West Seattle, Washington
The man arrested early today, six and a half hours after taking over the Westwood Village Target, had been released from jail one week earlier, after a judge refused prosecutors’ request to set bail for a case in which he was accused of assaulting a police officer. Charges have since been filed in that January 13th case, and because of that, as well as his self-identification on social media during last night’s incident, we are publishing the defendant’s name, Timothy A. Clemans.
The 31-year-old Burien resident had an initial court hearing today, and a judge found probable cause to hold him for investigation of first-degree burglary. The document from today’s hearing details what police say happened before and during the standoff. First, they say, he called 911 to say he was going to take hostages somewhere in an hour because he’d been refused services at a hospital. He was on the phone with the 911 calltaker much of the way to what turned out to be the Target store, “talking about past crimes and the need for mental-health services.” After detailing what he told the 911 calltaker, the document then goes into how Target employees, including security staff, managed to get everyone out safely once he arrived and started declaring he was going to take hostages, after arming himself with a knife from a shelf at the store. One customer in a motorized wheelchair even came face to face with him, the document says, and told him to “get the f— away from me,” and he did. Security helped her get out of the store and soon it was empty, except for Clemans.
In the assault case earlier this month, court documents say he approached a police officer near 4th/Jackson downtown and said he needed “crisis services.” The officer said he needed a reason to arrange for that. Clemans then punched the officer in the eye. He was booked into jail, and the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office asked a judge to set bail at $10,000, but the judge – not identified in documents – instead released him on personal recognizance. Four days later, prosecutors charged him with third-degree assault.
Prosecutors note that they have filed charges in every case involving Clemans that’s been referred to them by police or deputies. Earlier this month, they handled his sentencing for two King County Sheriff’s Office misdemeanor cases in District Court. Documents aren’t available so we don’t have details of those cases, but they apparently involved threats and “unlawful display of a weapon.” At the sentencing hearing on January 6th, he received a sentence that prosecutors say the file indicates “would have been satisfied with the time that he had already spent in jail.” The aforementioned officer-punching incident happened one week later.
He has two felony convictions since 2019. Three years ago, he showed up at the West Precinct downtown with a realistic-looking BB gun and attempted to provoke officers. That resulted in an assault conviction and a six-month sentence. Then in 2020, he was found guilty of felony harassment for another incident with a knife at a Target store, this time downtown, evacuated after he armed himself with a knife and demanded that police come kill him. He was sentenced to three months in jail.
Clemans has a different kind of history with SPD before the aforementioned incidents and others. In the mid-2010s he worked with the department on technology issues such as automation that could make it less labor-intensive for SPD to release records without violating privacy. We mentioned his work briefly in a few WSB stories, here and here.
WHAT’S NEXT: A judge will consider bail. It’s up to the KCPAO to file charges in this case, which require more documentation from SPD, but, spokesperson Casey McNerthney tells WSB, “We plan to act on it immediately if/when it’s referred to us.”
The overnight shelter is open, and will be each night this week, as well as the morning Warm-up Center. Warm-up hours are 7:30 – 11 am. Shelter opens at 5 pm, with hot meal at 6:30 pm. Check in for overnight closes at 10 pm.
The Shelter is located at the American Legion Hall at 3618 SW Alaska St in West Seattle.
Volunteers and financial support remain needed and appreciated, as noted here.
Beautiful sunset tonight, and no rain in the forecast for days – but there’s a new weather-related alert.
Starting Sunday at 4 pm, through Wednesday at noon, we’re under an Air Stagnation Advisory, which warns, “Air stagnation could result in the development and persistence of poor air quality.”
For now, though, enjoy the colors.
A little over one year ago, we reported on that University of Washington research vessel’s work off Alki Point, studying methane bubbles seeping from the Seattle Fault. UW oceanography professor Paul Johnson explained the project involving the R/V Rachel Carson, years of work that could someday help predict earthquakes, among other things. He also shared this undersea video showing the bubbles:
This week, the UW announced that research for which Professor Carson was lead author has been published in the January issue of Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. The UW post also talks about some of what’s happened since our report, and what’s next:
… In follow-up work, scientists used underwater microphones this fall to eavesdrop on the bubbles. Shima Abadi, an associate professor at the University of Washington Bothell, is analyzing the sound that bubbles make when they are emitted. The team also hopes to go back to Alki Point with a remotely operated vehicle that could place instruments inside a vent hole to fully analyze the emerging fluid and gas. …
The area off Alki Point is not the only methane-bubble site they’re studying – others in the region include an area off Kingston. Among the mysteries they have yet to solve is the source of the methane.
We’ve mentioned that Pliable‘s next Sunday vaccination clinic at Neighborhood House High Point (6400 Sylvan Way SW) is set for Sunday, January 30th. That’s now eight days away, and registration is open online. They usually welcome walk-ins too, but if you want to ensure a spot, you can go here and follow the links to sign up. The appointments listed as available right now are between 8:30 am and 11:45 am.
Two reader reports:
FOUR BICYCLES STOLEN: From Graeme:
My wife and I live close to The Junction (40th and Oregon) and we discovered (Friday) that we had four bikes stolen. Someone went through our gate and broke into our shed.
Could you please report this and ask people to keep an eye out for these bikes, and to contact me if they’re found anywhere?
– Giant TCR road bike, white, size L
– Liv Avail road bike, gray, size L
– Jamis Quest road bike, blue, 60cm
– Jamis Renegade S4 gravel bike, gray, 58cm
Contact: Graeme, email@example.com
FOUND BIKE: Danielle in North Delridge says this Specialized bicycle was dumped in her yard this morning:
If it’s yours, contact us and we’ll connect you.
ORIGINAL SATURDAY REPORT: Another multi-hour “person in crisis” situation just concluded at California/Charlestown. We belatedly saw a reader note about a large police response there in the 7 am hour, didn’t hear anything further and thought we’d missed it – until we happened onto it while out on errands after noon. An ambulance was just pulling up; we pulled over and inquired. Police had been there five-plus hours trying to talk someone out of a car, they told us, and had just convinced him to come out. No other details; they were wrapping up the scene.
ADDED MONDAY: SPD’s preliminary summary report on this incident says police originally responded to this situation at 5:17 am, after a report that someone was threatening self-harm and refusing to leave. Police were there for a while and then left after the person, who was alone in an apartment, refused to come out. This was repeated multiple times over the ensuing hours – they got a call, returned, left. Finally, the person called and said they wanted to go to a hospital, so an ambulance was called and the person was transported for mental-health evaluation.
Last night’s Westwood Village standoff began just as we were starting to write this story about the sentencing hearing Friday for someoone involved in another one there almost one year ago. So we’re reporting this a day later than planned.
What happened in February 2021 was a different type of standoff: It started with two burglars breaking into shops in the heart of the center. Police arrived and arrested one of them relatively quickly; the other one was considered possibly armed, so the SWAT team was called, and a three-hour standoff ensued, ending with the second arrest. Back in September, we reported on the plea bargain of one of the burglars, Jerry Plute Jr., and noted that one was in the works for the other, Rafael Meyers.
On Friday, Meyers was sentenced for a plea bargain that included two other burglaries in which he’d been charged, May 2020 at the Peel & Press restaurant in Morgan Junction, and August 2019 at a business in Auburn. As part of the agreement, a fourth charge, for a September 2020 burglary at a KFC in Shoreline, was dismissed. For all three of the burglaries to which he pleaded guilty, Meyers got an alternative sentence from King County Superior Court Judge Josephine Wiggs-Martin, as recommended by prosecutors and defense – residential drug treatment for up to six months, as part of DOSA (Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative). He’ll also be on two years of probation (community custody) provided he stays out of trouble. His lawyer’s report to the judge said that Meyers, who is 35, has “struggled with an opioid addiction for many years (and) has recently come to terms with his need for treatment after a long period of resistance to acknowledging the depth of his chemical dependency.” His treatment was to begin immediately, with a progress hearing set in April. (Plute’s sentence, as ordered back in September, was a year in jail, suspended providing he stays out of trouble.)
Good morning. Here’s what’s happening as the weekend begins:
TRAFFIC ALERTS: Two for today:
–Repaving work on SW 106th between 39th and 42nd, all weekend
-If you’re going to/from Terminal 102 on the south end of Harbor Island, you’ll be detoured because of preparation work for next Saturday’s hoisting of the second West Seattle Bridge platform
WINE TIME: Viscon Cellars‘ (5910 California SW; WSB sponsor) tasting room is open 1-6 pm.
HIGH-SCHOOL BASKETBALL: 3 pm home game for Seattle Lutheran HS vs. Fellowship Christian School. Fans welcome in SLHS gym (4100 SW Genesee), masks required.
AUTHOR READING: 7 pm at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor):
Renée Thorne, a writer based in Switzerland, will read from her new book, “Eurydice, Alive.” This hybrid work is an emotionally complex portrayal of loss and resurrection as it explores the stories of Rainer Maria Rilke, Paula Modersohn-Becker and the myth that mirrored their lives. (Parents are advised that the book deals with some difficult themes which might not be suitable for children.)
WEST SEATTLE DRAG SHOW: At the Admiral Pub (2306 California SW) with Dolly Madison, 9 pm.
Are we missing anything? Email firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!