CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Ryan J. Cox released from prison

According to the VINE service, as well as a notification message received by his victim, Ryan J. Cox is out of prison. He had been in custody since August 8, 2017, when he was arrested for stabbing a man in Gatewood. In January 2019, he pleaded guilty to second-degree assault, and the next month, he was given a five-year sentence. Cox had a history of high-profile West Seattle incidents going back to 2009, as detailed in this WSB report the day after the 2017 stabbing. So far we don’t have details about his whereabouts post-release, nor about his time in the state prison system, though the timing of his release indicates the sentence was reduced by “time off for good behavior.” We obtained the photo at right from the state Department of Corrections, which says it was taken last year. Cox is now 43 years old. His prison time was to be followed by 18 months of community custody, our state’s version of parole, which means that wherever he is, he will have to check in with a DOC officer regularly.

THURSDAY 2:48 AM: Few details yet but Cox is in jail, booked into the SCORE facility in Des Moines late Wednesday night. The docket description says “DOC violator,” which means he’s accused of violating terms of his release. We’ll be following up.

36 Replies to "CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Ryan J. Cox released from prison"

  • Anne April 27, 2021 (4:18 pm)

    So great that he behaved himself in prison- the time to do that is when you’re not in prison. 

    • Cody April 27, 2021 (6:50 pm)

      Let’s hope he has grown and continues his good behavior. Now that he is not in prison.

      • ttt April 28, 2021 (7:44 am)

        likely his behavior in jail was good because he was regularly medicated. His past offenses show he is erratic when not in custody. I for one will memorize his face as he almost killed his last victim.

  • Flo B April 27, 2021 (4:42 pm)

    WSB. Speaking of criminals…any updates on the Alki(61st & Stevens alley)shooter??.  Good news on that is per his landlord the victim has fully recovered(physically).   

  • Wenna April 27, 2021 (5:27 pm)

    He almost murdered that man.  I saw the crime scene the morning after. How many times can he commit horrible crimes just to be let out after a few years. No one knows where he is?  Great. Just like the last time in Gatewood.   I’m scared  and this is garbage. 

  • Carole April 27, 2021 (6:12 pm)

    Not just “good time” but likely also credit for time served prior to sentencing, given that he was apparently held from 2017 to his 2019 plea/sentencing.  Time served credit is always calculated at sentencing and included in the Judgment & Sentence form sent to the institution where he is housed.

  • Alki resident April 27, 2021 (6:42 pm)

    The community should be very scared of his release. If you saw what he did to his latest victim, you would be too. I’m angry he was released early. 

  • AIDM April 27, 2021 (6:57 pm)

    So messed up that a violent slasher, baseball bat attacker and repeat offender is back on the loose after less than four years. Its so depressing to see the absolute failure of our government leaders on this.Good luck people! Keep your loved ones close.Let’s do our part in calling him into police whenever he makes it back to Gatewood, so that he can at least be charged with possession of an illegal knife.

  • Concerned April 27, 2021 (7:08 pm)

    Super scary that he is out of prison. He has such a bad history with our area. WSB, will you be able to share info (if you get it) on his whereabouts? The community should know if they should be on the lookout. 

  • Mrs. Myrtle April 27, 2021 (7:38 pm)

    May he not return to West Seattle. Given that he’s on parole would the community be notified if he did? 

  • The truth April 27, 2021 (7:50 pm)

    This guy has terrorized my neighborhood, almost killed a friend and screamed insane stuff about giving my dog AIDS and raping my wife. Also hurled racial slurs at my neighbors of color that traumatized their young kids. He is clearly mentally disturbed but also knows how to work the system.  I really hope for his sake he received the mental health treatment that will end that behavior but I doubt he did.  His history of assaults and racism may be running the publics patients thin.

    • Kevin April 27, 2021 (10:08 pm)

      What part of gatewood? 

      • ttt April 28, 2021 (7:46 am)

        the last incident was near gatewood school.

  • D April 27, 2021 (9:31 pm)

    I hope he gets the help he needs and he can be in a community that is conscientious of his situation, so that history doesn’t repeat itself. 

  • 1994 April 27, 2021 (10:20 pm)

    I hope he is taking his meds.

  • Scubafrog April 28, 2021 (1:57 am)

    This guy’s terrifying.  I remember reading about him quite a few times. Too bad community supervision isn’t much longer.

  • dub April 28, 2021 (6:26 am)

    some of these comments are disturbing! the way people who have messed up are treated in this country is horrible. He served his time and hopefully is rehabilitate. why so quick to throw people away? he did a bad thing and paid for it. why can we not be a community of people who have compassion and accept him back with caution but also with understanding.  this is why our prison population is so high.

    • JayJay April 28, 2021 (11:59 am)

      Your empathy is laudable.  This man, as devastating as his mental illness clearly is, spent nearly a decade traumatizing a neighborhood with hate speech, hate vandalism, and violence. Ultimately, near fatal violence.  It feels reasonable that neighbors are concerned.

    • AIDM April 28, 2021 (12:48 pm)

      @DUB, perhaps its because we have interacted with him personally in our neighborhood for many years. Have seen his deadly hollow stare from ten feet away. Have been yelled at by him and threatened by him. Have locked our car doors when he is close and contemplated whether it is safe to shop at Thriftway with our kids present or get coffee at Ladro when he is close at hand. Or that we have seen him go off of his medication 4 times previously and seen him slip into a very violent schizophrenic state shortly thereafter. @DUB, send me your contact information and I’ll drive you over next time I see him in Gatewood. I will even buy flowers and a card for you to deliver as part of the welcome committee. I think its very easy to be an internet social warrior advocating for the goodness of all people, but please try being present in the neighborhood for this real world problem. Please consider the horror of being beaten with a baseball bat after getting off a Metro bus or stabbed 5 times on the side of the road. I find your comment to be very insensitive.

  • John April 28, 2021 (7:18 am)

    The stabbing happened right by Gatewood Elementary.  I had called the police on him a couple of days before the attack. He was hanging around the school, sleeping in the stairwell on the north side of the building. The cops talked to him, but didn’t do anything.  My neighbor confronted him because he was scaring the kids with his rantings. Then he stabbed another neighbor.  I can’t see how him being on the streets is good for anyone.

  • PJK April 28, 2021 (8:11 am)

     Is the posted photo current or from 4 years ago?  His appearance could/would have changed in 4 years.  It would be helpful if it’s current.

    • WSB April 28, 2021 (9:52 am)

      As noted in the story above, it is from last year, according to the DOC.

  • Derek April 28, 2021 (9:28 am)

    Why are you posting this WSB? He served his time and you’re willingly inviting harassment into a human being’s life? This is irresponsible. 

    • D April 28, 2021 (10:12 am)

      I don’t think the intention is to harass the individual, but to make the community aware of a long time resident who’s had some trouble over the years.  Mental illness needs to be addressed in the community and be aware of it.  If he’s moving back here, the neighbors need to understand how to respond if he’s having an episode, so that it doesn’t escalate. 

    • Wenna April 28, 2021 (10:18 am)

      You don’t harass a person like this. He is an angry dangerous violent  person. You don’t harass …you run away very fast to save your life. 

    • StopCuttingDownTrees April 28, 2021 (2:09 pm)

      I’m VERY glad the WSB informed us of his release. He’s EXTREMELY dangerous and nearly killed his latest victim. He’s a public health hazard and no person is safe around him, including you.

  • al April 28, 2021 (10:42 am)

    Does he have ties to WS? Maybe he won’t come back to our area.  Hopefully, the rest of the city will be well warned of this person.  Nice to know that if you almost murder someone- you can be released back into the population before your sentence is over.

    • WSB April 28, 2021 (10:47 am)

      His mother formerly lived here but moved away years ago.

    • Peace April 29, 2021 (8:36 pm)

      Ryan lived in the Gatewood area since age 5.

  • editrixie April 28, 2021 (11:36 am)

    It has been so nice to be able to walk to the shops regularly, since I’m a single woman and walk everywhere, without feeling terrorized by this guy. I’ve had enough really chilling encounters with him and the thought of not being able to walk where I need to go again without fear of him screaming at me and threatening me is really depressing. You know he’ll come back here, this is what he considers his home.

  • WSB April 29, 2021 (2:55 am)

    For those following this case, note that we’ve added an update – we heard Ryan Cox’s name go by on the scanner a few hours ago and found him on the SCORE jail roster as of a few hours ago.

    • sam-c April 29, 2021 (7:38 am)

      WSB, will you be able to update, and clarify what the DOC violation was? Thank you for keeping the community informed!

      • WSB April 29, 2021 (10:06 am)

        I’m writing the followup right now but short answer, he didn’t check in, which is considered “escaping” from community custody, so a warrant was issued.

    • shotinthefoot April 29, 2021 (8:50 am)

      does that mean he was out and then was arrested again? 

      • WSB April 29, 2021 (9:30 am)

        Yes, as reported above, he was released from prison earlier this week, and was arrested late last night. I’m working on a more detailed followup right now.

        • ACG April 29, 2021 (10:15 am)

          Thank you, WSB. 

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