(August 18th WSB photo: Detectives examine robbery/shooting victim’s car)
After Seattle Police announced today that they’ve arrested a suspect in last week’s robbery/shooting incident that began in North Admiral and ended in North Delridge, we learned the suspect not only is in jail, he’s already charged – in this case and in an earlier robbery on Capitol Hill. 23-year-old Mau Joseph Satele-Tafia of North Burien is charged with two counts of first-degree robbery and one count of second-degree assault. In both robberies, court documents say, he was after Gucci belts worn by the victims.
First – outside the Rancho Bravo restaurant on Capitol Hill on August 15th, Satele-Tafia is accused of holding up a man and stealing his Gucci belt; three nights later, in West Seattle’s Hamilton Viewpoint Park on August 18th, police say he held up another man for his backpack and then demanded the victim’s Gucci belt. The victim told police he refused to hand over the belt, walked away, and was fired at. Then, he said, he left the park and tried to make his way to the bridge but that the robber pursued him and as the victim tried to lose his pursuer along back roads, they all eventually winding up in North Delridge. That’s where Satele-Tafia allegedly fired shots at the victim’s car, one hitting him in the leg. Shell casings were found at 25th and Puget; from there, the victim drove a few more blocks south to Delridge and Findlay, where they stopped to call 911. The next day, police heard from someone who had surveillance video of the shooting. And they heard from a witness who said they had found the shooter on Twitter, under an alias similar to one he used on Facebook that was a factor in identification in the Capitol Hill case.
Police say they are investigating Satele-Tafia in other robberies; in the meantime, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office says his bail was set at $750,000 and he remains in jail pending arraignment on September 3rd. His history, according to court documents, includes robbery and car-theft-related charges.