West Seattle, Washington
A King County Superior Court judge has ruled that 27-year-old Kierra M. Ward is now competent to stand trial in the October 2017 stabbing attack on an Admiral woman out for a walk with her baby. The ruling on Monday followed Ward being sent to Western State Hospital for competency restoration, after she was found incompetent in July. The next step in the case, according to documents from Monday’s hearing, is a sanity evaluation, because her lawyer has indicated that Ward will pursue the insanity defense. The evaluation is to be done before her next hearing, which is set for January 10th. Ward is charged with one count of first-degree assault and one count of second-degree assault and remains jailed in lieu of $400,000 bail.
Only one thing is crystal-clear on that security video: Only one minute elapsed between another vehicle pulling up alongside Christine‘s husband’s black 1995 Pathfinder, and a thief driving the Pathfinder away. It happened in Sunrise Heights early Saturday, and we just got the report and video from Christine late Monday night. We’re awaiting the plate # so we can add it, but there’s a distinguishing feature: “KU stickers on the back window.” If you see it, call 911.
Multiple texters report calling 911 after hearing suspected gunfire in the Riverview area about half an hour ago. One also mentions hearing “a fleeing vehicle.” No reports of shooting victim(s), nor are we hearing anything about police finding evidence of gunfire (casings, damage) so far.
With Christmas a little more than a week away, delivery drivers and mail carriers will be busier than ever. And so will thieves. Thomas reports this happened late this afternoon:
We’re just north of the Morgan Junction on 46th and … had a couple packages rummaged through on our porch. Both packages were roughly cut open. Nothing taken, but they were not valuable items. No video unfortunately, but whoever did it is obviously following the driver around as we were out of the house for less than 40 minutes.
If you’re expecting a package via USPS, note this comment from earlier today, saying Westwood-based carriers will be out delivering them earlier than usual this week.
The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed assault and attempted robbery charges this afternoon against 51-year-old Farrall M. Ditschinger, arrested after Tuesday’s attack on a 71-year-old Juneau Street Market employee. Here’s the narrative from the probable-cause document, written by SPD detectives:
On 12-11-18 at approximately 1215 hours Farrall M Ditschinger 5/12/67 walks into the Juneau Street Market … from the South. Upon entering the business Ditschinger walks up the beer aisle. Ditschinger then walks along the back wall where he looks into the office area and glances down the soda aisle , ensuring that no other employees are present. Ditschinger then walks down the middle aisle and approaches the lone, 71 year old female employee …
As Ditschinger approaches (her), he removes a pair of silver metal handcuffs from his left coat pocket with his left hand and transfers the handcuffs to his right hand. Ditschinger is wearing a white latex glove on his right hand. At approximately 1216 hours, (victim) has her back to Ditschinger as she stocks shelves, Ditschinger begins a vicious assault on (her) by striking her in the back of her head with the handcuffs, held in his right hand, approximately 6 times.
(victim) attempts to get away from Ditschinger by moving over to the cash register area, with Ditschinger following right behind her. (victim) attempts to cover her head with her right hand as Ditschinger is pulling on her left arm with his left hand. Ditschinger strikes (victim) with the handcuffs, held in his right hand, approximately 22 times in the area of her head and right hand/arm area. Ditschinger then pulls (victim) out from behind the counter area and pulls her down to the ground in front of the soda coolers.
Ditschinger continues to swing the handcuffs at (victim) approximately 37 more times. At 1217 hours (victim) manages to stand up and Ditschinger walks to the back of the store. As (victim) walks back to the area of the cash register, Ditschinger walks down the middle aisle, removing a black handled knife from his right coat pocket. The knife is in his right hand and the handcuffs are held in his left hand. As Ditschinger reengages (victim), (she) throws something at Ditschinger to defend herself. Ditschinger swings the knife at the left arm area of (victim). Ditschinger backs away from (victim), into the middle aisle, the knife being held in his left hand the the handcuffs in his right hand. (victim) picks up some type of tray and attempts to use it as a barrier between her and Ditschinger. When (victim) gets to the area of the middle aisle she attempt to flee the business through the open front business door. As (victim) is at the threshold of the door Ditschinger grabs ahold of (victim), by the shoulders, and pulls her back inside the business where he throws her onto the floor.
As (victim) is trying to escape a Bud Light Delivery truck is pulling to the curb in front of the business. A female witness … is walking northbound on the sidewalk in front of the store, just after Ditschinger has thrown (victim) to the floor and begun to strike her with the handcuffs again. (The witness) immediately calls 911 on her cellphone and remains outside the store.
After being thrown to the floor Ditschinger swings the handcuffs at (victim) approximately 51 more times. At some point during this time Ditschinger realizes that the knife blade has broken and he puts the knife handle back into his jacket pocket. Also during this time another witness … almost walks into the store as Ditschinger is beating (victim). (Driver) retreats outside the store and calls 911. At 1219 hours Ditschinger steps over (victim), who is still lying on the floor, and closes the door to the business. Ditschinger re-approaches (victim) and swings the handcuffs at her a few more times at which point he knocks down a metal display case onto (victim). With the display case now acting as a barrier, (victim) attempts to crawl to the front doors. Ditschinger attempts to stop (victim)’s effort by further assault but (she) is able to open the door slightly. At this same time, the Bud Light delivery worker … is approaching the door and observes (victim) in distress.
At 1221 hours (the driver) pulls the door completely open which prevents any further assault on (victim) by Ditschinger. Ditschinger then calmly walks behind the counter and begins to press the keys on the cash register with his latex covered right hand in an attempt to open the cash till. The till does not open and as (driver) is pulling (victim) to safety, to a business to the south, to open the cash register a second times by the same means used the first time. Ditschinger is unable to open the cash till. Just prior to Ditschinger attempting to exit the front door (driver and bystander) use their body weight to keep the door closed, as Ditschinger is pushing against it. Ditschinger then flees out the back door into the alley when he realizes he cannot exit out the way that he entered the store.
Responding SPD Officers arrived and observed Ditschinger running from the scene and after a short foot pursuit, Ditschinger was taken into custody. At the time Ditschinger was taken into custody, he still had the handcuffs used to assault (victim) in his hands. Search incident to arrest, the broken knife handle was also recovered from Ditschinger’s person. The investigating officers performed witness show up with (witnesses). All 3 positively identified Ditschinger as the male they observed assaulting (victim), Officers processed the crime scene inside the Juneau Street Market and recovered a broken knife blade inside the store near the front door. This was collected as evidence, as was the surveillance video that captured the incident in its entirety. Some of Ditschinger’s clothing was recovered at the time of his arrest. The remainder of the clothing was collected at the Robbery Office and when Ditschinger was booked into KCJ. At no time while Ditschinger was in police custody did he say anything or make any sound. Ditschinger was originally listed as John Doe but his identify was revealed at KCJ via fingerprints.
Other SPD Officers contacted (victim) in the foyer of a business to the south of the Juneau Street Market. (victim) was covered in blood and bleeding profusely from a wound on the back of her head. SFD responded to the scene, rendered aid and (victim) was transported to HMC via a Medic unit for further treatment. SPD Robbery Detectives responded to the hospital to investigate.
Sgt Aratani and I contacted (victim) at HMC … where she was receiving medical treatment. After (victim) was stabilized I was able to obtain an audiotaped statement from her. In her statement, (she) said that an unknown WM suspect, whom she described as W/M, late 30’s, 5’5″, 150, blonde “bowl” type hair style, no facial hair, wearing a black jacket, khaki pants and black dress shoes. (She) recalled being beaten with handcuffs and also recalled the suspect having a knife with a serrated edge, like a steak knife. (victim) stated that she was aware of who the suspect was as she had worked with his mother years ago at Sears, but that she did not know the suspect personally. (victim) verified that the attack was completely unprovoked and that at no time did the suspect say anything to her. Some initial photos were taken of (victim)’s injuries as some initial treatment had been performed and she had other exams still pending.
On 12/12/18 I went to HMC and contacted (the victim, who) was diagnosed with a left orbital fracture, a left arm fracture, lacerations to the back of her head that required stitches or staples to close and multiple abrasions, contusions and lacerations to her arms, hand and back area. …
Probable cause has been established that Ditschinger did commit Assault in the 1 Degree of (victim), a 71 year old female, by striking/swinging at her with handcuffs over 115 times. (Victim) did sustain severe injury requiring medical attention. Ditschinger also attempted to remove money from the cash register of the Juneau Street Market after using force to disable the lone employee of the store.
According to the charging documents, Ditschinger “has no known criminal convictions.” We noted in an earlier report that we found one assault case in Municipal Court records, from 32 years ago, but no details. He is being held in lieu of $750,000 bail, the amount requested by prosecutors.
HELPING THE VICTIM: Her family has started a GoFundMe campaign to help with the resulting financial challenges, describing her as “the most hard working, giving individual I’ve ever known.” Here’s the link where you can contribute.
Chuck reports, “Our Jeep Grand Cherokee was stolen last night, 47th SW and Walker, North Admiral.” It’s white, plates ABR2954, SPD incident # 18-465428. Call 911 if you see it.
West Seattle Crime Watch miscellany this midday:
FALSE ALARMS FYI: SPD has been busy this past hour. Two possible in-progress burglaries that drew full-code (lights and sirens) responses were subsequently to be false alarms, and we’re mentioning them in case you wondered: 9000 block 14th SW and 3900 block SW Ida.
Two reminders that package theft ramps up this time of year:
PACKAGE TAKEN, REPORT #1: The montage is from Lawrence:
Lawrence says, “This a-hole has been stealing packages in West Seattle. It would make my day to see him arrested and prosecuted. Case number 18-463462.” He didn’t include a location but the report number crosschecks to the 3700 block of SW Rose.
PACKAGE TAKEN, REPORT #2: Also in Gatewood, reported last weekend by Jessie:
My wife and I had a package stolen off our porch last night at 4:00 AM. We live in Gatewood, 3 blocks from Thriftway just off California. Our neighbors found the empty box in their yard this morning. Our Ring captured the video attached.
It seems like this would be someone local to the area since our house is off the main road… Want to make other neighbors aware of this person in the area, especially during this time of year.
ORIGINAL REPORT, WEDNESDAY NIGHT: The bail hearing for the 51-year-old man arrested after Tuesday’s Juneau Street Market robbery/attack has been postponed until tomorrow, but a judge has found probable cause to keep him in custody. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said that bail consideration was delayed because the suspect “was inappropriate for court,” without elaborating or replying to a followup. The KCPAO did provide the probable-cause documents, which are in the name of John Doe, with the police narrative noting that the man’s name was not immediately known, and he wouldn’t answer questions. Here’s what the report says happened once the suspect was in custody:
… Officers escorted three (3) witnesses to the stop location, where they positively identified this subject as the suspect they observed beating the female victim inside the market and also attempting to access the store’s cash register. It did not appear that the suspect was able to open the register. It is unknown at this time if any items were stolen from the store in this incident. This suspect, at this time referred to as John DOE, was arrested based on probable cause. Officers recovered a pair of handcuffs and a knife with a broken blade in possession of this suspect at the time of arrest; search incident to arrest. DOE was holding the handcuffs at the time and the broken knife was in his pants pocket. DOE was transported to the South Precinct, then Robbery Office, then booked into King County Jail for Investigation of Robbery and Assault.
The document says the 71-year-old victim talked with a Robbery Unit detective at the hospital, telling him the attacker had come into the store and started beating her, with handcuffs held in his fist, without saying anything. She tried to escape and the attacker dragged her back inside and kept hitting her. Police say the attacker is shown on video trying to get into the register before leaving.
At some point before he was booked into jail last night, police matched a name to the suspect (the report notes there was no fingerprint match but doesn’t say what eventually led them to a name). Court records matched to that name show only one prior local arrest, for assault, 32 years ago. The suspect is due back in court tomorrow.
ADDED THURSDAY AFTERNOON: The suspect was again “inappropriate for court,” as the KCPAO put it, explaining to us today that the phrase often indicates a mental-health issue. Bail and charging are now scheduled to be addressed tomorrow (Friday).
That’s Brenden‘s bike. His wife Jill hopes you’ll be on the lookout for it:
My husband’s Rad power bike was stolen from our double-locked shed in our alley on the night of either 12/10 or 12/11 (44th between Genesee & Dakota). Please let me know if you have seen anything, or might have security cameras near the area. We’re incredibly bummed as it is used for transportation/ commute nearly every day.
It’s been reported to police.
12:28 PM: Seattle Police and Fire have a “scenes of violence” response right now at California/Juneau. More shortly.
12:33 PM: Per scanner, a suspect is in custody.
12:38 PM: Police say this started as a robbery. We’re told at the scene that a woman has a head injury but is alert and conscious.
12:40 PM: Per radio communication, the victim was stabbed. This is reported to have happened at the Juneau Street Market, which as reported here was hit by a burglar less than a week ago. Avoid the area for a while, as California is blocked southbound by the emergency response (photo added above).
12:52 PM: The suspect was arrested about a block south, on the other side of California, after what police describe as a “brief foot pursuit.”
12:55 PM: Police on the scene confirm the robbery and attack did happen inside the market, with the aftermath visible from the front door:
Again, avoid California/Juneau for a while. Metro has sent an alert that buses are rerouted.
1:39 PM: The street is open again. Police are still at the market.
4:21 PM: SPD has released a little more info via SPD Blotter. The victim is 71. The suspect is 51. From their writeup:
At approximately 12:20 pm, officers responded to an assault call in progress in the 5900 block of California Avenue SW. The call indicated that a male was assaulting a female inside the store and that the woman was screaming for assistance. A delivery driver and another customer happened to walk into the store while the assault was occurring and pulled the victim to safety. The suspect then retreated to the back of the store and ran out the back door just as officers were arriving.
Officers gave chase and took the 51-year-old suspect into custody several blocks away after deploying a Taser.
The victim’s family has posted comments below and says she “is doing well.”
8:18 PM: We stopped by the market earlier this evening to ask if there’s any community help needed. Not at this point; the owner planned to close early to go visit the victim in the hospital.
We received a few questions about an early Saturday morning full-code police response in Admiral. We matched it to an incident number that accompanied a Tweets by Beat listing described as “assaults, firearm involved,” but there was no related medical call. So we requested the report today. Below is the police narrative. The victims’ names were redacted, so we refer to them as A and B:
(A) and (B) are boyfriend/girlfriend and currently homeless; they live inside their 1995 Honda Accord, which is registered to someone else. (West Seattle patrol officers have contacted the couple in the vehicle in previous occasions.)
On 12-08-18, at approx 0210 hrs., (A) was operating the Honda, with (B) in the front seat. He had been traveling northbound on California Ave SW and made a left turn onto westbound SW Seattle St. He pulled over curbside in a posted no-parking-anytime zone. (He) was going to retrieve some items from the trunk and then park there to sleep for the night. Before he had a chance to exit the Honda, the unknown suspect approached and arrived at the Honda from the east, opened up the driver’s side door and stuck a silver-tone handgun in (A’s) face. The startled (A) pushed the suspect’s arm away, but the suspect stuck the handgun in (his) face a second time. At the same time, while the suspect was mumbling incoherently,
(redacted) and (redacted) were yelling. The suspect stepped back, slammed the driver’s door shut and then walked off with a large creme-color dog, in an eastbound direction across the intersection. On the NE corner of that intersection is the Villa Andora Apartments … The suspect was last seen walking into the alley behind the apartment building.
(A) drove away from the scene and called 911. He stopped at (a business parking lot a few blocks south) to wait for officers. … Upon my arrival, I spoke with the couple and obtained the above account. (A) surmised that the unknown suspect possibly did not want to see homeless people in the neighborhood. (He) described the encounter as the suspect pointing the handgun within inches of his face. I confirmed with both (that) they were not injured. It is unknown if they would be able to identify the suspect if seen again. A search of the area was made; the suspect was not located.
If you have any information, the incident # is 18-457416.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports:
STOLEN TRAILER: Alan e-mailed today to report:
My gray single-axle utility trailer was stolen on Wednesday, December 5th. It disappeared from my driveway in Pigeon Point. License 2978-XK
ALLEY PROWLING: K shares this video from multiple cameras catching Friday afternoon alley prowlers entering yards near 16th/Henderson, with, K reports, at least one package stolen as a result:
The police-report # is 2018-911675.
That video is from the security camera at Juneau Street Market (5901 California SW). On Thursday, we published a West Seattle Crime Watch report about its early-morning burglary. Today, the market sent us the video recorded during the burglary. The video shows that only 40 seconds elapsed between the burglar throwing something through the door and his escape back through the broken glass, carrying stolen cigarettes and the register. You can even see the flash as he yanks the register out by its wires. (The break-in starts :40 into our clip, where the camera’s time stamp shows 3:22:50 am.) Here’s the clearest frame grab we could get:
(Added – a better frame grab, courtesy of Todd, originally posted in comments below:)
If you have any information that would help the investigation, the police incident # is 18-454606.
Hit and run outside of Fauntleroy Hall. Two cars pushed up on curb. Suspect fled with car. Didn’t get far. Ditched it in the Y parking lot and fled on foot. Called the cops.
Another tipster via Twitter reported seeing an arrest in progress when he went by. When we got there, in addition to the car, we found one officer who told us he was on scene awaiting the last tow truck, but he was able to confirm that three vehicles were involved and that one person had been arrested. No SFD callout logged, so apparently no injuries of note.
2:28 AM FRIDAY: Cross-referencing jail and Municipal Court records, we’ve discovered that the driver who was arrested is a 28-year-old woman booked into King County Jail, under investigation for DUI, driving without an ignition interlock, and driving with a suspended license. Records show a prior DUI, from 2014, also in West Seattle.
7:08 PM: First police received reports of possible gunfire heard in South Delridge – now there’s a “scenes of violence” call at Delridge/Barton. We’re on the way to find out more.
7:17 PM: SFD tells us they’re transporting a man in his 20s with a gunshot wound. Police have a K9 out searching in the area. That’s all we have so far. Northbound Delridge is blocked to traffic at Henderson.
7:23 PM: Police confirm they’re looking for a suspect. If you’re hearing sirens, that’s because of the K9 search. The victim has been taken to Harborview by Medic 32.
7:48 PM: Guardian One has joined the search.
8:15 PM: We’ve gone back to the scene to check on the situation. No word of anyone in custody yet. But Delridge has reopened both ways.
9:09 PM: No new info from SPD yet; the victim is now described by SFD as “approximately 30 years old” and in serious condition at the time of transport.
9:58 AM FRIDAY: Here’s the update from police via SPD Blotter:
… The victim, a 26-year-old man, was shot in the shoulder and is being treated at the hospital. The injury is not considered to be life-threatening.
Just before 7:00 pm Thursday, a resident in the 8800 block of Delridge Way SW reported a burglary in progress when he observed a man attempting to break into his home. Officers responded and located the possible burglar. The man had been shot in the shoulder. Officers immediately provided first aid and called for Seattle Fire to respond. The victim reported to police that someone had broken into his home nearby and fought with him. During the struggle the suspect shot him and then fled. The victim ran to the location on Delridge seeking assistance.
The victim was transported to Harborview Medical Center for further treatment. A K-9 team responded and attempted a track. The Sheriff’s Office helicopter, Guardian One, also provided assistance, but officers were unable to locate the suspect.
Officers learned later from the victim that he may know the suspect, and detectives will follow up on that information.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports:
JUNEAU MARKET BURGLARIZED: The photo is from early this morning, when Juneau Street Market (5901 California SW) discovered burglar(s) had smashed their front door and stolen their cash register and cigarettes. It’s impeded their ability to make transactions since credit-card processing was hooked up through the register. If you saw anything/anyone suspicious, the SPD incident number for reference is 18-454606.
CAR PROWL: Devan reports a driveway-parked car near 38th/Raymond was broken into overnight late Tuesday/early Wednesday: “Unfortunately it is my time to report a car prowl. I had packages stolen out of the back of my car (I was going to return them after work) as well as my gym bag full of gym clothes, shoes, headphones, and other misc things in my car. They ransacked my car, throwing around things that had no value (papers from a meeting I had).”
9:42 PM: Thanks for the tips. Guardian One is helping with a search over South Delridge and White Center. Radio traffic indicates the primary responders were King County Sheriff’s Deputies, so it started on the county side of the line. We’re on the way to find out more.
9:55 PM: Deputies tell us they’re looking for suspect(s) in a shooting in White Center – they say the victim was shot in the hand. The search is about to affect traffic on Roxbury, according to radio discussion – we don’t know for how long.
10:03 PM: Roxbury has reopened. Search continues. Deputies tell us the shooting happened near the gas station on the southwest corner of 15th/Roxbury, and the male victim has been taken to a hospital.
10:11 PM: The search/containment area is fairly wide – a K9 team is still tracking on the ground, with G-1 in the air.’
10:23 PM: KCSO says via Twitter that the victim is 26 years old and that they’re looking for one suspect, someone who “is believed to still be armed.”
10:30 PM: Photos added. The K9 search has been “called (off),” per KCSO, but deputies are still searching the area.
The latest West Seattle Crime Watch reports:
BUS INCIDENT: One man was arrested after an incident that moved from the street to this RapidRide bus at California/Findlay this afternoon:
Police and fire had left the scene before we got there but we followed up with SPD, SFD, and Metro, to add to what we had heard via police radio: It started with two men reported fighting in the area. One then tried to board a northbound RapidRide bus. The driver tried to keep him from doing that. Some sort of substance was sprayed. This left some passengers coughing. A 31-year-old man was treated by SFD medics but didn’t need to go to the hospital. Another man was arrested and taken to King County Jail. The bus was taken out of service to be cleaned.
(Thursday night update: 34-year-old Yonas T. Berhane spent one day in jail. He has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge.)
STOLEN HONDAS: Two auto-theft reports – Nicole e-mailed to say, “My car was stolen from my home (5000 block California Ave SW), 2012 black Honda Accord. License AHB7813.” And Deedee reports that her son’s girlfriend, a Chief Sealth International High School student, was the victim of auto theft at her home in Burien and hoping for help in finding her car, a 2000 silver Honda Civic, plates AAV1769. She needs it for getting to school and to work. If you see either car, please call 911.
PACKAGE-THEFT ALERT: Joanie in Gatewood wants to warn you that package thieves have struck again:
We’ve had several packages stolen off our doorstep (37th at Elmgrove) including one this past Saturday. It was a box of children’s Christmas gifts from their grandparents. There is a special place in hell for anyone that would steal a kid’s gift.
Pending a permanent incident #, this one is under SPD #T18015276.
10:25 PM: If you know someone who has to head this way soon from points south, note that the ramp from northbound I-5 to the westbound West Seattle Bridge is blocked right now. The crash is described on the scanner as “near-head-on”; we don’t know for sure if it’s related but just a few moments earlier we had heard police dispatched to check out a report that someone was driving eastbound on the westbound side of the bridge.
ADDED: From the State Patrol via Twitter:
Wrong way driver from West Seattle Freeway to I-5. Driver in custody for DUI. Update on injuries to come. pic.twitter.com/LTygZlK5Vd
— Trooper Rick Johnson (@wspd2pio) December 4, 2018
1:50 PM UPDATE: The 28-year-old woman who is reported to have been driving the wrong way is in King County Jail, after being treated at Harborview. WSP says two other vehicles were involved – a Prius that collided with the suspect’s Civic, injuring the 27-year-old Kent woman who was driving, and an Altima whose driver swerved into the barrier to avoid hitting the wrong-way driver. He wasn’t hurt, per the WSP, nor were passengers in his car and the Prius.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports:
BUSINESS VANDALISM: After tips about broken windows at Breathe Hot Yoga and Chaco Canyon Café in The Triangle at midday Sunday, we obtained the police report today. Police were called just before 11:30 am to say a man dressed in black had thrown “a large landscaping stone” through the window of Breathe Hot Yoga while a class was under way. The rock didn’t hit anyone but “two or three people” suffered minor injuries from broken glass. While on the scene, an officer noticed a broken window in an office area of an adjacent business (redacted in the report but people who have contacted us indicated it was Chaco Canyon). Employees there said they heard a “loud crash” and discovered the broken window but didn’t find a rock or anything else that might have caused it. No arrest reported so far.
HIT-AND-RUN: From Brad:
At approximately 1:30 PM this afternoon a newer-model gray sedan was westbound on SW Genesee St. (near Genesee Hill Elementary School) at a high rate of speed and missed the left turn onto 49th Ave SW. The car went through a front yard on the west side of 49th, crossed the street, entered a front yard on the east side of 49th, went down the sidewalk and departed southbound on 49th. This driver only destroyed a planter box, but easily could have killed someone. They left a part of the right front fender and right front wheel well behind.
4:51 PM: Thanks for the tips. If you usually use 1st Avenue South to get to the West Seattle Bridge while heading home – avoid it for a while; it’s closed at S. Forest, both ways, because of police activity, and that’s led to a big backup. Listening to the scanner, we’re heading talk that it’s a robbery investigation, and someone is reported to be in custody, so this might ease soon.
4:53 PM: Just after we published that, SPD said via Twitter that it was an “attempted bank robbery” in the 2700 block of 1st Ave. S.: “Suspect remained in the bank and police responded and arrested him. Bank employees sheltered in place in a secure area of the bank.”
4:57 PM: Per scanner, 1st Avenue S. has reopened, but as you can imagine, the residual backup won’t resolve immediately at this time of day.
One good reason to report any and all thefts – police might recover your stuff and not be able to get it back to you if there’s no identifying marks and no report on record. That’s what happened in this incident we just got word of today: A detective in the SPD Found Property/Evidence Unit e-mailed to say police recovered a Nikon DX digital camera in West Seattle and are looking for its owner: “The camera contains family photos from the 2017 Holidays and the family trip to California. The owner can contact the Evidence Unit at 206-684-8720, ext. 8. Must have proof of ownership.”
SUNDAY, 3:49 PM: An update today from Robin Lindsey of Seal Sitters Marine Stranding Network:
We are now up to 10 confirmed shot dead California sea lions in King and Kitsap counties for the period from September to end of November.
On Friday the 30th, Seal Sitters MMSN responded to a report by Seattle Parks employee Marco of a very decomposed California sea lion carcass washed up at Don Armeni boat launch. This was the same animal that was wedged under the Water Taxi dock the day before, which we marked with bio paint for identification and pushed out into the current. Through photo comparison, we were able to verify that this was the same animal reported along the downtown Seattle waterfront some time ago which has been inaccessible. Thanks to Parks and Seal Sitters’ first responders, the carcass was secured until necropsy options could be weighed.
Because of delays getting EPA permits required for towing/sinking, the Marine Mammal Stranding Network is unable to do necropsies until a permit is secured because of disposal issues. That is, unless we have options for burial/disposal on land. Read more about those challenges on my blubberblog post here.
Thanks to the efforts of Carol Baker and her many Seattle Parks/SW employees who lent a hand and provided removal services, we were able to do a limited necropsy onsite of this estimated 600 lb animal. X-rays of the head, done by a local veterinary lab, confirmed that the sea lion had indeed been shot.
There are 6 other reported dead sea lions in King/Kitsap who have not been necropsied, bringing the total of dead sea lions to 16. Additionally, there are several other dead animals in neighboring counties. Blubberblog.org provides the absolute latest updates regarding numbers and any new information.
MONDAY UPDATE: SS also wants you to know that “The Marine Mammal Stranding Network is gathering data from those counties and that information will be shared when possible.”