Safety alert circulated to Madison parents: Student ‘grabbed,’ harassed

Madison Middle School sent a robo-call safety alert to families tonight. We hadn’t heard about the incident that triggered it until several parents asked about it; so far as we’ve heard, the alert was only sent via robocall, and not via e-mail, but one parent forwarded the audio file and we’ve transcribed it below. The voice was that of assistant principal John McDonald and he described it as “an important safety message regarding an incident that occurred in the community today.” Here’s what follows on the recording:

This morning, we had a Madison student come to school and report an incident involving an unknown individual. The student reported that a male approximately in his early to mid 20s got off a Metro bus at the same time the student got off the Metro bus near the McDonald’s on California Avenue, approached the student, and grabbed the student. After the student went to McDonald’s, the male continued to follow the student, asking for money, and then calling the student names, after the student told him that they didn’t have any money. The student then ran to Madison and immediately reported the incident to school personnel … (then) the Seattle Police Department was contacted.

The message did not have any additional information about the incident, but continued with safety advice for parents to share with children, including walking in well-lit, well-traveled areas, not walking alone, not taking unfamiliar shortcuts, being aware of your surroundings – acknowledge people but don’t “try to stare them down” – don’t display valuable items such as phones or money, and not wearing headphones with music blocking out ambient sound and preventing them of being aware of what’s going on around them.

We’re trying to reach police to find out more about the incident and will add anything more that we find out, though it might take us until tomorrow.

ADDED: Police included this incident in an SPD Blotter post on Friday afternoon.

12 Replies to "Safety alert circulated to Madison parents: Student 'grabbed,' harassed"

  • newnative March 5, 2015 (9:10 pm)

    I wonder if the student attempted to notify McDonald’s staff of his situation and whether they intervened. Some businesses and even buses are designated Safe Areas.

  • ScubaFrog March 5, 2015 (10:36 pm)

    Gosh how scary. And this is the 2nd time in 2 days that strangers have attempted to make improper contact with kids in WS.

    SUPER creepy. So glad the kids are ok.

    NewNative that’s awesome about some businesses and buses being Safe Areas. As far as I’m concerned, all businesses/buses in school zones should be Safe Areas.

  • Mike March 6, 2015 (6:00 am)

    ScubaFrog, there are designated Safe Area businesses and buildings downtown too, but I’d bet money the people working there don’t know that either, much less what to do if somebody is in need of help. There is a lot of security cameras and drive-thru cameras around there that might have caught video of this occurring, hopefully SPD is reviewing that for a better description of who this person was that attacked the kid.

  • Pecan63 March 6, 2015 (8:11 am)

    Is this why the Q13 cameras were at Madison this morning?

    • WSB March 6, 2015 (8:14 am)

      TV tends to jump on stories like this so I’d imagine so. Certainly nothing new this morning otherwise.

  • Marty March 6, 2015 (9:05 am)

    A better description wouldn’t hurt…

    • WSB March 6, 2015 (9:13 am)

      This is the entirety of the info we have. Don’t know if there’s a description on the police report but we’ll be looking; I reached someone last night but they couldn’t even find a report.

  • miws March 6, 2015 (9:48 am)

    Q13 actually attributed WSB, in at least two of their hourly reports on this.


    This is the first time in quite awhile that they have done so, as far as I’ve noticed, on news that they likely first heard of through WSB. Kinda (pleasantly) surprised me, actually.



    • WSB March 6, 2015 (10:12 am)

      Thanks, Mike, that IS unusual. There likely wasn’t any other way they would have gotten it – as it was, as noted, I had to listen to and transcribe the audio file of the district phone call.

  • Kathleen March 6, 2015 (11:58 am)

    ScubaFrog is right. All places should be considered Safe Areas. But I wanted to let people know that Hiawatha Community Center is a designated Safe Area. Good to know for anyone around that area. (Of course I can’t imagine people turning a kid away because it is not an official “SafeArea” so whatever is closest and safest is your best bet!)

  • Bonnie March 6, 2015 (2:43 pm)

    Just got a message home from Denny about someone harassing a girl walking to school today. It seems to be happening everywhere. :(

    • WSB March 6, 2015 (2:55 pm)

      Thanks, Bonnie. I will see if I can get a copy of that message without having to transcribe an audio file …

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