West Seattle Crime Watch: WSHS student grabbed, hits, escapes

1:58 PM: Seattle Police are searching for a man reported to have jumped out of the bushes near the east side of West Seattle High School, in the Walnut/Stevens vicinity. Police say the man was reported to have grabbed the arm of a passing female, who hit him and ran into the school. Police were not able to tell us if she is a student. She was not hurt. The man was described as white, 30s-40s, medium build, shoulder-length brown hair, about 5-11, in a blue zipup jacket and black pants.

2:06 PM UPDATE: Right after we talked with SPD media-relations Det. Jeff Kappel about this incident, which we had heard on the scanner, SPD mentioned it on Twitter and described the victim as a student. (Added: The SPD Blotter version pulls back on that but says she’s 16.)

2:43 PM UPDATE: Here’s principal Ruth Medsker‘s note just sent to WSHS families, forwarded to us by a parent:

Today, one of our students was off campus during lunch when she was grabbed by a male stranger. She was able to break away and ran back to school, where she immediately reported it to our school administration. We called 9-1-1 and the police responded quickly.

Please be assured that we are committed to keeping our students safe while they are at school. We will continue to remind students to report these types of incidents to us immediately, and we also encourage you to discuss personal safety with your student.

52 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: WSHS student grabbed, hits, escapes"

  • RS December 10, 2013 (2:30 pm)

    Scary. Did that SO that escaped from Canada get released already?

    • WSB December 10, 2013 (3:02 pm)

      RS – Michael S. Stanley has been in jail since October 22nd and remains there.

  • wsparent December 10, 2013 (2:49 pm)

    wonder if Lafayette will make parents aware they are nearby…

  • Alki resident December 10, 2013 (2:54 pm)

    Check the area behind Safeway gas station, there are people (men) in that alley that are shady and regularly steal food from both grocery stores. Here we go again. This girl is extremely lucky she got away.

  • NeighborMom December 10, 2013 (3:04 pm)

    Good job to the young woman who acted quickly. It would be great if the local middle and high schools could offer some kind of self defense curriculum.

  • Brenda December 10, 2013 (3:22 pm)


  • Kim G. December 10, 2013 (3:43 pm)

    I just talked to my 16 yo daughter who goes to WSHS AND leaves campus at lunch; she had no clue and wondered why the news bans were there. It’s slightly disturbing the school didn’t issue a warning to the kids.

  • Jim December 10, 2013 (3:46 pm)

    The best self-defense against this type of incident (IMO) is not to walk alone. Always be with at least one other person.

  • Alki Res December 10, 2013 (3:51 pm)

    Jim, not walking alone is good advice but not always possible… Especially with Seattle School District cutting school bus transportation to almost nothing due to budget cuts. I like the idea of a self-defense class for the students.

  • Mookie December 10, 2013 (4:02 pm)

    There is a free self-defense class for women in West Seattle on December 13th, at Seattle Integrated Martial Arts in West Seattle. It’s on the WSB events calendar:

  • Restita DeJesua December 10, 2013 (4:05 pm)

    I hope police catch this perp soon! In the meantime,I’m the head instructor at Seattle Wushu martial arts Center (used to be at the now Morgan Crossfit but now teaching inside Mirror Image Studio)….and I’ve taught martial arts at West Seattle High and other schools for many years (Madison, Explorer West, Schmitz Park,Denny,Sealth) for PE afterschool programs. I am willing to donate my time to do self defense series for the area school students….if any school is interested in offering their gym on a weekend afternoon I’d be happy to donate my time to teach teens effective self protection tactics.

  • Tracey Spenser December 10, 2013 (4:30 pm)

    Lee’s Martial Arts Academy at 3207 California Ave. S.W. has a self-defense workshop for women and for girls over 13 scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 5. Call 206-938-3375 for more information.

  • VJS December 10, 2013 (4:35 pm)

    Lafayette parents were never told. My kids walked through there an hour later by themselves. Would have been nice to receive an email from Lafayette.

  • WSHS Parent December 10, 2013 (4:51 pm)

    A teachable moment for us parents. I know I’ll be reviewing safety with my daughter. I like the idea of a self-defense/awareness class geared towards teens.

  • Lisa December 10, 2013 (4:58 pm)

    Lee’s Martial Arts on California Ave is offering Women/Girls Self defense class on January 5th from 12:30 to 4:30. Their phone number is 206-938-3375. Their web site is Lmawestseattle.com
    The instructor teaches at numerous high schools and colleges in the area.

  • WSHS Student December 10, 2013 (5:42 pm)

    Can we have a description of the person to watch out for him?

    • WSB December 10, 2013 (6:10 pm)

      WSHSS, the description is in the story – first paragraph.

  • JanS December 10, 2013 (6:49 pm)

    Alki resident. I live down that alley behind Safeway gas station, and all sorts of people walk down that alley, including me. And there are always cars coming and going. There are not, as far as I know, a bunch of ne’er do well men hanging out there. I am in that alley almost daily, and do not see what you are talking about

  • JanS December 10, 2013 (6:52 pm)

    in addition to the description that TR gave in the main story, the news this evening said that the man had shoulder length hair. That might stand out a little.

  • WSB December 10, 2013 (6:58 pm)

    Sorry, I had that detail. I wrote the original story on the phone in a rush before SPD had even tweeted about it. Shoulder-length BROWN hair, to be specific. Thumb forgot to type that part, adding now. – TR

  • JanS December 10, 2013 (7:50 pm)

    that danged thumb….:)

  • WSParent December 10, 2013 (8:34 pm)

    Hmmm…where is that other creeper that got arrested a month or so back near Chief Sealth High?

  • Phoenix December 10, 2013 (8:57 pm)

    Is it possible to find out why this information wasn’t given to Lafayette, Schmitz Park, & Madison families?

    • WSB December 10, 2013 (8:58 pm)

      I can ask the district tomorrow BUT I would say that it is probably most important for you to ask your principal/school administration directly. Otherwise they won’t know you were concerned – TR

  • Chanel December 10, 2013 (9:43 pm)

    My daughter goes to WSHS as well and occasionally takes Metro. Warning to parents: child predators and sex offenders ARE registered at addresses throughout WS and these ppl DO regularly ride busses. Thanks to SPS bus cuts, many of your middle school children will now be forced to ride alongside dangerous predators so please teach them regularly to be aware of who is around and if anyone is following once they get off. They need a safe place to go to other than home so they aren’t followed where they can call for help.

  • burb December 10, 2013 (11:47 pm)

    I’ve steered the district to the FlashAlert service that would text you about such emergencies.

    If they get it together, I’ll make sure they effectively communicate the app for this service. Then you must register.

  • Kerni December 11, 2013 (1:41 am)

    Big 5 in Westwood is having a wonderful festive holiday gun sale….ammo too.
    I find it surprising how these jack holes rarely get apprehended.
    Perhaps as victims we should remind them we’re tired of being portrayed as peace loving West Seattle sitting ducks.
    Most of us have an idea how to do so.

    North Admiral resident

  • LivesInWS December 11, 2013 (5:07 am)

    Good for the girl that she hit the scumbag! Fighting back ups your chances of getting free. Knowing how to punch, kick, and break holds is something every girl and woman should know how to do in cases like this.

  • Lura Ercolano December 11, 2013 (6:38 am)

    Chanel – you said that middle school children ride Metro buses alongside dangerous predators. But Metro is cutting those routes! Now themiddle school children will get to walk alone in the dark.

  • Shaking Head December 11, 2013 (8:07 am)

    Kerni – “Big 5 in Westwood having a wonderful festive holiday gun sale … ammo too”

    That’s brilliant, George Zimmerman is now blogging in West Seattle, no thanks.

  • admiral mom December 11, 2013 (8:13 am)

    I have kids at WSHS and Lafayette. Have heard nothing from either school about this (whatever form of communication came out of WSHS did not reach our house). This is a failed child abduction scenario with a suspect still at large. I’d like to see a more appropriate response from schools if/when this happens again.

    And once again, thank you WS blog for keeping us informed. I think it’s sad that a WSHS student had to come here to get a description of the suspect. Stay safe everyone.

  • Neighbor December 11, 2013 (9:05 am)

    I believe this person ran by me on the north side of Admiral bridge. He was running east while I was walking west. He did have long brown hair and a mid blue jacket on with long black pants. He looked like he was running for his life. It was odd because his clothes didn’t fit his age which I thought to be closer to twenty something and he wasn’t wearing clothes to be running like he was.
    If any homes on 39th have cameras please check them.

    What is really disturbing to me is that I had to make another trip to the store later that afternoon and saw children way too young to be walking home alone doing so along the same path. Why didn’t the elementary school at least notify parents?

  • Alki Res December 11, 2013 (9:14 am)

    @Restita DeJesua: That is very generous of you to offer your time. Can you contact the WSHS or Madison school principals to see if they would offer the class? (This would even be a good assembly for them to discuss safety) There are a lot of classes for women/girls but boys should also have this training.

  • Tk December 11, 2013 (9:20 am)

    I imagine someone’s getting a haircut today. I’d like to see a sketch as that is my age group (30-40) and I know everyone in the neighborhood.

  • Alki Res December 11, 2013 (9:23 am)

    Madison didn’t say anything to anyone. I got an email from WSHS but my student said they did not say anything to the students. They should have warned the students to be extra careful !! Many of them walk home or take the metro and the park & community center are also filled with school kids. Thank you WS Blog for keeping us informed. As the saying goes, it takes a village….

    • WSB December 11, 2013 (9:48 am)

      I’m inquiring with district HQ but again want to reiterate, please raise notification concerns directly with your school (or whomever) – who knows, maybe a principal has been lobbying for something like the alert system mentioned by a commenter here, and in order to campaign for it, they need to be able to say “when X happened, we heard from X parents …” – TR

  • G December 11, 2013 (9:37 am)


    Good to know, thanks. I’ve never owned a gun, but am in the process of obtaining one. Most likely a small calibre Ruger 380 to have at home….just in case.

  • GB December 11, 2013 (10:19 am)

    To NEIGHBOR – CALL THE POLICE. Do not just post your eyewitness on a blog. Call police, please.

  • Neighbor December 11, 2013 (12:11 pm)

    Police were called, I am very concerned about this man. The neighborhood he was running towards is my own!

  • Katherine Blackett December 11, 2013 (1:26 pm)

    As a student at WSHS, we were not made aware of the situation and the staff had no contact with the students about the incident that occurred at the school. This is outrageous because the first step to safety is being aware of the situation. When asked by the school reporters about the incident, she was unwilling to reveal any information or solace for the student body

  • enough December 11, 2013 (1:38 pm)

    Interesting, kb.

  • Dan December 11, 2013 (2:30 pm)

    Those talking about self defense classes for students are not well informed. A female or a small young person of any gender will not to be able to fight off a determined, heathy average adult male even if they have black belt in whatever. This is especially true when the attacker has the advantage of surprise. Kids in situations such as this girl was in should, at the very least, carry pepper spray in hand with finger on the button. This girl was lucky, thank god. Training with other weapons, folding knives, batons etc. would be better than hand-to-hand training in these situations. Don’t give our kids or parents a false sense of security by thinking they can fight one of these off without a weapon. A little vigilante street justice may be in order to clean up the shady characters in that area. Fathers need to step up their own patrols and “cleaning.”

  • WSHS Student December 11, 2013 (3:15 pm)

    The school still has not yet warned or told us what happened yesterday. Some of us found out through a post from twitter from another classmate, or a status on Facebook saying there were cops around the school.. I find it disturbing how none of the school staff/administration said anything to us, since most of the students at the school walk home and take the metro…

  • Concerned December 11, 2013 (3:34 pm)

    The man described sounda similar to a man that lives under the admiral way bridge… He is white with shoulder length brown hair and wears blue pants and coat with hood. Any mention of dreadlocks? Just wanted to throw it out there.

  • miws December 11, 2013 (6:04 pm)

    Dan, what school in the area would allow students, or even staff members for that matter, to possess the self-defense weapons that you suggest?


    I’ve been hearing more and more in recent years, where experts in personal safety are saying that fighting back, screaming, doing anything to draw attention to the situation and trying to break free and run, are a preferred option to complying with a bad guy’s demands.


    Of course, every situation is different, and options need to be weighed out by the victim, or potential victim, to the best of their ability, on a case by case basis.



  • ArmedBear December 11, 2013 (7:50 pm)

    @ Shaking Head, thats your right if you don’t want to protect yourself and prefer the reactive police look for the person who attacks you. However some people prefer to be proactive with their personal protection and would prefer not being a victim of some dirt bag. This happens to be our constitutional right I recommend you read it sometime. Your comments are not only rude but ignorant of the world we live in. I hope if your ever being attacked someone like myself who has their conceal carry is around to help you out. I personally don’t like to rely on others for my safety!

  • Eric1 December 11, 2013 (9:56 pm)

    I think the key is awareness. If you know how to use a gun, do so. Learn a martial art (takes more time), Great. A taser or pepper spray are good non violent options. If it comes down to it, kicking and screaming works too. But you have to make the decision to NOT become a victim.
    I am proud of West Seattle with the last several incidents of action against thieves both with and without guns. Hopefully, the criminals will think twice about coming to our neighborhoods.

  • Kerni December 11, 2013 (10:31 pm)

    Hard to imagine being confronted by these types and NOT resisting or fighting back. Shaking Head wake up and smell reality. I’m not saying we should arm ourselves with guns in particular but as American citizens we certainly have the right to do so. Is it my understanding that you’ll take your lumps and afterwards wait for the SPD to show up? Wow…how honorable and irresponsible of you.

  • Suzie December 11, 2013 (11:27 pm)

    The Bottom line here is there is very very sick, perverted, careless, disturbing, pitiful, unhappy, creepy person running around here in west seattle planning their next move at any public or private schools around here! west seattle needs to be more informed / aware of any information to keep our kids, neighborhoods, busses, sidewalks and schools safe!!
    This creep more than likely loves the chase, the attention and is smart enough to not get caught yet… let’s hope no child does not get kidnapped , raped or murdered !! This is scary knowing how close this to all of us! I feel so sad for the girl that got away how frightening that must have been. So happy she got got away and gave the man a punch! thanks west seattle blog for the update. My daughters school in the area never informed us of the info. Which would add to safety awareness for all. Not all kids are able to have their family pick them up after school. I pray this person gets caught before anything else happens! Signed, a super concerned mom

  • Robert December 14, 2013 (10:11 pm)

    the city needs to cut the bushes back along the sidewalks so there is no place to hide , either cut the brush down or trim it up high enough that no one can be where they can’t be seen.

  • Natalie December 15, 2013 (5:26 am)

    Suzie-hope and pray, but also plan. Hope is not a plan.
    Robert-spot on. Either the city or the school (both funded by taxes) is responsible for keeping the brush trimmed back. It’s time some parents used the power of the pen to motivate these folks to do their jobs.

  • cityboy222 December 17, 2013 (3:59 pm)

    Earlier today 12/17 a white 4dr sedan possibly a small old Cadillac with a solid dark blue Montana lic plate #—6195B. Driver was a black man mid-twenties with shoulder length dread locks…sound familiar?? He was spotted stealing mail a few weeks ago by someone reporting on the West Seattle Blog.

    Well, the driver and 2 occupants drove real slow down the alley between 38th and 37th heading south from Graham to Morgan. I got into my car to follow. I saw two black guys early twenties get out of this car near 38th and Graham. I followed the car and got the license plate. The car continued to circle the block down Morgan then up Morgan etc. I drove down 38th Ave SW and saw the two guys that got out of the car talking to someone on their front porch. My guess is the scoped the house out and decided to see if anyone was home. One guy was on his cell phone the whole time. They were both wearing black jackets, one with dark blue jeans and one with blue – blue jeans. One guy approx 5’-7” the other approx 5’-10” short cropped black hair one with red/white sneakers.

    After they talked to the homeowner they walked south not bothering to knock on anymore doors. They walked east on Morgan then got picked up by the guy in the white car!!! They drove south on 38th from there and I stopped the pursuit for my own safety.


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