WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Junction police response (updated); coffee-shop burglary

Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes, from the same block though not related as far as we know:

POLICE RESPONSE: If you saw/heard the major police response to California/Oregon a short time ago, it’s because there was briefly a “help the officer” callout over police radio. We went over to find out why. Police were briefly struggling with a man in his 50s described as a “person in crisis.” No officers were hurt; an SFD unit was dispatched to check out the man’s report of shoulder pain from what was radioed in as “bursitis.” He was taken into custody.

6:16 PM: The initial police summary has more details, and says an officer was hurt after all:

Officers responded to a Hazard call near 4453 California AV SW for a high/Intoxicated or in Crisis male walking in the roadway yelling at passing vehicles. As officers were trying to detain the subject for an ITA the subject resisted. During the handcuffing, the subject dropped to his knees and deliberately trapped one of the officer?s left arm under his body. The subject then deliberately rolled on the officer?s left hand which the subject still had trapped between his body and the curb causing injury to the officer?s left hand. The officer was transported to Swedish First Hill to receive medical treatment for his injured hand. The subject was booked into KCJ for Investigation of Assault.

ITA refers to our state’s Involuntary Treatment Act.

COFFEE SHOP BURGLARY: Earlier, we went to Lula Coffee Company (just north of the aforementioned scene) to check out a reader tip that they had been broken into. Lula staff told us that someone had rmmoved the drive-thru window to get in and steal a register. The shop is open (until 7 pm weekdays) but only accepting cards/Apple Pay for now.

38 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Junction police response (updated); coffee-shop burglary"

  • Seattlite February 24, 2021 (2:05 pm)

    I am very happy that the police officers  were not injured on this beautiful, sunny day.

    • Derek February 24, 2021 (3:25 pm)

      I care more about the person in crisis. Cops have guns and are usually fine.

      • Resident February 24, 2021 (7:04 pm)

        The cop got injured trying to help this person. Guns don’t keep people from getting hurt. Have some empathy for the people trying to just do their jobs man.

      • Born&raised February 25, 2021 (12:52 am)

        And you Derek are the part of the problem. Before you know it the actual adults will vacate the building and you will be left with exactly this scenario all of the time but it will be on a whole other scale. Good luck with that! #dontdefundthepolice 

      • Same February 25, 2021 (10:54 am)

        To Derek, I feel same!!!  Person in crisis is the most important and those of you that disagree are part of the problem!!!! 

  • Brian February 24, 2021 (4:29 pm)

    It’s cool how someone in a mental health crisis gets taken into custody rather than, you know, given assistance and services and help. 

    • flimflam February 24, 2021 (6:59 pm)

      can’t involuntarily “help”/commit anyone…

    • Sixbuck February 24, 2021 (7:16 pm)

      Brian, maybe this person is receiving the assistance they need. The officers still need to restrain an agitated person for everyone’s safety. Geez…people are so blinded by ignorance.  

    • Delridge February 24, 2021 (7:52 pm)

      Maybe one day we won’t have armed law enforcement “helping” people in crisis and instead have something akin to what Eugene,OR has so folks who need mental health rehab can get the help they need instead of put in custody/incarceration. 

      • Canton February 24, 2021 (9:57 pm)

        Until there comes a time, where involuntary treatment is allowed,  it will be the same suffering.  The city allows the suffering with DESC offering the tools to continue the substance abuse. You can “feel’  sorry, cool, but gotta fix the problem at the source.

        • Mickaela February 25, 2021 (1:02 am)

          It is only going to get worse, 2 Mental Health in-out patient treatment centers is closing due to State Mental Health Budget Cutting and this will affect soo many! 

      • Eye Witness February 24, 2021 (10:33 pm)

        I saw this guy prior to the police, completely erratic, one would be crazy to approach this person, the cops are necessary in this case, however maybe not 8 cop cars. 

        • WSB February 24, 2021 (10:58 pm)

          The “8 cop cars” were after the “help the officer’ call went out over police radio. A call like that, which isn’t common, means everyone within earshot drops everything and heads that way, until and unless the officer(s) on the scene say they’re OK.

        • I wonder February 25, 2021 (12:29 pm)

          Would be interested to hear more specifics of what he was doing, of his erratic behavior, what led up to the police being called, and also how things went when the police showed up… did his crisis seem to escalate or deescalate? Was there a social worker type person there with the police too?

          Eye Witness, can you share more?

      • Rick Cook February 25, 2021 (8:48 am)

        And they’ll ride to the rescue on rainbow colored unicorns handing out lollipops.

  • WSB February 24, 2021 (6:22 pm)

    Updated information added above.

  • CarDriver February 24, 2021 (7:20 pm)

    Derek ;Brian. NOBODY’S stopping YOU from helping a person in crisis.  Can we count on YOU saying “don’t call 911, I’ve got this” Yeah, didn’t think so

  • Auntie February 24, 2021 (7:58 pm)

    what would you like them to do – sing a lullaby? they have to take them into custody before they can get evaluation for referral to help.

    • Derek February 24, 2021 (9:36 pm)

      Are you okay? No one said that. Cops can just not be there. Not everything requires them to be around.

      • Sixbuck February 24, 2021 (11:22 pm)

        Who would you call, Derek?  A social worker?  You obviously have no idea how unpredictable and dangerous people “in crisis” can be. Oftentimes, the safest response for EVERYBODY involved is to use limited force to subdue and restrain the subject. Otherwise the person “in crisis”, the officers, and any bystanders and passers by could be in very real and potential danger. 

        • I wonder February 25, 2021 (12:00 pm)

          I wonder if any kind folks around gently approached and asked this man if there was anything they could do to help, anyone they could call for him. 

          I wonder if someone did that instead of immediately assuming the worst and calling the police if he would have calmed down and connected with better help, and I wonder if the officer being injured could have then been avoided. 

          I wonder how this man felt to be having a mental health crisis and to be approached by a bunch of police and questioned like he was crazy and maybe needed to be committed. 

          I wonder if this experience has further worsened his mental health.

          I wonder if part of the answer could be in fellow man taking more responsibility for caring for one another, instead of seeing people in crisis as ‘an other,’ seeing them as a ‘brother.’

          I wonder what happened that day, and earlier in this mans life, before this breakdown.

          I guess I wonder a lot of things.

      • anonyme February 25, 2021 (7:24 am)

        First of all, how do you know the cops (or someone else) didn’t ask “are you okay?”.  Were you there? Those in crisis are unlikely to respond to such platitudes, and approaching such an individual could well end up badly.  Second, the safety of others is an essential consideration.  This is not a situation for a lone social worker, even if such a system were actually in place.  I get that there are problems with policing, but police perform an essential service.  The notion that we’re better off without them just defies common sense.

      • lb February 25, 2021 (12:50 pm)

        Derek, I think you should go on a ride along with the police one day so you can see how dangerous their job truly is. I bet you’ll be begging for them to drop you back off at the station, you know nothing about the real world problems, you just think everything is fine and dandy. What the officers did was necessary for this situation, you never know what’s going on in that guys head, send a social worker there and they’ll get attacked with no means of protecting themselves and that’ll be all over the news and what will you complain about then? 

    • Rick February 25, 2021 (7:54 am)

      “Soft kitty”?

  • Roddy3 February 24, 2021 (9:02 pm)

    Don’t worry, he’ll be out tomorrow, if he isn’t already. 

  • m February 24, 2021 (9:58 pm)

    I called in a report to 911 about a month ago for a man in the exact same spot engaged in the same behavior, i.e., walking in the middle of the street with heavy traffic, yelling at drivers, waving his arms, lunging toward cars as they tried to move out of his way, etc. He was obviously in crisis. The dispatcher said several other people had called in about it, too. I don’t know if it’s the same man. I had mixed feelings about involving police with this kind of crisis, but did not know any other option. I was concerned about his safety as well as others’ safety.  

  • StopCuttingDownTrees February 25, 2021 (12:28 am)

    So many ignorant and hostile comments on here towards our brave first responders. That injured officer could have easily been murdered by the violent person in crisis had he strangled the officer. If he grabbed his duty pistol before backup arrived he could have opened fire on anyone in the vicinity.

    • Bill February 25, 2021 (6:05 am)

      At least you get it!

    • lb February 25, 2021 (12:52 pm)

      Thank you, finally somebody understands. 

  • Sue February 25, 2021 (11:39 am)

    I’m so sorry to hear about Lula’s robbery.  I had just been there yesterday morning. Such a nice bunch of people working there and am sorry they had to deal with that. They already had damage from a few months ago when someone drove through and broke their display sign off the side of the building, so this is especially sad that they have another expense now.

  • geographer February 25, 2021 (12:51 pm)

    I called 911 last night around 6:45 PM to report a man that was apparently extremely inebriated – located on 42nd & Genesee in front of the West Seattle Christian Church.

    Guy appeared to have come from a vehicle and could barely stand – he had to hold himself upright against nearby cars. Eventually he just collapsed to the ground and wasn’t moving for a bit, which is when I called for help. He eventually got himself upright, and cops showed up about 15 min later and took him away.

    I wonder if it’s related? Seems like a weird occurrence to happen twice in the same day within a block of each other. 

    • WSB February 25, 2021 (1:00 pm)

      Not the same guy; he’s been in jail since yesterday afternoon.

      • newnative February 26, 2021 (12:06 pm)

        I didn’t get that Geographer thinks it’s the same person but that the circumstances are eerily similar. I had to call 911 one night when one man was beating his head on the sidewalk and lightpole and running in traffic. On a route I had regularly walked home, I had encountered 3 separate groups of people who appeared especially inebriated in a loud and violent way. Not in a way I have seen since. the suspicion being a bad batch of drugs in the area. 

  • B February 25, 2021 (4:21 pm)

    In this article I read Seattle Fire was there for medical treatment of the person and the police were going to execute an ITA when the person became violent towards responders. “ITA” is Involuntary Treatment Act. Sounds to me like this was handled very appropriately. When an unknown person is a danger to themselves and others in an uncontrolled environment it seems about right to have police and fire respond. They have the capabilities to handle dynamic and escalating situations…. Seattle Fire has the Health One program which primarily responds to non violent crisis calls with firefighters and a social services type person mostly in the downtown core.

    • WSB February 25, 2021 (4:37 pm)

      I am trying to get more documentation on this to find out what was happening that brought police there in the first place, will update if I get that. The suspect remains in jail right now, held for investigation of assaulting a police officer – TR

  • Someone who cares February 26, 2021 (11:43 am)

    This breaks my heart. The man arrested is a good man who makes bad decisions. He is generous and funny and kind. I tried to help him calm down minutes before he was arrested as he has been my friend for years. I appreciate the first responders who risk their lives to protect us. I understand addiction and the devastating grip it can have on people. I wish I knew the right words to inspire people to do something other than drugs. 

    • StopCuttingDownTrees February 26, 2021 (12:41 pm)

      We have an adult son living with us who is a recovering addict. His addiction started with “partying”, as did those of almost everyone in his NA group. When we attend the meetings with him we hear the same stories of “I was just experimenting”, “it started out as just fun”, “I was looking for a thrill/rush”, etc. Too many users get hooked because they don’t have respect for how dangerous these drugs really are.

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