West Seattle, Washington
Just a few simple words from the Arbor Heights family of Amanda Knox — but they had to put it out on a public relations press release service (PR Newswire), since the European media in particular is in a frenzy over this case. A judge in Italy ruled a few hours ago that Knox would remain in jail, along with the other suspects, while investigators continue to sort the case out. Interesting side note from this Times article on logistics assistance for Knox’s mother, who is now in Italy, to deal with what’s going on.
One week ago tonight, West Seattle bicyclist Peter McKay was shot while riding on Delridge, not far from his home. No one is under arrest yet, but local groups are doing what they can to change that: Read here and here about Seattle International Randonneurs and the Bicycle Alliance of Washington raising more than $5,000 so far to give somebody the impetus to bring the culprits in. (If you want to donate, all three of the links in the preceding line will send you to the right place.)
In the past week, we’ve been talking here on WSB about a recent wave of graffiti/tagging vandalism in the Alki/Beach Drive areas, including railings and bulkhead concrete in this area just south of Alki Point (deliberately shot wide so as not to showcase the tags), reported by Betsy the other day:
We’ve also received word of a particularly ugly tag, one of those crowns, thrown up on the restroom building at Whale Tail Park. There is on occasion some headway made against these crimes, such as the tale of two tweens caught in the act (noted briefly here). But invariably, these vandalism reports come in with the question, what to do about it, and who to call? Comment #5 from LGS below last Friday’s post has the detailed information, excerpted here:Read More
Peter McKay, the West Seattle bicyclist who survived getting shot on Delridge last week, updated his blog early today. He writes that he rode to work and back yesterday, and also shares many gracious words of appreciation for the people who took care of him, as well as for the vast majority of drivers who share the road with him without actions such as those taken by whoever shot him (still no arrests reported). P.S. The City Council has now approved the Bicycle Master Plan. This map shows what’s in it for West Seattle.
Just out of the WSB inbox, Betsy writes:
Someone sprayed graffiti on the end of the guard rail on the beach side of the road at the corner of Alki Ave. and Beach Drive recently, and today I discovered that they’d also tagged the slope of the retaining wall on the beach just down the sidewalk of the boat landing area. I really hate this stuff. It’s Seattle Parks property, but if I call them will they just come out with some gray paint and cover it? That’s just as ugly and attracts new taggers just as the original graffiti does. Do any of your readers know if paint remover will work on metal and concrete?
Peter McKay tells the frightening story on his blog. His account doesn’t mention West Seattle or the shooting location, nor was there a 911 call about an assault with weapons (apparently medics were called to his home), so this didn’t hit our radar till the P-I just posted about it, saying it happened on Delridge near Barton this past Thursday night.
Angela e-mailed WSB to ask if what happened to her happened to anyone else:
I don’t have photos yet, but someone sprayed our neighborhood on 59th between Alki Ave and Admiral with graffiti. Our garage was hit Halloween night, and now there’s a giant silver crown on the garage door. The same crown was painted across the street at the playground as well.
I’m curious to know if anyone else “got tagged” Halloween night?
I just moved here a month ago thinking this was a great area to live in, and I still feel that way, despite the murder that took place at the end of our street and recent vandalism.
DOG OWNERS, TAKE HEED: A post on the Westcrest Park Off-Leash Area Yahoo! group says Animal Control officers were at the park this week citing owners of license-less dogs. (The crackdown’s been under way citywide all year.)
BEACH DRIVE RESIDENTS ON ALERT: Beach Drive Blog shares a warning about car prowlers.
END OF AN ERA: We didn’t realize how sad we are going to be on Election Day until we saw the phrase in “print” in the online version of the newsletter for Fauntleroy Church, which plans a bake sale and bazaar for visiting voters (and others) that day and begins its pitch for volunteers this way: “For this last in-person election ever in King County …” BWAAAA! Seriously, we’re sad. We’ve voted in person every election, every place we’ve ever lived, since the very first elections for which we were eligible after turning 18, and as you have probably figured out by now, that wasn’t exactly yesterday. For some, trying to carve out time to get to “the polls” may have been a hassle, but for us we always found a way to make it a wonderful ritual and a time to remember how lucky we are. Sitting at the cluttered table marking up the ballot at our leisure just won’t be the same.
At the court hearing we reported on last week, the lawyer for the 17-year-old suspect in the October 13th fatal shooting at 59th/Admiral said he would argue for his client to be set free on his own recognizance, released to “home detention,” or at least for his bail to be reduced. Then, earlier this week, we told you the lawyer’s rationale for that request — he contends his client was sexually abused for years by the man he is accused of shooting, has no history of violence, and would not be a danger to the community. Today, we have just learned from court documents posted online that King County Superior Court Judge Michael Trickey did grant a bail reduction earlier this week — cutting the amount of bail the suspect would have to post to get out, from the original $500,000, to the new amount of $200,000. However, according to the online jail roster, he is not out yet. He’s due back in court next Wednesday.
Just out of the inbox, from Steven:
My shed has been broken into twice within the last six months. I live on 11th Avenue, SW (Highland Park). There have been a string of automobile window-bashing within that same timeframe (12th Ave.) Don’t know if they’re at all related.
I want to replace the shed door with a steel or fiberglass unit, and also replace my basement door with the same…and also swap the deadbolt on the balcony/deck door to a two-way-keyed deadbolt. I’ve been quoted prices as high as $500 installation PER DOOR. That strikes me as a bit outrageous…considering the cost of the actual door itself.
I’m about to head out to both Home Depot and McLendon’s for some guidance help … but seriously, I have a wife and baby that I need to protect. What was stolen isn’t important, keeping my family safe is. Readers, please help me find a trustworthy WestSeattlite (or surrounding contractor) who performs good work at reasonable prices!
As we reported after attending the arraignment of the Alki 17-year-old charged as an adult with second-degree murder for the fatal shooting at 59th/Admiral on October 13th, his lawyer is arguing that he should be released from jail or at least have his bail cut. We now have the court paperwork with details of why the defense claims he would not be a threat to the community — and it aligns with the speculation some voiced when a call for witnesses was put out by lawyer Robert Perez:Read More
35th is blocked off from Myrtle to Webster. Police officers are in the street investigating something; there was a medic call at Fire Station 37 (inside the blocked-off zone) earlier, but no details.
We’ve said it dozens of times and want to say it again today: West Seattle Blog works because of you. The photos, the information, the tips, the rumors, the questions, the comments, the announcements, or even simply reading WSB and using the info to become more involved in community events and concerns … thank you to everyone who contributes in every way. That said, we have a big shoutout today to someone who agreed to cover the White Center/South Delridge Community Safety meeting for WSB last night, when we realized neither WSB editor could go. Here’s his report, full of information that might be of value to you even if that’s not your end of WS, including more on the latest West Seattle crime trends:
By Evan Baumgardner
This was my first time attending a Community Safety Meeting. I have to say, it was a real eye-opener for me, and I highly recommend checking one of these out if you haven’t yet. …Read More
OPEN HOUSE: West Seattle’s only non-public high school, Seattle Lutheran HS, invites interested families to find out more about SLHS, 6:30-8 tonight, more info here.
DENNY/SEALTH, THE NEXT MEETING: Another community meeting tonight at 6:30, Chief Sealth HS library, as part of the planning process for the Denny/Sealth combined-campus project; more info here.
FIGHTING CRIME: The recent concerns at Westcrest Park are among a variety of topics expected to come up at the White Center/South Delridge Community Safety meeting tonight at 6 o’clock, St. James Place (9421 18th SW).
Exactly one week ago at this moment, police officers were swarming northern West Seattle, looking for a suspect in the fatal shooting inside a car at 59th/Admiral (WSB 10/13/07 photo at right). Tonight, a 17-year-old suspect is in the King County Jail, in lieu of half a million dollars bail, charged as an adult with second-degree murder. The court documents are now a matter of public record, accessible online from the King County Electronic Court Records system (which charges a nominal fee for copies/downloads). We have downloaded the charging documents filed by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, including the certification for determination of probable cause. The documents name both the suspect and victim. As the suspect is now charged as an adult, we will publish his name here: Dwayne Myatt-Perez. These court documents say he lives in the Alki area. Though as we posted earlier today the King County Medical Examiner has yet to include the victim’s identity in its media updates, he is identified in these publicly available court papers as Francisco Bailey-Ortiz, which is the same name that the suspect’s lawyer Robert Perez included in a comment on this post earlier today. Here is a transcription of the “probable cause” section of the documents, representing what police and prosecutors allege happened and what evidence they base the charge on, with one name and address omitted at WSB editorial discretion (we have noted clearly where those excisions were made):Read More
-Congratulations to the West Seattle HS Wildcats for making it into the Metro League football playoffs after their win tonight in the big cross-WS-rivalry game against the Chief Sealth HS Seahawks.
-Some readers wrote us earlier in the day worried about the White Center shooting. Teenage suspects are in custody. If you haven’t gotten around to looking up exactly where that happened, here’s a map. To get resident reaction, the P-I’s “online reporter” went to Papa Murphy’s in the nearby business district and talked with people including a man from Arbor Heights who, according to the resulting blog post, expressed his concerns about safety in south WS.
-We have been watching county Medical Examiner reports and online “King County deaths” lists for identification of the victim in last weekend’s 59th/Admiral shooting. Nothing public, even almost a week later, which seems unusual. However, the King County online register does reveal that the suspect is back in county jail, with bail listed as $500,000 and the charge as “murder 2” — as we first reported last weekend, he was only briefly in the county jail, then transferred to juvenile custody; this would suggest he is now charged as an adult — we are looking for verification in the online records.
This per attendees at two major community-group meetings the past two nights (thank you!), West Seattle Community Safety Partnership and Delridge District Council: Police leadership at those meetings said the 59th/Admiral shooting is believed to have been drug-related and that neither suspect nor victim lived in West Seattle (the Medical Examiner, by the way, has yet to publicly identify the victim); also, police reported that crime stats in WS are at a “two-year low.” The Westcrest Park problems were discussed, according to the report we received, but police said at the meetings there is no current plan to change the level of patrol at Westcrest.
Westcrest Park, home to West Seattle’s only off-leash area, got a microburst of attention recently after a tv report about public sex in the park. However, frequent visitors are focusing right now on a different concern — theft. A member of the Westcrest Off-Leash Area Yahoo! group asked us to get the word out about two thefts this week alone. The victim of the first one reported that a man stole her purse out of her car while she was just feet away unloading dogs. The purse contained her cell phone; here’s what she tried a while later:
“I also called my cell phone and the guy answered it. I told him I would be filing a police report with a description of him and his car and the theft and he told me to F off.”
The other theft happened today, according to a note posted by park steward Steve:
“We got hit again this morning, Wednesday, about 10 am. This is getting really ridiculous. I’ve been to the south precinct on Delridge to ask if they could patrol the lot once in a while, but no one was even there. Perhaps others could stop by there to ask as well ..squeaky wheel theory. Once again, I don’t think anyone is looking out for us except for us.”