The WSBeat: Kicked out; store stalker; singer smacked…

By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog

This edition of The WSBeat contains summaries written from reports on cases handled recently by Southwest Precinct officers – generally cases that (usually) have not already appeared here in breaking-news coverage or West Seattle Crime Watch reports, but that might at least answer the question “what WERE all those police doing on my block?” Or on the bridge, or the beach, or …

*A father and adult son got into an argument on the 13th: Son claimed that dad had kicked him 15 times and tried kicking him down a flight of stairs. Officers found no marks or injuries on the young man (who declined medics). Dad admitted he was upset to discover his son had sold a bicycle (the son’s transportation to work) and gotten a $300 loan from a local business. His dismay grew when he found $300 worth of lottery scratch tickets littering the floor. The young man decided to collect some of his belongings and leave.

Three more summaries ahead:

*On the 13th, a man threatened employees at two Alaska Junction stores. In one, he claimed to be from the Treasury Bureau and said he had come to confiscate everything. Adding to the bystanders’ concern, he kept his hand hidden in his pocket during the incident. He left before officers arrived and was told not to return. He was back the next day, told the clerks that he lived nearby and would come back whenever he pleased. He stood outside one business for ten minutes, staring pointedly at the clerk; customers were afraid to leave the building. Officers arrested him for trespassing. While being cuffed and searched he yelled that he had a loaded gun in his pocket. When the officer unzipped said pocket, the suspect yelled, “Boom! Now you’re dead!” repeatedly and laughed. During transport he yelled racial slurs and proclaimed his intention to kill and then eat one officer’s mother. He capped off the afternoon by stripping off his pants and, uh, hanging out in a holding cell. He was booked into King County Jail for investigation of harassment.

*On the 15th, officers were dispatched to a fight in the 2300 block of California Ave. They found the victim on the sidewalk, bleeding from his head and mouth and with a large bump on the forehead. He was extremely intoxicated and said that the suspect (who he could only describe by saying he “looked like every other white guy”) had complained about his karaoke skills right before popping him in the face. The surprised victim chased his attacker outside but wound up on the end of several more punches to the head. Medics transported the victim to Harborview for treatment.

*Recently, an elderly dementia patient had to be transferred from home to a geriatric care ward after he assaulted a caregiver one night and pointed a gun at her the next. A supervisor said that in another incident — not reported to police — the suspect had pulled out a knife and threatened a former caregiver.

EDITOR’S NOTES: Remember, the CRISIS CLINIC hotline is a resource for those in crisis, including thoughts or acts of self-harm, or trying to find help for someone in crisis: 206.461.3222 … Previous WSBeat roundups are archived here. We also publish crime reports when we get tips or otherwise hear about noteworthy incidents – they don’t all turn up on the scanner, so please don’t be shy about letting us know when you see/hear something happening = call or text 206-293-6302.

44 Replies to "The WSBeat: Kicked out; store stalker; singer smacked..."

  • Charmaine February 24, 2014 (2:48 pm)

    Dementias a terrible thing

  • D February 24, 2014 (3:26 pm)

    God, I hate the “WSBeat”. I’m sure the author is a lovely person trying to bring some levity to the heavy subject of crime. But it is in such poor taste. I’d like to know what’s going on in my neighborhood, but do I really have to endure news of child abuse, threats on our police officers, and street violence fed to me as a clever alliteration? It really bothers me that a professional organization like the WSB thinks it’s ok to make fun of real people’s fears, illnesses and injuries. This type of “reporting” makes it so easy to separate the reader from the subject – “it’s ok to laugh at them because it’s not me! and its so crazy!!” Why can’t the WSB be better than that and finally dump this segment?

    • WSB February 24, 2014 (3:47 pm)

      D, what here do you think is “making fun”? I appreciate hearing your opinion, but I also have to say that we present this precisely for the reason in the lead paragraph – because there are incidents other than crimes that keep police officers (among others) busy, and they seldom get attention. Often when Megan sends in her roundup, I learn the details of incidents we’d been asked about but couldn’t get details on at the time they were unfolding because they weren’t classic crimes/crashes/fires. I have long hoped it enhances understanding since commenters on occasion (online or at public meetings) don’t always seem to realize that some police calls don’t get instant attention because officers are dealing with a stunning and indeed often disturbing array of calls. (Last night, I had to make a 911 call that no doubt tied up an officer for a while because someone had written what seemed to be a suicide note in a public online space and I was contacted by several others who saw it and asked if I had any way of finding the person — after research turned up a likely vicinity, I made the 911 call, and we heard it dispatched, though we still have no idea if the person in question is OK, and it was a weird call to make because I didn’t have a specific address and have never met the person in question face to face.) – Tracy

  • SomeGuy February 24, 2014 (3:47 pm)

    Ah lighten up Francis. This is one of my favorite WSB features, at least in part due to its writing style.

  • Jeanine February 24, 2014 (3:48 pm)

    You know what it is…. So don’t read it.

  • Mr Elliott February 24, 2014 (3:48 pm)

    I like the WSBeat.

  • Seinfeld February 24, 2014 (3:56 pm)


    If you don’t like it, don’t read it. It is that simple. You are the master of your own universe!

  • James February 24, 2014 (3:57 pm)

    Tracy, you are awesome. Don’t feed the trolls.

    • WSB February 24, 2014 (4:09 pm)

      James – thank you but D’s a longtime commenter. Not to say we don’t have some longtime commenters who also engage in trolling now and then, but I did want to respond to their concern, which seems sincere and not trollish. Regarding the “don’t click on it” – we don’t jump many WSB stories (jump = requiring you to click “read more” to get to a second page) but WSBeat *is* one that I can’t recall ever having put on the home page in its entirety, so generally even if you are scrolling through, you don’t have to pass more than one or two of the summaries – TR

  • Panda February 24, 2014 (4:02 pm)

    @ Charmaine…apparently that guys karaoke skills are too…

  • AEP February 24, 2014 (4:02 pm)

    I don’t interpret these police call descriptions as being disrespectful or poor taste, or making light of serious situations. I’m curious to know D’s point of view to better understand why they’re so upsetting to him/her.

  • HappyOnAlki February 24, 2014 (4:02 pm)

    D — you don’t “really have to endure news” of anything — just don’t click on it. To me, it doesn’t read as making fun of anything. It’s just news.

  • JanS February 24, 2014 (4:07 pm)

    D…where is child abuse, and threats against police officers mentioned in this article? Did I miss something? And…these are crimes…we need to know about it. It sometimes affects us, or our neighborhood. And, seriously, where did someone make fun of someone’s fears, health issues, etc? Did we read the same thing?

  • West Seattle Transplant February 24, 2014 (4:22 pm)

    WSBeat provides a valuable service to us all. You can become aware of crime trends by reading about the smaller stories that don’t make it to the headlines on WSBlog or the AP wire. When I’m out in public during the day/night in West Seattle, it helps to know the smaller occurances that can and sometimes do pull innocent bystanders into unfortunate circumstances. Keep it up! :-)

  • 4thGenWS February 24, 2014 (4:29 pm)

    Is is a great feature the WSB has. You would never hear about these bad things happening in your own neighborhood otherwise. Keep up the good work WSB. I definitely appreciate being informed. We should know what is going on with our neighbors.

  • Genesee hill February 24, 2014 (4:36 pm)


    “Lighten up, Francis”.

    Good one. Thank you for remembering a comedic genius.

    RIP Harold Ramis.

  • CMT February 24, 2014 (4:55 pm)

    While I am not necessarily offended, I can see what D is saying. The manner of relating the incidents could be construed as somewhat droll in contrast to the serious issues being described. “He capped off the afternoon by stripping off his pants and, uh, hanging out in a holding cell” and “He was extremely intoxicated and said that the suspect (who he could only describe by saying he “looked like every other white guy”) had complained about his karaoke skills right before popping him in the face.”

    As has been noted though, clicking on the post is voluntary.

  • D February 24, 2014 (4:56 pm)

    Yes, not a troll, a sincere request because I think the Blog is better than the WSBeat. I think phrases like, “He capped off the afternoon by stripping off his pants and, uh, hanging out in a holding cell” is making fun. Very likely making fun of someone with a serious medical issue. And I think threatening to kill and eat an officer’s mother is a threat. I think reducing a victim who was found on the sidewalk bleeding from his head and mouth to a “slapped singer” is belittling and making fun. But he was drunk, so it’s ok? I think a father kicking his “young man” son (eighteen?) fifteen times and trying to kick him down the stairs may not be child abuse, but it is abuse. And yes, when you reduce that to the cute pun “Kicked out”, you’re making fun. My problem is not the information, it’s how it’s delivered. It demeans and marginilizes real people.

    Go ahead, I expected the typical boring calls to “lighten up” and “don’t like it, don’t read it”. But I don’t care, I just wanted to let you know that I think this segment is gross.

    And Seinfeld, I think you mean I’m master of my domain, not universe.

  • D February 24, 2014 (5:10 pm)

    Maybe this WSBeat struck a nerve because I grew up in a home where my parents tried to find ways to hit that didn’t leave marks. If I had seen my pain reduced to a pun for everyone to chuckle at, I don’t think I could have handled that.

  • MercyMoi February 24, 2014 (6:33 pm)

    I think of the WSBeat as a trainwreck…I know it’s going to be gruesome but I can’t look away. I often read the entries and get sick to my stomach (especially when I read about child and elder abuse/neglect). The WSBeat is a digest of all sorts of yuck. I don’t want to close my eyes to the horrible things happening in the real world, but it’s hard to see such awfulness collected in one post. I still haven’t been able to not click on the jumps, but one day I’ll be happier when I am able to skip the WSBeat altogether.

    I think D has made valid points. Maybe this article isn’t poking fun very much but I’ve often felt the author makes disrespectful quips about people suffering very serious addictions and mental health problems. I agree that such attempts at humor divide us more than the stories inform us or bring us together.

  • datamuse February 24, 2014 (7:08 pm)

    I guess I kind of think of it like David Schmader’s “Last Days” column for the Stranger, though admittedly the people he’s writing about are unlikely ever to see it.

  • Dunno February 24, 2014 (7:12 pm)

    Keep it. No one’s forced to read it. Only reason I ever used to read the WSH, you’re old home. Majority like the way you write it Megan! Never going to please all.

  • danny February 24, 2014 (7:19 pm)

    i think it is what makes us a little dif from othere big city news! i like it it may be upsetting to some but it reminds me that we are a small community to read such news, and yes it is news and i thak wsb for giving me that long lost feeling in a day in which we live.

  • Case February 24, 2014 (7:26 pm)

    Thank you D– agree

  • Robert F February 24, 2014 (7:50 pm)

    I also think D has made some valid points and I’m glad he or she raised them. Simply as a question of style, glib alliteration and forced puns in news headlines have long ago become tiresome. And the problem of trying to inject humor into a police beat column is very common. In many papers they are clearly presented as entertainment. But imagine if someone you cared for was assaulted and you ended up reading a notice of the event played off as a joke. It’s tasteless. Those who say to not read the bits miss the point.

  • WestSide45 February 24, 2014 (7:50 pm)

    I read the WSBeat first. If you can’t laugh at what’s going on then move to another planet. Keep it up, fraulein.
    I am truly offended by the Proposition 1 article. Not the actual article, the intent of the county to waste untold millions of dollars

  • WsBoB February 24, 2014 (8:12 pm)

    WsBeat is best part of WSBlog. I search for it every week. Sorry if I have to laugh at others for my cheap entertainment. Please dont change your writing style. Many of us enjoy it,,,

  • West Seattle Transplant February 24, 2014 (8:14 pm)

    I have to side with the writer of WSBeat on this one but that is just opinion. An inherent freedom is being exercised in the delivery. D is also exercising an inherent freedom in expressing an objection, publically. I’ve been censored for doing the same on many occasions and on the comment sections of this blog site. Que sera sera.
    Please keep exercising these rights. Future generations will benefit from these simple things.

  • Community Member February 24, 2014 (9:16 pm)

    MercyMoi said: “Maybe this article isn’t poking fun very much but I’ve often felt the author makes disrespectful quips about people suffering very serious addictions and mental health problems. I agree that such attempts at humor divide us more than the stories inform us or bring us together.”
    Very succinct description of what feels wrong here. I agree with MercyMoi and D 100%.
    A predecessor to this column was the reason I canceled my Herald subscription several years ago. I was disappointed – and said so – when WSB acquired the column. WSB’s standards have kept the column to a higher standard than it had in the Herald, and I appreciate that the column now includes crisis resource information.
    But if the reason for the column is for us to understand what else the police deal with, well, isolated anecdotes don’t really communicate to me at all what percentage of police calls involve substance abuse, mental illness, and so forth. Are these calls typical of a day’s work as a police officer? I don’t know. The column doesn’t tell me. And the column somehow seems to miss that these troubled persons are our neighbors, community members.
    I am not automatically opposed to humor in crime reports. Seattle’s own police department has put out some incredible crime summaries that somehow make me feel a sense of community with the rest of the city, including the police, and the perpetrator, so it can be done.
    So I am another reader who, while I respect that it is WSB’s decision to carry the column, and I recognize that many readers enjoy the column, it’s not classy.

  • evergreen February 24, 2014 (9:46 pm)

    Crack open your overly sensitive, easily offended, humorless shells, people. Most folk read between the lines and naturally understand the complexity of the above scenarios. Sometimes it makes more sense to laugh than cry, for otherwise we would become a very depressed bunch. Human behavior is often bizarre, and entertaining. Lighten up, neighbors!

  • owen February 24, 2014 (10:20 pm)

    I, too, found the headline to be in poor taste, particularly using “kicked out” in reference to an alleged assault. Maybe the best approach would be to change the headline format to avoid boiling crimes down to two words.

  • bbuddy February 24, 2014 (11:47 pm)

    Overall, I think the WSBeat would be just as “interesting” if all the reports were simply the facts — they can hold their own as being quirky as well as downright funny, on occasion –w/o any help from the writer.

    I personally think the WSBeat could do without any hint of sarcasm. Sometimes deadpan is funnier anyway. Trying to be “cute” with tragic subject matter is kind of in poor taste — my opinion.

    So I agree a bit with “D”… and I did find the writing on this one to come across sounding a tad bit disrespectful — although I’m sure that was not the intent.

    When you’ve witnessed, over and over, the devastating impact of mental health issues and dysfunctional parent/child relationships (as I have in my work history) or if you have lived them first hand, as “D” apparently has, you are going to have a hard time finding humor in the reporting of these incidents.

    If you find other people’s misfortunes hilarious, that’s your business, but don’t give the other goodhearted, caring people a hard time for showing sensitivity. We’re all entitled to our own opinion. Right or wrong ;)

  • bbuddy February 24, 2014 (11:48 pm)

    And yes — I was being sarcastic — not very funny, right?

  • Jacob February 25, 2014 (2:37 am)

    I enjoy the humor in the WSBeat, and read each one in its entirety.

    the “West Seattle Crime Watch” reports on this site are fine for their purpose, but I often skip over them.

  • Eric February 25, 2014 (5:13 am)

    Wow! People really need to lighten up!

  • dmk February 25, 2014 (8:36 am)

    I like it.

  • CMT February 25, 2014 (10:13 am)

    I think most of those that are not fans of the humorous writing style have articulated their reasoning in a thoughtful way. I see their point(s) and think dismissing them with “lighten up” is a way to totally avoid trying to see another’s point of view. Yes, some people find the stories more palatable with some irony injected. Others do not. Neither viewpoint is more right than the other.

  • quiz February 25, 2014 (10:37 am)

    I love WSBeat. People will always find a way to be offended by anything, no matter how benign.

  • Julia February 25, 2014 (10:50 am)

    I think Megan is walking a fine line, so inevitably crosses too far occasionally. I think she tries to subtly interject the point of view of the police sometimes and, times being what they are, I don’t trust their objectivity. Just the facts, ma’am!

  • xyz February 25, 2014 (1:08 pm)

    Having grown up in a household with domestic violence and mental illness I am sensitive to the issues however I am not offended in the least by the reporting style of WSBeat. In a world filled with pain and suffering it is important to express compassion and caring. I do not read a lack of either in their reporting but rather a satirical view of crime that gets our attention and prompts discussions such as this one. Community is built upon many diverse opinions being discussed and respected. Keep up the good work WSBeat.
    comment by XYZ

  • Community Member February 25, 2014 (2:16 pm)

    I never said that I am “offended” by the column. In fact, nobody else has said they are “offended” either. If you think that posters are expressing that they are “offended”, I suggest re-reading the comments, because that’s just not in there.
    I can have a negative opinion without being offended. I understand that many readers enjoy the levity of the style, but I do not understand the impulse to insult anyone who doesn’t share that perspective.

  • Dunno February 25, 2014 (5:28 pm)

    3:1 yeahs…Megan, good job! Years ago I used to listen to Gary Lockwoods police blotter, it was his show’s highest rated time period. It also had by far the most complaints.
    Thanks WS Blog for letting the majority enjoy this feature and writer!

  • Wiz February 28, 2014 (9:48 pm)

    Wow. Lame.

  • highland park resident March 2, 2014 (12:19 pm)

    I really look forward to the WSBeat and enjoy reading it. Differences of opinion are fine, but I want WSB to continue with it. That’s all.

Sorry, comment time is over.