WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Alki man arrested in child-pornography investigation; verdict in Target standoff trial; arson case followup

Three notes in West Seattle Crime Watch:

CHILD-PORNOGRAPHY INVESTIGATION: Thursday morning, a reader texted us about what appeared to be a multi-agency warrant raid at a house in Upper Alki. No information was available about it until this SPD post today, and tonight we’ve found out more via court documents. In the initial post, police said, “Detectives with Seattle Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Unit took (the 37-year-old suspect) into custody Thursday morning following a lengthy investigation related to Child Sexual Abuse Material.” They say he confessed “to uploading CSAM material and communicating with others about chatting online with minors” and was booked into the King County Jail. He is not yet charged but had a hearing this afternoon, at which his bail was set at $50,000; he has since posted bond and been released, according to the jail register. Probable-cause documents say the investigation started last May, when an Internet Service Provider reported “that a user had uploaded one or more files containing depictions of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct to their account.” Detectives subsequently identified the suspect via internet and phone records. According to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, conditions of the suspect’s release include “no contact with minors without exception, and to not access the Internet without monitoring software.”

TARGET STANDOFF VERDICT: Last week we reported that the trial had begun for 32-year-old Timothy A. Clemans, charged with attempted first-degree kidnapping for trying to take hostages at knifepoint in the Westwood Village Target store last year. An hours-long standoff ensued. The trial, in which Clemans was representing himself, was expected to last up to two weeks, but our check of online court files tonight reveals it lasted just one week. According to court documents, Clemans was found guilty as charged, with the added finding that he was armed with a deadly weapon. He is scheduled for sentencing before King County Superior Court Judge Marshall Ferguson on April 7th.

ARSON ARRAIGNMENT POSTPONED AGAIN: The man charged with arson in the two-alarm 17th/Barton apartment fire, 35-year-old Ermiyas N. Woldearegay, has yet to be arraigned, though four weeks have passed since charges were filed. Court documents show his first date was postponed because he was “medically unavailable”; the second and third dates, he refused to come to court. The most recent document indicated Woldearegay’s defense lawyer was hoping to meet with him to see if the issue of competency “needs to be raised.” However, the document also said Woldearegay had been refusing jail visits.

39 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Alki man arrested in child-pornography investigation; verdict in Target standoff trial; arson case followup"

  • Rhonda March 18, 2023 (12:45 am)

    Great news about the guilty verdict for the Target kidnapper/hostage-taker. I hope he gets sentenced to a L O N G stay in prison.

    • Alki resident March 18, 2023 (7:32 am)

      He shouldn’t have been representing himself and the courts failed him. He was hit by a car as a child and suffers from a tbi. He’s been begging for help for years. Him being in jail will not be good. This is a horrible outcome. 

    • WS Gramma March 18, 2023 (8:31 am)

      Retired law enforcement here, and I would ask that you take the time to review the attached article links WSB has provided regarding Mr. Clemans. You might find some compassion that’s lacking in your comment. I think this is a very sad situation and the history shows the continued inability of our legal system to integrate with community resources, and an absolute waste of Mr. Clemans’ valuable abilities. I truly hope he can get the help he needs 😞

  • WW Resident March 18, 2023 (5:48 am)

    If only I could say what I wanted to say about the pedo with the child porn and the people trying to rebrand these POS as MAPs (minor attracted persons)

  • momosmom March 18, 2023 (8:10 am)

    WSB, Thank you for the update(s) your hardwork is much appreciated.

  • Seattlite March 18, 2023 (9:09 am)

    I HATE pedophiles!

  • Lagartija Nick March 18, 2023 (11:22 am)

    It’s a scathing indictment of our country when someone has to commit a felony to get the (non-existent) mental health care they so desperately need. Shame on us.

    • Julian March 18, 2023 (12:39 pm)

      No it’s not

    • Frog March 18, 2023 (1:51 pm)

      We have a governor and large majority of the legislature from the Democratic party.  They can do whatever they want.  What stops them from addressing this issue?

      • WestSeattleBadTakes March 19, 2023 (2:41 pm)

        The ideology of Democrats is nearly identical to Republicans, it is neo-liberalism. Neo-liberalism cannot solves these problems.

  • why March 18, 2023 (11:52 am)

    This is an UNJUST outcome for Mr. Clemens.  He needs mental health care, not incarceration.  Our so-called criminal justice system is broken.

    • Julian March 18, 2023 (12:40 pm)

      It’s not unjust, he committed a crime and received just punishment for it.

      • Alki resident March 18, 2023 (1:41 pm)

        He hasn’t received anything but jail time. He’s been begging for help for years. You have no idea what’s going on. 

        • Julian March 18, 2023 (4:49 pm)

          Yes I do, I’m just not sweeping a person trying to hold people hostage under the rug

      • KW March 18, 2023 (2:04 pm)

        He absolutely needs to be held accountable, but I feel like it didn’t have to get to that point.  He literally begged for help because he knew something was wrong with his mental health, and was told that nothing could be done unless he presented a danger to himself or others. I really don’t think he wanted to hurt anyone. 

    • John March 18, 2023 (1:17 pm)

      Would opinions be different if he had killed someone?

      • Admyrl Byrd March 19, 2023 (8:37 pm)

        Basically no.  This city roots for the criminal.  There’s always a backstory that makes any crime justifiable.  Self-accountability seems to have gone the way of the pay phone and 8-track tape.

    • CarDriver March 18, 2023 (4:51 pm)

      Why. You are correct the system IS screwed up. Other than keyboard complaining what are you doing to fix?

      • why March 18, 2023 (9:18 pm)

        CarDriver:  There are many things missing from my life  but service to society is not.  If you have ever been involved in social justice campaigns or community organizing, we have met, my friend!

      • WestSeattleBadTakes March 19, 2023 (2:42 pm)

        The classic reversal. Lazy and pathetic.

  • Sarah Shapiro March 18, 2023 (12:17 pm)

    I appreciate WSB and want to ask respectfully: please don’t use the term child pornography, even as shorthand in a headline. The term pornography implies consent and diminishes the exploitation and victimization of children in child sex abuse materials (CSAM). Even if we consciously understand there is no consent in these situations, the term reinforces the idea that there’s a meaningful difference between accessing these materials and physically harming children. To the children in these images and videos, there is not. 

    • WSB March 18, 2023 (12:30 pm)

      Thanks, I’ll read up later today to see where journalism ethicists and other experts are on that one; certainly things have changed over the years in how we describe things (crash vs. accident, died by suicide vs. committed suicide, many more). Hadn’t heard that “pornography” has a positive connotation but always willing to consider. It was used in SPD’s headline, although their language usage isn’t always perfect (for example, they too often use suspect in contexts when they mean the actual perpetrator, don’t get me started) = TR

    • Julian March 18, 2023 (12:41 pm)

      No one who hears the term “child pornography” thinks that.  JFC

      • CAM March 18, 2023 (3:11 pm)

        But videos and images of children being exploited, assaulted, and sexually abused is not pornography. Pornography is by definition “representation of sexual behaviour in books, pictures, statues, films, and other media that is intended to cause sexual excitement.” Assault, exploitation, and abuse are not sexual behavior. 

    • Sol March 18, 2023 (3:35 pm)

      Sarah Shapiro, when you police the language that talks about these terrible acts, you discourage people from writing about them.

      While I’m sure you mean well, this ultimately does more harm than good.

      Also, I have never, ever heard of someone not thinking the child is a victim in these cases.

      • K March 18, 2023 (7:30 pm)

        The police use CSAM as their verbiage, and they do it for a reason.  There is nothing wrong with having consistency in language.  No one is discouraged from reporting because language and terminology evolves over time.

      • Sarah Shapiro March 18, 2023 (7:33 pm)

        Sol, politely asking WSB to change from an outdated term to a more appropriate one—that was also used in the post—isn’t policing anything, just advocating. I’m going to assume you mean well, too, and I’d encourage you to read about why there’s a push by victims and advocates to eliminate the term child pornography. 

        • The King March 19, 2023 (12:09 pm)

          So arson should now be “non-consensual thermal event”? We’re all adults here, no need to police every word. Jeez you people 

        • Mike March 19, 2023 (1:55 pm)

          As long as nobody uses the newly crowned term “MAP” used by mental health professions, mostly for people convicted of sexual abuse of children.  So disgusted by people trying to normalize horrific things.

          • flimflam March 19, 2023 (6:27 pm)

            Mike, I had to look that MAP up out of morbid curiosity – wow, that’s pretty wild.

          • CAM March 19, 2023 (9:14 pm)

            That is not a mental health related term. 

  • anonyme March 18, 2023 (12:39 pm)

    I have never, ever heard the term “pornography” and thought that it in any way implied consent or otherwise diminished the seriousness of this horrible form of exploitation – whether child or adult.  I think that this individual should have been held without bail, as he is a predator by any definition.  would love to see a mug shot so that we all know who (or rather, what) is living in our midst. 

    • WSB March 18, 2023 (1:35 pm)

      He is not yet charged but the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office expects SPD to refer the case next week for a charging decision. Probable-cause documents are not always detailed but the ones in this case extensively detail the electronic trail detectives say they followed. I will be checking whether the suspect has a record, as the only way to get a mug shot is if someone served time in the state prison system. (Or if police decide they are putting a BOL out for someone, which is rare, and not applicable in this case anyway as the suspect has been arrested.) – TR

  • anon March 18, 2023 (3:30 pm)

    and by definition, arousal is relative. the term child pornography has negative connotations. WSB labeled this correctly.

    • my 2 cents March 18, 2023 (11:27 pm)

       I agree with anon. The 2 words together, child pornography, is very clear to the lay person as a serious offense against minors where as child sexual abuse material is less clear to most people.  What does material mean? Why not call it child sexual abuse images – that would be more clear than material.

    • Josh March 19, 2023 (2:49 am)

      Yeah or you could be wrong and just not getting it.  It looks like the more professional and appropriate term would be Child Sexual Abuse Material.  While of course it is a little nitpicky to think that by calling it Child Pornography that it has some sort of implied consent to it or positive spin, it is fair for someone to point out that there is a more accurate terminology for reporting on the alleged crime.

  • flimflam March 19, 2023 (7:37 am)

    I don’t understand – the arson suspect is in jail but “refused to go to court”? There isn’t really an opt out on that, is there?

    • CAM March 19, 2023 (2:09 pm)

      A person in jail will generally not be brought to court forcefully without a “drag” order which is almost exactly what it sounds like. Using physical force or physical/mechanical restraint to move or remove a person who is refusing to move puts multiple people at risk. There needs to be sufficient basis to do it. 

  • B March 20, 2023 (1:29 pm)

    I don’t think you all really want to know what CSAM means for law enforcement.. let’s just say it’s an all-inclusive term that photos and video fall under …

Sorry, comment time is over.