while every once in a while there will be someone obnoxious on the bus, there’s usually at least 3-4 people on the bus keeping their eyes on them and making sure they don’t harass anyone. I’ve had a creepy guy go up to me on the bus that made me super uncomfortable and another guy came over and put himself between us blocking him from me and asking if I was alright.

  • miws November 26, 2013 (8:36 am)

    Kudos to these people for getting involved!



  • Lindsey November 26, 2013 (8:49 am)

    To the commenters asking why nobody noticed that he may have gotten on the bus with a mask on… just about everything that goes on at 3rd and Pike is “unusual or suspicious.”

    • WSB November 26, 2013 (8:50 am)

      Speaking of which, I have just updated the story (immediately above the comments, if you scroll back up) with a chunk of additional info from the police report, after procuring it from SPD. A witness/robbery victim did indeed tell police, according to the report, that the suspect boarded the bus with a stocking pulled PARTWAY over his face. – Tracy

  • Roseberry November 26, 2013 (8:56 am)

    I hope everyone who is putting comments here about the overcrowding on the C Line is also sending those comments directly to Metro, which is still under the delusion that the Rancid Ride “improved” West Seattle service. $69 million spent on glitzy bus stops, and we ended up with much more crowded buses that are, ironically, no faster than the old ones! I’d like to see the #54 reinstated as a local route option, and for those who cannot walk the long distances (sometimes over half a mile) between C Line stops. Write Metro!

  • Babs November 26, 2013 (9:03 am)

    Heroes is what they are, and you don’t become one unless you venture to the cliff edge as they did. For once I hope the press will cover them and their why so people realize we need to stand together.
    Other: I use the phone app One Bus Away which is fab but need to be more careful in unsafe locations. Kudos to the heroes!

  • Neighbor November 26, 2013 (9:06 am)

    What’s really shocking is that the citizens all seem to get how dangerous 3rd and Pike is yet no city official has done a single thing about it. This city council is not serving the citizens of this city. Why? Seattle is not a functioning as a city that puts citizenry first.

  • Carole November 26, 2013 (9:17 am)

    Guy gets on with nylon mask partially covering his face? Bus driver doesn’t think maybe I should call this in and have security hop on board at the next stop?

  • Anonymous November 26, 2013 (9:24 am)

    @neighbor, I ask myself that all the time. Same with the fact nothing is ever done about all the crap that goes on at Victor Steinbrueck Park.

  • Aims November 26, 2013 (9:30 am)

    Thankfully people are safe.
    This is a big reminder to pay attention. After I’m on bus I have my nose buried in a book. This will be that awareness reminder we all need. I get on & off bus at 3rd & Pike and even at 6:30 am it’s sketchy. I rarely feel safe at that stop. It will not help anyone to increase bus fares. That will not stop the crime, just make it more expensive for those who rely on bus. Sorry but I can’t afford to a to park downtown 5 days a week. Nor should the city want that.
    Big thank you to you folks for stopping this lunatic. I’ve been at 3rd waiting for the bus and seen women harassed by thugs and people just watch. Seriously need to post an officer there.

  • JustAnotherWestie November 26, 2013 (9:30 am)

    “I don’t catch the bus at 3rd and Pine, I walk to a safer stop.”

    Couldn’t agree with this comment more, I catch the stop before, if not for the simple fact that, when the 120 rolls up, it’s like a MOSH PIT or FIRE ALARM DRILL GONE BAD of people shoving, pushing, to get on.

  • Mystique2u November 26, 2013 (9:33 am)

    Ugh we boarded together… I’m so THANKFUL people are standing up for themselves AND others… This happened RIGHT after I got off. I usually ride with my baby and I will continue to do so because of these heroes! Thank GooDness I was running late… literally at the VERY last minute I decided to leave my Babylove home with a sitter AND I got off of the 1 stop before my usual. I truly believe we are where we’re supposed to be. Counting my blessings.

  • GB November 26, 2013 (10:07 am)

    I love public transit and I love the environment but I quit riding Metro 2 years ago after harassment and threats. Seattle has become less accommodating to car commuters while at the same time cut bus routes, and riding the bus has become less safe. That is not what smart cities do.

  • snowball November 26, 2013 (10:10 am)

    The bus stop at 3rd and Pike/Pine is totally ridiculous. After a kid tried to steal my cell phone out of my hand at 4:30 in the afternoon in front of probably about 40 people (not a single one of which offered any assistance), I started walking a couple blocks north and getting on the bus at 3rd and Virginia instead. If that is a possibility for you, you might consider doing that also, even though it is out of the way. While there is still a small criminal element there – usually groups of 2 or 3 people openly smoking/selling pot – they pretty much keep to themselves and I feel much safer than I do at Pike/Pine.

  • uhm November 26, 2013 (10:20 am)

    Hey “f it” I understand your upset its a horrible thing but $5 a bus ride??? Im 17 years old and my only transportation is bus.. I only make minimum wage and cant afford that.

  • Jason November 26, 2013 (10:23 am)

    Thank you to the brave souls who subdued this guy.

    Like many of you, I wait at 3rd and Pine every evening for the bus to WS and often see suspicious characters/behavior around. However, contrary to much of what I read above, I would like to point out that I also often see King County Sheriffs patrolling and the other day, there was an SPD officer hanging out and checking IDs on a couple of guys. So there is a law enforcement presence there. I agree there should be more patrols on that block but it’s not fair to say they aren’t around.

  • Krystal November 26, 2013 (10:33 am)

    Super proud of the bad-ass selfless commuters for tackling the guy. Good work West Seattle–proud to have you guys in my neighborhood!

  • proudofjoshua November 26, 2013 (11:01 am)

    Where is Joshua??!! He needs a medal!

    • WSB November 26, 2013 (11:24 am)

      I would love to talk to him. Or would at least love to see him comment here. However, if I read a much-earlier comment correctly, he might be traveling.

  • Neighbor_too November 26, 2013 (11:41 am)

    F_it: poor doesn’t mean bad. Bad people and mentally come from all walks of life. Thanks to the people that stopped this guy. I’m trying to hold onto what you did to tell myself it is still safe but in reality I have little option but to get on a bus.

    This morning on the 55 at 8:30am, there was an older man who say right in the middle of a bench seat, occupying 2 seats while a lot of people boarded. He did not move. Then another guy who looked unkempt came in with a huge backpack and luggage who took the entire bench right behind the driver with his body and pack. She didn’t do anything. I would have liked her to call transit police.

    Btw, I used to send in comments to metro but there was never a response of change from metro so I stopped doing it.

  • Dunno November 26, 2013 (11:47 am)

    May I suggest that at least half of metro secruity needs to be undercover and at these trouble spots often. They should be men and women of all races and not easy to spot.

  • Debra November 26, 2013 (12:58 pm)

    I realize that it seems like a great idea for bus riders to take law enforcement into their own hands, but the fact is that “Joshua” and those other guys who tackled the armed robber put themselves and the passengers of the bus in jeopardy. That gun could easily have gone off and killed someone! I think after 9-11 citizens got the idea that it’s a good idea to stand up to wackos, but it isn’t always a good idea. Risk lives for a few cell phones? Stupid.

    But having been on a bus previously with a guy threatening driver and passengers, I would very much like to have people be able to quiety text the police to come and assist. Why isn’t that possible? You can’t start calling and having a conversation with the 911 operator in front of a gun or knife-wielding crazy guy! And you can’t assume the driver of a crowded articulated bus is even aware of what’s going on.

  • joshua November 26, 2013 (1:00 pm)

    My name is Joshua and i was involved in taking down gunman. He was putting his gun in peoples faces when i got right up behind him. When his gun was clearly pointed away from a person, i graabbed for it and pulled it away. Just then two other guys tackled us and we all went down in a pile and the gunman started yelling, “i have a grenade!”
    No one bought it, so in a pile we stayed until police arrived. Strange how quickly police let me go without much questioning. Anyway, if i hadnt have done it, someone else would have.

  • SD November 26, 2013 (1:09 pm)

    Debra, I raised a question about texting 911 in my post last night–do you know for sure it’s not possible? It definitely should be if it’s not! I’m thinking about situations like this one as well as the Café Racer shooting, where the guy had to call quietly from the bathroom.

  • SD November 26, 2013 (1:30 pm)

    Thanks for the information, Tracy. And wow, that is a shockingly small list. Who would be in charge of working on that here, King County? Just wondering who to lobby to ask to implement it sooner rather than later.

  • WS Born&Bred November 26, 2013 (1:57 pm)

    I want to commend Joshua and the others again. While I agree that cell phones aren’t worth lives, at the same time, you have a large number of people trapped on a bus with a clearly unstable gunman – who knows if he would have started shooting people at random. Being able to smartly assess (as Joshua describes) a safe moment to take away the weapon then by all means do. Worse things could have happened. Police can’t be everywhere all the time. We have to be able to think smartly and protect ourselves, too.

  • Del Rio November 26, 2013 (2:22 pm)

    Thanks BrassyMomma for bringing up the so called fare enforcers. I almost got kicked off the bus after I misplaced my transfer. Thank God I found it. I feel if I pay my money at the fare box, I Should not have to worry about it again. Make everybody pay when you get on PERIOD.

  • WSB November 26, 2013 (2:49 pm)

    Just published an update on the bail hearing – quick call from our crew at the courthouse; will add more later.

  • ocean November 26, 2013 (2:50 pm)

    We have a deaf family member, and being able to text 9-1-1 would be HUGE– right now, that person would have to call 9-1-1 and keep repeating “I’m deaf, I need help” until help arrives hoping, of course, that there is a live person answering and not a recording of, “Please stay on the line, we’ll be with you soon.”
    Looking into “Smart 9-1-1” right now, but they need a list of potential numbers (house, cell) from which the person would call- what happens if there is a stranger’s borrowed phone being used?

  • Ace20604 November 26, 2013 (2:52 pm)

    I think I might be able to help with the sword part. At times I have seen SPD carrying shortened Bokken (A wooden training sword used by Kendo players) people are use to seeing the bamboo kendo swords that are use in contact matches, the usually white oak Bokken are reserved for Kata(martial arts forms) but would make a formidable self defense tool. Take in to account both here and Japan many officers also practice Kendo it might have been what people were seeing. Just my two bits trying to add some context.

  • Lez November 26, 2013 (3:15 pm)

    Hey f-it. I know a woman that works in Bellevue that has to take the bus. She has no car, couldn’t drive it if she did. Because Sound Transit won’t accept Metro passes (why?!!!) She has to spend $10 a day to get to and from work. She makes minimum wage so for evey day she works, she has to work one hour a day just to get to and from work. Now you want her to work two hours a day for the ability to to get to work? Really? How about half a day? Hell let her hitchhike, right? Or maybe forget about tival things like eating and having a place to live. She can live under a bridge somewhere, right? Irealize it’s too late for you or anyone else to be reading this but it’s morons like this that piss me off. Maybe I’ll buy a car and contribute to further congestion so this idiot won’t feel put upon abou paying into Metro funding.

  • Bradley November 26, 2013 (3:57 pm)

    Thank you so much, Joshua and the others who subdued this violent piece of trash. This just makes me appreciate my car SO much more!

  • Joe November 26, 2013 (4:00 pm)

    This is why I stay off the busses. I used to drive one years ago and was attacked and hospitalized by a huge mental patient. I did more than my share of bus time so I’ll just stick to my comfy station wagon and stay off the criminal-infested Metro.

  • SD November 26, 2013 (4:30 pm)

    Found this re text to 911 from December 2012 on the King County website. Apparently King Co. has the capability but not (all) the carriers. It’s supposed to be available everywhere by May 2014 according to this. I wasn’t able to find an update. http://www.kingcounty.gov/exec/news/release/2012/December/17TextTo911.aspx

  • Gunnar November 26, 2013 (7:05 pm)

    Regarding the incident on the bus, and wondering what kind of lunatics are on the loose, I’ve stopped putting my earbuds in and enjoying music while walking, waiting for the bus, and even on the bus. Believe me, I love music, but I value my safety even more.

  • F it November 26, 2013 (9:49 pm)

    To Lez and the others who commented on my post by only being able to call me an idiot or use other names. I at least commended the brave bus riders and all you can do is call me an idiot for suggesting ideas? If you actually read my post and didn’t just get blinded with hate on me questioning the current state of mass transit then you obviously didn’t see I was asking questions not making statements like you are. I know the WSB wont post this but if they do I said my last piece on the matter and stand by my original post. So much for open dialogue.

  • T November 26, 2013 (11:18 pm)

    3rd and Pike has been crime infested for many, many years. It is nothing new. That is why I never wait for the bus there.

  • Candace McCutcheon November 27, 2013 (6:03 am)

    Nice teamwork! What brave and capable people. We need more people like that. We need to look out for each other. I am very impressed with the people who had the courage and capability to stop this horrible perpetrator in his tracks! I bet he never saw it coming!

  • FionaEnzo November 27, 2013 (5:49 pm)

    Yay, Joshua et al. That’s my usual bus but I drove that day. Really appreciate your quick, altruistic actions. Thank you all!!

  • dsa November 27, 2013 (9:55 pm)

    Nice work Joshua. It probably couldn’t have been a clean take if SPD had to do it. You were at the right place at right time with the courage to use your skills. Thank you.

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