The WSBeat: ‘Hang up and drive,’ especially if you’re wanted …

By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog

This edition of our periodic feature 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 …

*In the 1500 block of SW Cambridge, a driver pulled over for talking on her cell phone was unable to provide the officer with her license or proof of insurance. What she *did* have were five felony warrants (totaling $65,000): Three for DUI and two for driving with a suspended license. She was booked into King County Jail.

*On Monday the 28th, the manager of an Alki coffee shop called 911 after checking the welfare of a patron who had been in the bathroom a long time. She opened the door, saw him with a belt around his arm and suspected he was injecting drugs. Officers arrived and questioned the man who, the previous day, had fallen asleep in the same bathroom. At the request of the manager, he was trespassed from the business. When a records check showed that he was wanted on a felony warrant by the King County Sheriff’s Office for residential burglary and trafficking stolen property ($50,075), he was booked into the King County Jail.

*On the 23rd, someone got into the foyer of an apartment in the 1700 block of Alki Ave. SW and stole a package that had been delivered. (The addressee found the empty box at the rear of the building.) Inside: A $2,000 gaming computer.

*Wanting to sell a coin collection, a citizen got a ride to a Junction store from “a friend of a friend.” He stepped from the car, and as he turned back to reach for the items, the driver punched the accelerator and took off. Officers later discovered that the driver needed money to bail out on a $20,000 felony warrant from King County. A records check later in the day showed that the warrant had been “cleared.” Bottom line: The driver had used the proceeds from a new felony to pay off a previous felony.

*On the 25th, just after midnight, officers arrived at the scene of a reported robbery at 26th and Barton. The victim had been attacked by four men and then dragged into the bushes, police were told. The attackers then removed the victim’s clothing and fled. They were described as black males, one in red shorts, a white T shirt, and long black hair down to his shorts. A second wore jeans, a black shirt, and a baseball cap. The third wore a white fisherman’s cap and a white shirt. The victim was transported to Highline Hospital for treatment.

*Same place, on the 27th, another man waiting for a bus was attacked by two juveniles who ended up being booked into the Youth Service Center. One of them was carrying a half gallon bottle of rum, which was returned to a nearby drugstore.

*On the 27th, at 29th and Barton, what was first called in as “a man with an ax” turned out to be a man who pulled a work hammer from his backpack when he felt threatened by juveniles who made fun of him for being drunk. The kids who were still at the scene told officers that the man never chased or tried to hit them. The man was released.

*On the 26th, a stranger (who turned out to be a Queen Anne resident) stumbled into a yard sale in the 7700 block of 12th SW carrying a half-gallon of alcohol. He offered drinks all around before the homeowner told him to leave. The next thing she knew, the stranger was inside her house. The man fled when told police had been called. He was booked into KCJ for investigation of non-forced residential burglary.

*The drivers/owners of two cars stolen on the 28th (one from Lincoln Park; another from Beach Drive) unintentionally provided extra help to the thieves: In both cases, the police reports say, there was an extra car key inside the vehicle.

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.

45 Replies to "The WSBeat: 'Hang up and drive,' especially if you're wanted ..."

  • flimlam August 4, 2014 (6:16 am)

    I know the headline is supposed to be humorous or something, but I could do without the “helpful hints when you have warrants” idea.

  • DontBeFunny August 4, 2014 (8:27 am)

    Flimflam – you seriously thought that was important enough to write about? Life must be very difficult for you.

  • jwright August 4, 2014 (8:36 am)

    So then don’t read the article next time.

  • heather August 4, 2014 (9:20 am)

    …”they removed the victims clothing then fled.” How truly horrible.

  • Brian August 4, 2014 (9:43 am)

    Man, there sure is a lot of crime reported along Barton where the RR line ends.
    I wonder if the SW precinct takes note of this? Nah, probably not.

  • Josh August 4, 2014 (9:50 am)

    Westwood Village is losing my business, and Metro has DEFINITELY lost me. I used to ride the bus all the time from here, but no more, because of all this crime since Rapid Ride came to Barton. Add 2 more cars to Roxbury (wife and me). Nothing is worth the risk of Barton’s bus crime story.

  • D August 4, 2014 (9:58 am)

    “he was trespassed from the business”.

    What the heck does that mean?

  • D August 4, 2014 (10:05 am)

    I agree with flimlam. I hate this segment because of the attempts to inject humor. And give me a break with the “don’t read the article” line. I’m allowed to think it’s completely inappropriate to laugh at people’s hardships while still wanting to know what’s going on my community.

  • newnative August 4, 2014 (10:32 am)

    Trespass is to say he has no business there. Going there is now a crime.

  • Korm66 August 4, 2014 (10:41 am)

    D- it is fine if you feel it isn’t appropriate to add humor to people’s hardships. In this case I don’t think that is the case. The woman was pulled over for being on her phone while driving. She had no proof of insurance, 5 warrants and multiple DUI’s. She was dumb to be driving in the first place and I am glad she was caught. I fail to see where the hardship is in this story.

  • Brandon August 4, 2014 (10:54 am)

    You notify a patron that they are no longer welcome at your business by issuing a “Trespass Warning”. If they enter the shop/store again, you can call the police and have them confronted for trespassing your establishment. Usually used for shoplifters or other irritants.

  • CEA August 4, 2014 (11:15 am)

    “Trespassed” is shorthand for “you’re not allowed in.” For example, if you’ve been trespassed for a year, you’ll be arrested if you attempt to access the premises during that time.

  • G August 4, 2014 (11:17 am)

    I agree with flimflam and D, joking around crime is more appropriate for late night TV, not crime happening in your very own neighborhood.

  • JanS August 4, 2014 (11:20 am)

    being trespassed means he was told to leave and never come back, basically. If he does he can be arrested, I believe.

    laugh at people’s hardships? She was driving illegally, had many warrants, was basically being a stupid idiot…and you’re not shaking your head even a little? I’m supposed to feel bad for her? Not even…

  • KBear August 4, 2014 (11:32 am)

    Oh good grief, people! The irony of a wanted criminal being caught because of an everyday driving violation isn’t worth a chuckle? Are you afraid her feelings will be hurt? Or does it hit too close to home because you can’t put down your own phone when driving? I agree that humor would OFTEN be inappropriate in a police beat headline, but to say it’s NEVER appropriate is to engage in the kind of absolute thinking that cause political correctness to run amok and leads to things like zero-tolerance policies in our schools. I for one am glad WSB tries to keep the writing interesting. Learn to evaluate situations on their own merits, please.

  • Alan August 4, 2014 (11:34 am)

    “he was trespassed from the business” means that he was given legal notice not to return and that he can be arrested for trespassing, if he does.

    I enjoy the injection of humor into these posts and am baffled by those that are bothered by it. I don’t see it making fun of people’s hardships, but of criminal stupidity. I don’t think any felons are out there adding “don’t use phone while driving” to their list of ways to avoid being caught.

  • Cycleman August 4, 2014 (12:16 pm)

    Why are they giving out helpful hints to felons?

  • JRR August 4, 2014 (12:20 pm)

    As a law-abiding citizen, parent, avid pedestrian and community member, I happily continue to visit Westwood Village and use the bus stop across from it. We can only claim ownership of our neighborhood by being present in it. By hiding behind our doors and retreating, we allow the problem to flourish and grow.

  • Eric August 4, 2014 (12:26 pm)

    @ G. Are you then saying you only find crime humorous when it happens to other people? Cause it sure seems like that’s what you’re implying with your statement

  • R August 4, 2014 (12:31 pm)

    Is there a cover charge to read the “comments” section here?

  • Diane August 4, 2014 (12:31 pm)

    I think the humor is great, no one is making fun of someone’s hardships. But making fun of stupid criminals really is funny!

  • Dis August 4, 2014 (12:52 pm)

    some people don’t see humor in ANYTHING

  • AJP August 4, 2014 (1:22 pm)

    Humor regarding someone being hurt is inappropriate. This humor was not inappropriate. JRR, I’m totally with you!

  • There but for the grace August 4, 2014 (1:26 pm)

    Every time I read a comment that finds humor in, and takes joy in, the misery of someone we know nothing about, I feel a little less hopeful about the future of our species. I consider it the modern version of the public torture that crowds during the Middle Ages used to so enjoy and revel in. We jail and imprison more people than any other country in the world, and although I know nothing about this woman, who obviously has some pretty serious problems, having worked in prisons and jails all over the country, I can tell you that like most of the people we incarcerate, she’s probably uneducated, from a less than privileged and/or impoverished background, probably non-white, has substance abuse issues, and at this very moment is scared, with very few options, not much of a future, feeling hopeless and angry, and has a very high likelihood of re-offending once she gets out. I’m anything but a bleeding heart apologist for criminal behavior, but I’m always depressed and discouraged to see how many of us find humor and take pleasure in the misery of others. And it diminishes all of us.

  • D August 4, 2014 (2:08 pm)

    Well, trespass is something the trespassor does, not the property owner. I believe they meant that they removed the license for that particular person. And I guess I believe in innocent until proven guilty, but that could be my law degree and ten years as a litigator speaking. I don’t like to laugh at people, no matter who they are.

  • Ex-Westwood Resident August 4, 2014 (3:08 pm)

    Someone gets pulled over for talking on a cell phone while driving and it’s found out she has MULTIPLE warrants and this isn’t funny?!?!?!
    It’s hilarious!!!!
    Like the guy calls the local cops setting up a drug deal.

  • KBear August 4, 2014 (3:18 pm)

    Just because someone finds this situation amusing on one level does not mean they cannot feel appropriate empathy for the person involved. It’s not either-or, and it’s not as though WSB has made some huge public joke at some undeserving person’s expense. It was barely even a joke at all, and the subject is not even named.

  • Lox August 4, 2014 (4:22 pm)

    The headline didn’t read as trying to inject humor to me. It was stating a fact. By the way-my kid gets the children’s version of National Geographic every month, and one of their features is about dumb criminals. Crime IS dumb. Keep up the good work, WSB.

  • Alan August 4, 2014 (4:45 pm)

    @D – Saying that you “trespassed” someone my not be grammatically or legally correct, but it is the commonly used term for the process, at least in retail, where it is commonly done to shoplifters.

  • unknown August 4, 2014 (4:52 pm)

    I see a lot of people talking and texting on their phones while driving and they never seem to get pulled over, maybe she was swerving or???

  • Eric1 August 4, 2014 (6:33 pm)

    It isn’t that we laugh at misfortune rather than enjoy the satisfaction of karma. She has a car and a cellphone. What are the odds she paid off her previous fines?
    She is so typical for “irresponsible” people: this woman has 5 felonies relating to DUI. Still driving with no license or insurance. Yeah, I get that she has problems but most people would fix it after the first DUI. She has forfeited my ability to care with strike 6.
    I’d rather her rot in jail than drive in my neighborhood drunk. You can play holier than me for caring about her when I don’t but do you really want her as your neighbor? What are the odds that if she is let out she will drive again drunk? What are the odds you would be made whole again after she hits your car or injures you or your family? I am a statistician by trade and you are welcome to play with your life, I rather not play with mine (or yours for that matter).

  • There but for the grace... August 4, 2014 (7:32 pm)

    Eric 1: Like I said, or you said, I realize the ‘let em rot’ faction has been out there for as long as that nasty serpent made Eve dare to pick an apple from the Tree of Knowledge, although I’ve never understood why knowledge was is smite-able offense. But as a statistician let me ask you this: what do you think the odds are of this woman getting out of jail before she actually does decompose? What do you think the odds are that she will re-offend? What do you think the chances were of her getting car insurance after even the first DUI? I have no doubt that you are very very much like most people. Good for you. But our prisons are filled with people, who often because of an unlucky roll of the karmic dice, aren’t like you or I. And the expression ‘let them rot’ reminds me, again, of the banality of evil, and the careless inhumanity with which it is so easy for some of us to treat the ‘others’ that we consider inferior to us. Ask an educated statistician who was in Cambodia in the 1970’s, if you can find one, what it was like when they were no longer ‘most people’ and were suddenly ‘others’. Not a lot of laughs in that story. And yeah, I know, I’m a fool and a jerk for wondering if there might be a better way.

  • 935 August 4, 2014 (10:04 pm)

    “There but…” – a “roll of karmic dice”?? like this leech on society had no other option? Once maybe understandable. But 6(!!) times? Sounds like karma has given up on her too…
    WSB, keep up the good work-disagree with you at times but you are a quality news outlet and do good community work. Thank you.

  • Eric1 August 4, 2014 (10:32 pm)

    OK really don’t want to start a back and forth but I happen to feel very strongly against drunk drivers. Percentages are a WAG (wild a** guess:).
    Let them rot is a figure of speech (odds of happening, 2%), given the choice of them in or out of society, I choose keep them out. How many drunk drivers have killed innocents while in jail?
    98% chance to get out of jail, 99% chance of re-offending. Which is why you keep them in jail as long as possible. Isn’t best solution but she isn’t going to go sober this time either.
    Chance of car insurance available 100%. Odds of her paying for it 0.001%. Personal responsibility is what is lacking here, not society. Responsible options include bus, walk, bike.
    There is no “unlucky” roll for this woman. You aren’t unlucky to get caught with a DUI. We are lucky drunks get caught. Criminals roll the dice daily, eventually they “crap out”. “Lucky” people roll the dice as little as possible generally at low risk/reward. How many felonies have you “rolled the dice” for?
    I am Japanese American. We were “them” at one time. Not killed granted, but we know the feeling (both sides). Education is a dangerous thing, it tends to make people question the government, I understand the purges. Purges aren’t right, but odds generally favor the educated in American society.
    Sure there are better ways to treat criminals. Society isn’t willing to pay for them and the ACLU gets in the way (half joking).

  • justsaying August 4, 2014 (11:24 pm)

    Jesus…seriously? The vast majority of the responses are related to the title of an article. An article that has 8 items following the lead item referenced in the title. Feel free to volunteer to write the blog yourselves, if you are going to be that critical. That will include monitoring a scanner to collect the information the verifying the outcome… AND that you don’t have a personal opinion…AND you don’t take it personally when your work is judged by those who want to talk about the title verses the content of the article. If want to feel sorry for the “wanted” person with 5 warrants…pray for them and then THANK the volunteer reporter for their efforts.

    • WSB August 5, 2014 (12:02 am)

      Justsaying, thank you. I have hung back as this unfolded because we have had a similar discussion here a couple times before and this time I’d just as soon listen to what people are saying. In this case, I should note, while Megan wrote the story, and went through a sheaf of police reports to get the information, I wrote the headline. I thought it was pretty tame … and yet, yes, it was kind of flip. And maybe it was especially startling because generally our headlines are SO plain vanilla. And should be – we are here to present information. That aside, I am mostly piping up here because I have to say that Megan is not a volunteer, nor am I. WSB is a business – like TV stations and radio stations and newspapers – and we run it as such, which means people get paid for their work. – Tracy

  • Alan August 5, 2014 (7:09 am)

    I am puzzled by the total empathy for a woman caught driving with a suspended license, wanted on multiple warrants, including three for DUI’s which no doubt endangered those of us in the neighborhood. On the flip side, if someone has a chuckle over the foolishness of her behavior that caused her capture, those same people cast them as the evil, thoughtless ones that are causing the downfall of society.

    Maybe I have personal problems that caused me to see this as humorous. Can you give me the same forgiveness?

  • pupsarebest August 5, 2014 (8:45 am)

    That the cell-phone-talking-driver had warrants against her in addition to the infraction for which she was pullled over is just a bonus.
    The best part of the story, for me, is the fact that cops are even bothering to pull people over for that particular example of selfish, stupid, dangerous, illegal behavior.
    The vast majority of offenders have no outsatnding warrants, but are guilty of flouting this law, day in and day out.
    Ticket and fine them, often and heavily.

  • D August 5, 2014 (9:51 am)

    I agree with There but for the grace…No matter how justified you feel at laughing at someone because you comfortably feel that you are superior to them, it is distasteful and disgusting, especially when it comes from a news source I otherwise respect.

  • highland park resident August 5, 2014 (1:12 pm)

    This is my favorite part of the WSB! Don’t take away my humor and don’t change, please. You are appreciated.

  • G August 5, 2014 (2:13 pm)

    People read the police beat for the laughs? Crime that’s happening in their own neighborhoods? I’m not knocking anyone, I just don’t get it. Really, I don’t get it.

  • Alan August 5, 2014 (3:51 pm)

    Nobody is reading the police beat for laughs, but comic relief is always welcome. With apparent exceptions.

  • cascadianone August 5, 2014 (3:52 pm)

    I like the headlines and the humor of this feature. A lotta crocodile tears and concern trolling these days- it’s embarrassing, really. Keep up the good work, WSB!

  • Eric August 6, 2014 (5:05 am)

    G wrote: People read the police beat for the laughs? Crime that’s happening in their own neighborhoods? I’m not knocking anyone, I just don’t get it. Really, I don’t get it.

    Eric: Earlier you wrote that joking about crime was more appropriate for late night TV not crime happening around your neighborhood. So are you saying it’s OK to joke about crime as long as it is happening to other people not in your neighborhood then? Besides people aren’t laughing at crime in their neighborhood. They are laughing at how the criminals are getting caught for their stupidity.

  • kathleen greiff August 6, 2014 (10:07 pm)

    I’m not sure what the news feed is, but the West Seattle Herald used to post the same crime articles in their paper. Look back at previous posts for the last at least 50 years. Neighborhood crime posts have always been written tongue in cheek. The idea is to shake your head, laugh at stupidity and move on. I enjoy it.

Sorry, comment time is over.