CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Target takeover came 1 week after suspect’s previous jail stay

(WSB photo, Friday night)

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.”

67 Replies to "CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Target takeover came 1 week after suspect's previous jail stay"

  • OddStory January 22, 2022 (11:15 pm)

    According to his LinkedIn profile, this person started a company in June described as,  “A mental health organization responding to people in crisis instead of the police. Our first offering will care coordination software called Crisis Profile.”  Are all of these instances publicity stunts or “research” for his company?  This looks like it could be a very interesting story.

  • insertname January 22, 2022 (11:20 pm)

    Hmm. This is both frustrating and depressing. Thank you for the update, and thanks for giving this story context. Sounds like Mr. Clemans was once an entirely different person.

    • K January 23, 2022 (9:32 am)

      I had the same thought, especially after reading his comment in the first story.  It really wasn’t that long ago, and it sheds a different light on the fact that all of his recent issues seem to involve/target police.  It’s terrible that he got to this point, but I hope he gets the help he needs finally so that he can once again live a full and productive life.  So many of the complaints on these comment boards about “catch and release” fail to acknowledge how damaging the system of repeat incarceration is to people who really need treatment.

      • E7LWS January 23, 2022 (7:28 pm)

        So many of the complaints on these comment boards about commenters complaining about “catch and release” fail to acknowledge that they seem to care more about perpetrators than victims. When I’m a victim of a crime, whether committed by someone with mental health issues or not, I would appreciate it if our society cared as much for my welfare as they do the criminals. Victims of crime are real people, and they suffer.

        Literally every part of our society is messed up beyond fixing, but I still vote for whatever social services programs (and the candidates that support them) that I can, because not only is it the compassionate thing to do, but it helps me and the rest of society in the long run. But that’s all I can do. I’m not a health care professional, and I don’t have the money to establish a nation-wide, or even state-wide, or even city-wide mental health care system.

        In the meantime, as long as they remain a threat to my well being, I’d rather they stay in jail than be out on the streets. And what we’re going to find is that, even in Seattle, people are going to vote for protection of themselves over criminals (regardless of the circumstances that lead to criminal behavior, and regardless of what constitutes protection). So you can chastise people all you want, but the outcome is predictable.

        • Pessoa January 23, 2022 (11:25 pm)

          “When I’m a victim of a crime, whether committed by someone with mental health issues or not, I would appreciate it if our society cared as much for my welfare as they do the criminals. Victims of crime are real people, and they suffer.”
          There is a Talmudic saying, loosely translated:  “Those who will be kind to the wicked, will be wicked to the good.”   The meaning, of course, is that those who have bottomless compassion for those who cause suffering and pain  (no, the mentally ill are not “wicked”)  often have little or no compassion for the victims of that pain and suffering.   Whatever degree of sympathy you have for Mr. Clemans, lets reserve that same sympathy to those he has caused pain and suffering, even if unintentionally.  

          • r.e.m January 24, 2022 (7:50 am)

            Compassion isn’t an either / or thing.

            Just because someone expresses another level of compassion, or constructive curiosity, doesn’t mean they lack compassion for the more obvious victim in a situation. Sympathy and compassion for the victim is a given.

            Hopefully others out there understand this.

          • Barton January 24, 2022 (12:41 pm)

            r.e.m.  “ Sympathy and compassion for the victim is a given.”

            That has hardly been reflected in our City’s policies and so clearly not a “given.”

          • WS Res January 24, 2022 (8:29 am)

            There is a Talmudic saying, loosely translated:  “Those who will be kind to the wicked, will be wicked to the good.”

            Gonna need a link from you there.  Because AFAIK, that’s just not true

          • k January 24, 2022 (3:00 pm)

            For one, that saying isn’t in the Talmud.  Two: you’re assuming that one who expresses empathy for one person cannot also feel empathy for another just because their circumstances differ (and in fact advise against having sympathy for one, saying it should be “reserved” for the other, as if sympathy and empathy are finite resources).  You refer to this man as “wicked” because of actions you are assuming he will take in the future against others because of his mental illness (which is pretty much the same thing as saying he’s wicked because he’s mentally ill), and further assume that a person who could have empathy for a mentally ill person will automatically be “wicked” to good people.  Forgive me if I’m HIGHLY skeptical of the tuning on your moral compass, and continue to treat my fellow humans as if they are, in fact, human.

    • WS Res January 23, 2022 (9:33 am)

      If you search his name, you come up with a lot of stories from 2010-ish about his interactions with police around records requests – and if you read his comments even back then, you can already see the disordered thinking if you have experience with it.  Even his LinkedIn profile shows it.  It’s truly sad – he’s clearly someone who can function to some degree but also is plagued by mental health difficulties, and is even aware of that fact, but can’t seem to get the help he knows he needs. So this is how he tries to get it.

  • West Seattle January 23, 2022 (12:20 am)

    WSB, are you able to tell us who these judges are? Citizens need to know. Thank you!

    • WSB January 23, 2022 (12:29 am)

      As noted above, the judge in the personal-recognizance case was not identified in documents – usually one judge presides over an entire day’s calendar for first appearances like that. – TR

      • Mike January 23, 2022 (8:10 am)

        These judges need to be identified and held accountable. But I know that is difficult. 

        • K in WS January 25, 2022 (7:13 am)

          Judges are elected officials. They most certainly should be held to account for their actions…. every election.

  • JJ January 23, 2022 (5:46 am)

    He says he needs crisis mental health services, I believe him. Too bad as a society we don’t do that. I really think long term inpatient mental health hospitals have their place. 

  • Jen January 23, 2022 (6:14 am)

    “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.This is the criminal behavior. What in Clemans actions indicates he doesn’t want or need the help? How dare this officer act as a gatekeeper for services. What incidents could have been prevented had the officer simply supported this person? I’m curious how many times our entire system has failed Mr Clemans.

    • OneTimeCharley January 23, 2022 (10:15 am)

      I disagree. Walking up and asking for crisis services without being able to describe an imminent crisis means that it is not in the realm of an emergency responder. He might as well have walked up and asked the officer for an X-ray, or to take him for dental work. This sort of ‘service’ is akin to expecting the police to act as a concierge. Wouldn’t we all like that level of individual personal assistance! It simply is not possible to provide. If anything, the officer may be guilty of not suggesting where the individual can go to get a proper assessment, or directing them to social services which could act as their navigator through the process. We expect way to much from police as it is then wonder why there aren’t any available when we need them for something truly emergent.

      • JW January 23, 2022 (12:05 pm)

        Unfortunately  police are for emergencies.  What makes a person in crisis seeking help from a police officer any different than the officer responding to a pregnancy emergency or rendering immediate assistance to anyone in need.  This is the current duty of police. The police are trained for responding and  interacting with all people including the mentally ill.   The concierge comparison is offensive if you consider how often police give directions. I wonder if the officer that was pushed in the eye will change his response in the future when someone sick asks for help?

      • Jort January 23, 2022 (12:32 pm)

        The Seattle Police, who should probably add the word “understaffed” to their official department name because they have claimed to be understaffed nearly continuously for decades, constantly say the justification for high levels of staffing is precisely because they consider themselves “mental health first responders.” If somebody whose mental health is causing a public safety concern is unable to get a response from self-described public safety professionals, then what is the point of the police? They seem to want the funding to be the answer to every problem the city faces and at the same time, when actual problems develop, raise their hands and back away and say, “not our problem.” The police can’t have it both ways, getting an enormous budget but then doing nothing with it except complain about resources. If somebody in crisis who is an obvious risk to public health asks a cop for help — a cop who is the beneficiary of the largest, largely accountability-free budget in the city – better help. Otherwise, what’s the point of these supposedly indispensable police?

      • Foop January 23, 2022 (12:52 pm)

        If I needed an x-ray is it so unreasonable to expect a police officer can drive me to a hospital or get an ambulance? Protect and serve, right?

        • OneTimeCharley January 23, 2022 (6:12 pm)

          You asked if it’s unreasonable to expect an officer to drive you to get an X-ray merely because you need one. Yes it is. This is why if you fall in your yard and have to call for assistance with your broken arm, they send Emergency Medical Technicians, not patrol officers. If you walked up to a cop and said ‘hey I broke my arm and need an X-ray, then the officer would radio in a request for Emergency Medical Technicians. If you approach an officer and say ‘hey I need mental health assistance’, yet provide no specific emergent need, like for instance stating (or displaying) that you are a danger to yourself or others, then the officer will refer you to mental health facilities. You want them to provide cab service too? Ridiculous.

  • Mel January 23, 2022 (6:38 am)

    So when are we going to start holding these judges accountable for their decision making? 

    • Judge Reinhold January 23, 2022 (11:20 am)

      Judges are elected, so next election? They often run unopposed, so might need to write in a name if you want change.

    • Dwrek January 23, 2022 (12:39 pm)

      You know what’s easier? A UBI and giving more money to the poor and community and mental health hospitals than spending money keeping people in prison forever. 

      • OneTimeCharley January 23, 2022 (6:14 pm)

        Ah…but cheapest is doing neither, which is what we currently receive.

      • Axe January 23, 2022 (6:41 pm)

        This has got to be the most inane and irrelevant comment I’ve read on this site. 

      • Pessoa January 24, 2022 (10:26 am)

        Unfortunately, the term “mental healthcare, is in treating a “disease,” is an oxymoron.  Mental healthcare largely consists of over prescribing psychotropics to treat a non-existent organic brain disease.  There is not a single psychotropic medication that treats a disease mechanism, they simply alleviate symptoms, like a cough medicine for a cold.   

  • flimflam January 23, 2022 (7:26 am)

    so when people take (or intend to take) hostages and shut down buinesses, threaten citizens with violence judges no longer consider the greater good of protecting the public?

  • Donna January 23, 2022 (7:33 am)

    A person very clearly demonstrates over a period of time that they are a clear and present danger to self and others and in need of acute mental health services. Nothing. Over the last several days they do the “responsible” thing and desperately ask for help only to be turned away by the very hospital emergency systems people are told to go to as their only option for care when seeking mental health services and told the first appointment available is 4-8 weeks out and if they need help sooner than that to go to the ER. When are we going to DEMAND massive expansion of mental health services? Preventive, early intervention, acute, long term? I mean, here’s somebody desperately doing exactly what they’re supposed to do in a crisis yet turned away. Finally they resort to escalating to actions that get them taken to Harborview.  WSB, I know HIPAA could get in the way but can you follow up on whether they now finally get more than just a few days in the hospital and then taken to jail? Yes, jail time will get them off the street for a while. But they were in jail already once for 6 months but clearly didn’t get the necessary mental health services to stabilize them. Our jails and prisons are now the largest “mental health system of care” and I use that term very loosely because the corrections system is no way set up to provide that type of care. Just like our efforts to carve out certain police responsibilities and assign them to people better suited to respond we must carve out certain corrections system responsibilities and assign them to a greatly expanded mental health system. Thanks to WSB we are increasingly aware of the details of people needing mental health services. Just like we demand police reform we must demand mental health reform. Meanwhile, who wants to become this person’s advocate and demand and pursue treatment?

  • Trista Chisholm January 23, 2022 (7:55 am)

    This man is obviously crying out for help. Locking him up in King county jail is going to do nothing to improve his mental health. If he doesn’t get the help he needs, who’s to say he might not feel desperate enough to actually really hurt somebody next time. He needs a safe place that he can get the mental health help he obviously knows he needs. As a city, we are failing this man, as well as countless others. 

  • West Seattle Mad Sci Guy January 23, 2022 (7:55 am)

    This guy seems to be genuinely begging for mental health services (clearly needing them) and getting none. 

  • Math Teacher January 23, 2022 (8:22 am)

    Don’t expect judges to ignore the Constitution. Judges can only work with the evidence that has been formally filed by the prosecutors. The prosecutors need the police report to go on. And the defendant has the right to an attorney.  If a judge isn’t observing all the due process pieces in place, someone else hasn’t gotten something done.

  • Lisa January 23, 2022 (8:39 am)

    This is incredibly sad. The guy is LITERALLY asking for help and not able to get it.

  • Sandi Kessler January 23, 2022 (9:06 am)

     I do not know what his crisis is defined as, but from his long history he does seem to need help – mental health help or substance abuse help or both. Short jail time does not seem to be giving him long term help for his crisis. I hope the lawyers and judge look at the whole history and get him the help he needs!

    • Pessoa January 25, 2022 (11:18 am)

      There is also the possibility, uncomfortable as it may be, that he enjoys the attention and is emotionally manipulating his situation, at least at some level.   

  • HealthcareForAll January 23, 2022 (9:26 am)

    It just clicked for me that this is a person that I met at a technology networking event about 4 years ago. They openly talked with me about their struggles with their mental health (they have a lot of auditory issues, hearing voices, etc.) and how they had been trying to design and write different programs to help themselves and  others with mental health issues function better in society. They were clearly a brilliant mind and it is so shameful for us as a country that we refuse to reform our financially burdensome healthcare system. This person needs constant access to mental health resources, and it appears that they currently aren’t getting them and/or can’t afford them, and so are acting out to get the state to provide them for a little while.

    • Lauren January 23, 2022 (9:39 am)

      Thank you for sharing that. It’s so easy to forget that the people in stories like this are PEOPLE with stories, histories, etc. This whole thing breaks my heart. Literally crying out for help indeed. The failure of our society to address mental health impacts all of us. 

  • Bill January 23, 2022 (9:42 am)

    Mr. Clemons it seems is trying to get help in the only way he knows how. He is looking for crisis intervention services and we keep giving him short stays in jail and popping him back on the street. He has no easy access to the long term mental health even he knows he needs.  Hopefully he is able to find it before he manages to get himself killed. 

  • Alki resident January 23, 2022 (10:37 am)

    I know Tim. He was hit by a car as a child and has not been the same. He’s tried everything to get help and gets turned away or put on a pill of the month club. He’s tried suicide by cop and I’m so grateful he hasn’t had his wish granted. Please I ask that you pray for Tim. His family is Christian and all they can do at this point is pray. Washington State has completely failed people and it’s a damn shame. 

    • B January 23, 2022 (3:38 pm)

      Doesn’t seem like the praying has been working out all that well either……

  • Resident January 23, 2022 (11:58 am)

    I don’t disagree with most of what has been said above. However he needs to be off of the streets. If we can’t get him services because our system is broken then he needs to be in jail. Getting some innocent person killed because he was released isn’t the answer. Let’s vote for people that want to take action not talk us to death about how empathetic they are. Until we fix our mental health system Mr. Clemons needs to be in jail before he seriously hurts or kills someone. Possibly someone you know that doesn’t deserve it.

  • WS neighbor January 23, 2022 (11:59 am)

    alarming New York Times feature from 2016 on Clemans and SPD and bodycams:

    • tom January 24, 2022 (1:29 pm)


  • anonyme January 23, 2022 (12:22 pm)

    We have failed as a nation when an intelligent person, begging for help with mental illness, is not just rebuffed but driven to commit crimes that put him in prison instead of a hospital.  The problem is not simply access to mental health services, but modalities of care that are inadequate and antiquated.  Psychotropic drugs are overused despite their ineffectiveness and talk therapy is a bandaid at best.  And at a deeper level, we live in a society that does not foster mental health.  Isolation and lack of family connections, obsession with material possessions as a substitute for self-worth, a very real caste system – the list goes on and on, and the issue becomes more complex.  However, at a very minimum, we should be providing health care services on demand and have adequate hospital beds for those who are violently mentally ill.

    • Pessoa January 23, 2022 (7:51 pm)

      Anonyme:  An excellent overview, both of the problem and the inadequacies of so-called solutions. 

      What do we mean by “mental healthcare?” You are absolutely correct:  Psychotropics are almost criminally over prescribed and are not the long-term solution, other than providing temporary symptomatic relief.  Talk therapy might be of some use in modifying behavior, but there is conflicting evidence of it’s effectiveness and it depends on the individual and severity of symptoms.  I agree that family connections are vital and to this end I believe that families need more support to care for mentally ill loved ones.  Unfortunately,  in my experience being a guardian for a schizophrenic relative,  input from family is not valued by those who call themselves mental healthcare professionals.  (When I asked a psychiatrist what particular organic disease mechanism he was treating with a “zombie-inducing” drug for my relative,   it was an embarrassing moment – for him.)    

      • anonyme January 25, 2022 (7:13 am)

        There is a very good reason for much of the non-compliance with drugs prescribed for mental illness, including the “zombie-inducing” drugs mentioned by Pessoa.  Many are absolutely debilitating.  Even anti-depressants, one of the most over-prescribed and subtly dangerous categories of drugs out there, can cause serious harm.  Many of them work by inducing a state of hypo-mania that can easily go over the edge, while simultaneously dulling the senses and inhibiting speech and thought.  The side effects of any of these can be devastating.  TMS is promising, and Chinese medicine, including herbs and acupuncture, can be very helpful and without side effects.  The massive bureaucratic machine that is American ‘health care’ is currently doing all it can to “standardize” Chinese medicine so that it fits into the same profit model that has ruined health care in this country.  Too large a topic for this comment section, but part of the problem with this mental health crisis is a horribly failing health care system – or, shall I say, failed, so-called health care ‘system’.

  • Lagartija Nick January 23, 2022 (12:28 pm)

    This is heartbreaking and a scathing indictment of our states mental healthcare/judicial/law enforcement systems. It is also entirely the fault of our state government in Olympia, both Democrats and Republicans included. Not only was Western State Hospital nearly shut down a few years ago because of seriously substandard care they are at capacity now and have no room for new patients. Additionally, the State Supreme Court has, imo correctly, ruled that warehousing (confining) the mentally ill in E.R. rooms and jail cells is unconstitutional. What are judges supposed to do when the only hospital is full and they really aren’t supposed to store them in prisons or E.R. rooms (even though this still happens with regularity)? The judges hands are tied, they have to release them. They’ve received no care, the antisocial behavior continues and escalates and the cycle continues. This is a state level issue, the cities and counties do not have the resources to fix this. 

  • Lisa James January 23, 2022 (1:25 pm)

    There’s a lengthy but very interesting New York Times story from 2016 by Mekenzie Funk on Tim Clemans. It’s entitled, “Should We See Everything A Cop Sees?” It gives quite a bit of background on him. It goes into detail about his life and rocky relationship with the SPD. 

  • Simon January 23, 2022 (2:47 pm)

    I’ve got to say that I am truly heartened by so many West Seattleites showing compassion and insight into the challenges of mental illness. I hesitated to check into the comments section as I thought I would see a bunch of cruel, short-sighted statements about locking individuals like this guy up and throwing the key into Puget Sound. As many have noted here, our current mental health and criminal justice systems are woefully inadequate in protecting both guys like this and the general public. It is so wonderful to see my neighbors arrive at this conclusion. Thank you!

    • Rhonda January 23, 2022 (4:46 pm)

      I was born and raised in Manchester, England where there is 100% mental health care for all. We STILL see severely mentally ill people when we visit there living on the streets, attacking innocent people, shoplifting, assaulting police officers, using drugs, going in and out of jail, etc. The rest of the European continent has the same problem. It’s impossible to lock a mental patient in a UK hospital forever, just like it’s impossible to keep a repeat misdemeanor offender in jail long enough in the U.S.. These patients are still mentally ill when they’re let out after lengthy hospital stays. 

  • Ice January 23, 2022 (3:11 pm)

    This guy is trying to commit suicide-by-cops. No matter how you feel about the police, attacking one is openly suicidal. This man spent 6 months in jail for a supremely stupid crime of threatening cops with a BB gun. He deserves consequences for that. However,  the consequences he will receive make it more likely that he will commit another crime in the future. He’s already got a long history of likely absurd, ridiculous and childish interactions with the legal system. People like this need help. Society doesn’t deserve his recidivism. This is a case-study of the justice system failing. I feel bad that the cops have to deal with this insanely frustrating, suicidal behavior. Especially when Their only tools in doing so are incarceration, weapons and tickets.

    • Simon January 23, 2022 (5:10 pm)

      And there’s the type of cruel comment I feared I would see. Isn’t a competent, effective mental health system the appropriate response morally and fiscally? “Consequences”?

      • Dangerous January 23, 2022 (6:44 pm)

        Simon, Wa state does not do that.  Other states actually do though.  Trend here is to ignore problems indefinitely.  The list of ignored serious problems is basically endless. 

    • zark00 January 24, 2022 (11:12 am)

      @ ICE – You realize the BB gun incident was a cry for help. The punch incident was a literal cry for help, followed by punching the cop because even when explicitly asked for, the cop refused to provide aid. Cops don’t need you to make excuses for why they’re failing this city, they need to enact the training we’ve paid for, and do the job that we pay them (A LOT) to do.  This story should inform you how little Seattle police actually care about people who live here.You should be incensed at the SPD for failing this man, failing your community, and refusing to do the job they are paid extremely well to do. 

      • OneTimeCharley January 24, 2022 (3:23 pm)

        Yeah and I’m sure the three officers, for all of West Seattle and South Park, on several recent overnights in December 2021, can also be asked to do some graffiti removal in their spare moments too.

      • Ice January 24, 2022 (3:33 pm)

        This comment is supremely naive. Have you ever dealt with the cops? They are pretty much worthless if your physical property isn’t actively being damaged. The only excuse I am making for the cops is that we’ve asked them to do way too much. Expecting the police department to fix problems like this is ridiculous. The BB gun incident was a cry for help, and a bunch of complete fools like the police aren’t equipped to deal with this.

  • ACE January 23, 2022 (6:10 pm)

    I’ll be honest…how I felt about Timothy yesterday (though I didn’t know his name then) is quite a bit different than what I think today having seen more of the background. I appreciate WSB telling more of the story.

    • WS Res January 23, 2022 (7:36 pm)

      A good learning moment: Every person on the street, and yes that includes the people breaking into businesses, starting fires, brandishing knives, etc., has a story. Many of them just like this one, except that they didn’t have the supportive family, or the aptitude for high-paying work that could be done from home. Thank you for seeing this guy as a whole person, not “a criminal.” All of the people pointed out on this site as threats to community safety, order, and cohesion have their own stories and are people too. This guy’s is just particularly well-documented.

      • Pessoa January 25, 2022 (2:46 pm)

        We are not looking at the mentally ill as whole human being if we ignore the fact that the mentally ill (functioning at least) are a lot like the rest of us – self-aware,  self-directed, capable of differentiating between right and wrong and capable of making choices that do not cause pain and suffering to others.  Consequently,  it is not unreasonable to expect and even demand much the same behavior that is expected from you and I, albeit with perhaps more forgiving parameters.  The danger is to reduce the mentally ill to helpless one-dimensional characters,  the object of pity for our self-gratification. 

  • r.e.m January 23, 2022 (7:02 pm)

    One question/perspective often missing in these conversations is, what has happened in his life that has caused or contributed to his mental health decline and behavior, and is there a way to help prevent others from similar outcomes? Could he have been helped by family or community before reaching such disfunction? Hope he receives some compassionate care and help.

  • Seattle resident January 23, 2022 (7:11 pm)

    It’s Timothy A. Clemans, not Timothy J Clemans.

    • WSB January 23, 2022 (7:17 pm)


  • Ly January 23, 2022 (10:21 pm)

    As I read his background, I feel very sad and depressed that the system has failed him. He is obviously unemployed and probably does not have insurance to aide with mental health counseling costs. How do people here gets mental health aide without insurance? This could have all been prevented. So we live in a system that fails people and then it escalated to a point of desperation or to the point some bystander gets hurt. It’s almost like no matter how we try to escape this reality it spills over and hurts us, because the system is broken. I’ve only been in the United States for less than 20 years, but from what I’ve observed, things only change when there is mass killings, or sometimes nothing at all even then.

  • MeatBoaf January 24, 2022 (7:53 am)

    As much as I want this guy in jail, it’s incredibly sad that he’s literally begging for help and seem to be ignored. This is what we get when we don’t focus on the root cause of crime.

  • WSB January 24, 2022 (8:16 pm)

    For anyone checking back for an update – bail for Clemans was set today at $100,000, according to the jail roster. No word yet on formal charges; we’ll continue watching for that decision tomorrow. – TR

  • Pessoa January 25, 2022 (8:56 am)

    My Seattle cousin was diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder at the age of eighteen decades ago, not coincidentally at an age when  a young person is making the stressful transition to adulthood.  Her identity as a beautiful talented classical pianist, ballet dancer, singer, string player disappeared in a haze of powerful anti-psychotics that turn people into shambling zombies.  Despite the medications and the fact that she has been diagnosed with a set of symptoms that differentiate her different from the rest of us, is remarkably like the rest of us:  She is self-aware, she can feel, reason, and she can distinguish right from wrong.   Consequently,  I and the rest of her family can expect – even demand -some level of behavior and that she accept some responsibility for her actions;  coddling and facilitating bad behavior is counter-productive.   In other words, tough love.  The mentally ill are people too and, within certain parameters, lets treat them as such. 

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