West Seattle, Washington
We’ve vented about graffiti/tagging vandalism before, but it’s reaching critical mass again. The latest “last straw” is an ugly tag on one of the charming Luna Park signs near the Avalon business area that’s taken on that historic name. Then there’s the ongoing saga of West Seattle’s once-fabled murals; taggers hit the one at the post office in The Junction (just part of the semi-disrepair the murals have fallen into, as Warren Lawless lamented in this recent‚ column). Finally, an e-mail tip says paint-equipped vandals have hit Lafayette Elementary repeatedly in recent weeks; not only is this kind of attack a needless hassle and expense for cash-strapped schools, but a parent points out, it also frightens the kids. Who is doing this and why can’t they be stopped?
A few more miscellaneous notes in the aftermath of the domestic dispute turned SWAT standoff @ 25th/Brandon last night: A nearby resident’s blog reports on the news crew that lingered long afterward and also has an earlier post with some great pix of the police action; the P-I has a fairly basic wrapup; Slog’s got the only truly complete report, including an interview with the owner of the battered BMW, seen below, ax in windshield and SWAT vehicle right behind, in a photo sent to us by a witness. P.S. According to the King County Jail Lookup, the suspect, Robert Joseph James, is still behind bars as of this writing, under investigation for four possible crimes including domestic violence, court-order violation, and malicious mischief.
Some kind of a standoff happening — just caught a bit of a tv report – here’s an e-mail report from a witness – needless to say, sounds like an area to stay away from! (If you’ve got pix, send ’em to us.) 5:57 PM UPDATE: One comment quotes a media site as saying it’s over. Also, Slog has scene photo. 8:18 PM UPDATE: More details from the P-I.
A guy took an axe to his ex’s beamer– and is now holed up inside a house in 5200 block of 25th ave SW.Neighbors not being allowed access.. big cop presence.Axe is still hanging on the broken windshield
The Seattle Weekly has just posted an article with a few points we hadn’t heard before, including documents suggesting Tatsuo Nakata’s family considered suing the city, and a quote from the driver charged with a misdemeanor in the crash (who also has hired a lawyer), saying he “will probably release a statement soon.”
A WSB reader who lives just east of The Junction wants to alert us all to a potential stepped-up burglary threat in the area. He returned from an out-of-town trip to find out from his alarm company that someone had tried to break in. Here’s the rest of his story; if you’re away during the day, it’s worth touching base with neighbors to see who’s home and who can keep an eye out for anything/anyone suspicious:
… since I’ve been back I have learned from a local real-estate agent (subsequently backed up by the Seattle Police) that there has been a local burglary ring that has been specifically targeting West Seattle as of late. Most of these attempts seem to be happening between 11 am and 6 pm while people are away at work. Sometimes these guys will even come to the door (asking for directions or seeking some random person) to verify that no one is home.
Many new details in the article posted by the P-I late tonight. The victim’s sister told the paper her brother was mentally disabled and described the suspect as a homeless man her brother had taken in and was trying to help. EARLY AM UPDATE: The Times has added details to its coverage too.
Just hearing about this now thanks to reader tips: a man was killed at Cal-Mor (the cylindrical building on Cali’s east side just north of Fauntleroy) this morning; someone described as “an acquaintance” is in custody. The Times update says this is the third murder of the year in Seattle; by our count, that means two of the three were in WS (the other was the 37th/Findlay killing in March).
As noted and spiritedly discussed here 2 weeks ago, the driver who hit and killed City Council staffer Tatsuo Nakata at 47th/Admiral last November won’t face felony charges, but there’s a new development – the city has decided to charge him with misdemeanor assault.
On recent walks through The Junction and along stretches of WS waterfront parkland, we’ve noticed an increase in one of the newer variations of tagging vandalism — sticker tagging. Somewhat satisfyingly, you can take direct action against this if you so choose, unlike painted tagging (unless you happen to routinely carry paint remover with you at all times). We did just that with most of the stickers we passed; peel, crumple, toss.
Just written up by the Northwest Asian Weekly — had not heard it before, though it appears the decision happened earlier this month: No felony charge in the crosswalk crash that killed Tatsuo Nakata.
Haven’t seen this on any of the newspaper sites, but Seattle Police confirmed for us that they have arrested a suspect in the 37th/Findlay shooting that killed Dewayne West. The suspect’s name is Jabarie Phillips. Police couldn’t share a lot of details but do say their original suspicion that this “wasn’t random” was indeed the case. Our research found that he, like the victim, is in his 30s, and has a criminal record stretching back into juvenilehood, most recently some sort of drug case dismissed less than two weeks ago. He is in the county jail, bail listed as a million dollars.
Some commenters on our last post about 37th/Findlay shooting victim Dewayne West were discussing an online discovery of a violent criminal record for someone with the same name. Looks like they were on the right trail; the P-I posted an article tonight talking about the man having killed someone at a Torchlight Parade almost 20 years ago, when he was just 16.
Several people e-mailed us to ask if we had any info re: helicopter, police, all sorts of hubbubbery last night in the Arbor Heights area. Lt. Paulsen at the Southwest Precinct was kind enough to provide this report:
Last night’s incident was basically an unknown female suspect who was driving erratically. SPD chose not to pursue the vehicle given public safety concerns. The female fled from the vehicle. SPD was able to locate the abandoned vehicle. Fortunately, there were a number of available police including K9 and a helicopter who were able to check the area. We were unable to locate the suspect.
Somebody shot and killed early this morning east of Fairmount Park. No arrest so far, apparently, but police say they don’t think it was “random” (which somehow doesn’t manage to be that reassuring). It’s been almost exactly three months since the last deadly WS shooting (a man killed in Arbor Heights).
Seems that somewhere around the time some criminal idiots were stealing copper wire and throwing hundreds of people off the phone system the other night, some (other?) criminal idiots were smashing out car windows on lower Gatewood Hill. Happened to us near The Beach years ago. If the cops don’t get ’em, karma will. Here’s hoping.