West Seattle, Washington
Thanks for all the tips. Police caught a lot of attention this past hour with bullhorn warnings and sirens in North Delridge. According to archived police audio, it all started with a domestic-violence call in the 4800 block of 25th SW, someone reporting that their partner was threatening them with a weapon. The suspect apparently left the scene on foot and police have been searching for her; we don’t know yet whether they have made an arrest.
This reader report is from Jill, on behalf of her neighbor Helga, who in turn wanted to let the community know about a neighbor who’s gone above and beyond the call of neighborliness this past summer:
(This) neighbor, Kristen Thom-McMaster, has spent over 100 hours this summer weeding the raingarden areas at our Cottage Grove Park on 26th Ave. Helga took some before and after pictures to show how big of a difference this neighbor quietly made in our neighborhood.
Also I want to acknowledge it was a HOT summer and Kristen was out there in long, protective clothing just yanking out briars with all kinds of yucky surprises underneath (dog poo, specifically, as it near the dog walking area) – so this was a truly difficult task that no one asked her to do which improved our shared space and we neighbors appreciate it deeply.
Safety and stormwater were hot topics as HPAC – the community coalition for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge – met online this past Wednesday night.
SOUTHWEST PRECINCT: New third-watch (nighttime) commander Lt. Nathan Shopay was a guest. He was surprised to find how busy it is “deep into the night” in West Seattle/South Park – it’s the quietest precinct but still busy. “We augment a lot – a minimum amount of officers we have to get to (via volunteers) to get to 10 officers a night.” He said they run many “emphasis patrols,” including Westwood Village, and extra staffing for gun violence. He says cross-precinct dispatches to or from South Precinct are common. “Our priorities are … enough officers to serve the community (plus handling) shots calls, anything gun violence related, and we’re still going after all our violent offenders.”
16TH SW SAFETY: With the increase in RVs along 16th SW near South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), crime/safety concerns, said an attendee who works at the college. “I’m at a crossroad where I don’t know what to do with the situation.”
Late add to the lineup for tomorrow: Combat Arts Academy (5050 Delridge Way SW) sent word that they’re hosting a self-defense workshop for women, 10 am-noon Saturday. Ages 13 and up, by donation, pay what you can. Sign up in advance here.
A Seattle Fire “scenes of violence” response is arriving in the 8100 block of Delridge Way SW, but it’d reportedly for an incident that occurred elsewhere. The initial dispatch said that the victim was injured in a domestic-violence attack in Tukwila this afternoon. We’ll be following up with SFD and SPD.
That’s a texted photo of the RV that nearby residents report was towed away from one of the SW Brandon encampment areas today. When we went over for a look, we saw this A-board sign left behind as official announcement of the towing, as had happened when the city swept the 26th/28th/Andover encampment.
Alsp in view:
A cleanup crew’s truck was there too:
Nearby residents say they’re still concerned about RVs on 29th SW as well as a large structure someone has built around a tree in the Longfellow Creek greenbelt nearby.
City crews, with the assistance of tow trucks, are clearing the 26th/Juneau RV encampment right now. Thanks to area resident Ryan for the tip; he’s been leading neighborhood communication imploring the city to take action. He reported that a Seattle Public Utilities rep told him at the site earlier this week that 26th/Juneau was about to be addressed and that 29th/Brandon is scheduled for action after Labor Day. Our city contact wouldn’t confirm dates – saying they’re always subject to change – but noted that “in recent days … public notices were posted in this area stating that the City’s 72-hour parking limit will be enforced, and that unauthorized encampments will be removed in the coming weeks.” Multiple city departments are on site for this, including SDOT/Parking Enforcement, which told us they expects one more RV to be removed within a few hours. Police are there too.
This follows a city assessment team’s visit to the area two weeks ago, as reported here.
5:30 PM: Police are investigating what’s reported to have been a hit-run collision that injured a pedestrian at 26th/Juneau. The hit-run driver was reported to be in a silver early 2000s Mercedes ML towing a silver Prius, last seen northbound on 26th. We have not yet heard whether the pedestrian is seriously hurt.
5:40 PM: Officers have told dispatch they’ve located what they believe is the suspect vehicle.
5:51 PM: They’ve told dispatch they have the suspected driver in custody. We’re checking with SFD about the victim.
6:05 PM: SFD spokesperson Kristin Tinsley says the victim is a man in his early 40s, in stable condition when taken to a hospital by AMR ambulance.
The new illuminated sign for Louisa Boren STEM K-8 (5950 Delridge Way SW) won’t be installed in time for the start of the new school year a week from Wednesday, but the district is hoping to have it in place later this fall. The land-use decision approving the new sign has been published, and that triggers an appeal window – the deadline for filing one is a week from tomorrow (this notice explains how). We previously reported on the sign plan back in May; the district says the illuminated messaging will only be displayed on days when school is in session, and only between 7 am and 7 pm.
SATURDAY, 2:04 PM: The cars are of course a big draw at the 2nd annual Lowrider Block Party, happening until 6 pm on 17th SW between Delridge and Roxbury – we spotted a two-wheeler too:
Art is a centerpiece as well, creating it as well as admiring it:
The custom cars are works of art in their own way:
Nearby Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery is presenting the Lowrider Block Party again this year.
Along with cars and art, vendors and entertainment are part of the party too.
ADDED SUNDAY NIGHT: Thanks to Yma for sharing these photos with some of the cars’ intricate details:
A partner in the Lowrider Block Party was Eazy Duz It Car Club, seen on Alki last weekend.
9:58 AM: Missed this in real time but noting for the record that there was a house fire in North Delridge early this morning. SFD dispatched a “full response” around 2:20 am to the 4500 block of 23rd SW, which is (updated) south of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. SFD says the fire “involved the garage and extended to the home”; no one was hurt. We’re asking SFD about the cause.
3:12 PM: Thanks to neighbor Danny for the photo of the aftermath. SFD spokesperson David Cuerpo tells WSB that investigators have ruled the fire’s cause “undetermined” so far.
We finally have confirmation about the identity and status of the 18-year-old suspect in the August 15th Delridge sexual assault. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Javyantre C. Sin today in two attacks, including that one, and the charging documents reveal he was an escapee from a facility where he was supposed to be still serving time for robbery.
The first attack happened the afternoon of August 6th at Southcenter Mall; the victim is a 16-year-old who works at the mall and told police she was on the roof reading before her shift, when she was attacked, raped at gunpoint, and robbed. That was nine days before the Delridge attack. The charging documents say Tukwila Police circulated security-video images of the attacker and that someone matched it to a social-media post in Burien showing images of a prowler in their garage hours earlier. (Added: Here are the images Tukwila PD circulated, showing Sin leaving the mall-attack scene on a scooter:)
Someone commented on the Burien post identifying the image as Sin and providing his Burien-area address. Police subsequently started looking for him. That address led to a vacant residence; they also discovered that Sin’s mother lived in North Delridge. Then Tukwila investigators found out about the August 15th attack here, and matched their images with security video provided by a resident in the area. They traced him to Everett, where he was arrested, by using information in records from one of his social-media accounts, which they obtained with a search warrant. Last Friday evening, South King County SWAT surrounded the Everett address – where he apparently had most recently been living – and arrested him when he came outside.
The charging documents say Sin, who turned 18 this past spring, has juvenile felony convictions for second-degree robbery, residential burglary, auto theft, and attempted eluding, The charging documents go into detail of the attacks with which he is now charged, and in the Delridge attack, in addition to sexually assaulting the victim, he is alleged to have beaten her until she lost consciousness. The 26-year-old victim got away after seeing people pass by and biting his finger,
Of note in the charging documents – he was supposed to still be in juvenile custody for another year-plus, serving time for the aforementioned convictions, until he turned 19 1/2. This direct quote from what prosecutors wrote in the papers explains why he was not:
The defendant resided at Naselle Youth Camp – a medium-security facility that is not fenced – until June 2021. Despite the defendant’s criminal history and lack of compliance with court orders, the defendant was deemed eligible by Juvenile Rehabilitation to be transferred to Sunrise Community Facility in Ephrata, WA in June 2021.
On 8/18/2022, I spoke with a Sunrise Community Facility Counselor who informed me that Sunrise Community Facility is a group home that has no fencing and has unlocked doors. The residents are supervised by counselors during their stay. However, the residents are not supervised while they are at work. The residents are also granted passes to go visit their family for up to five days at a time; during the visit the residents are expected to be supervised by their families.
The Counselor informed me that Javyantre Sin arrived at Sunrise Community Center on 6/17/2021 and resided there until 6/21/2022. On 6/21/22, Javyantre Sin and two other residents ran out the unlocked front door of the residence and got into a “getaway car” that quickly drove away.
The counselors at Sunrise Community Facility followed an escape protocol which included alerting local law enforcement about Sin’s escape, seeking information from the defendant’s family, and alerting Greenhill Juvenile Detention Facility, which issued a warrant for Sin’s arrest. The counselor informed me that Sunrise Community Center made no further efforts to locate Javyantre Sin after completion of the protocol and they do not go out looking for him. The protocol does not include notifying the King County Superior Court of the defendant’s escape. Javyantre Sin’s whereabouts have been unknown to Sunrise Community Facility and Juvenile Rehabilitation ever since.
Sin is charged with one count of first-degree rape, one count of indecent liberties, and two counts of first-degree robbery. His bail was set at $750,000 and he is scheduled for arraignment September 1st.
In the past two and a half months, the city has cleared longrunning West Seattle RV encampment sites, including 26th/28th/Andover, West Marginal Place, and the northbound side of Harbor Avenue, as well as the tent encampment at Rotary Viewpoint Park/West Seattle Stadium. But the cluster of encampments in North Delridge’s 26th/28th/29th/Juneau/Brandon area remain, even after high-profile area crimes including a murder (though we still don’t know if last week’s sexual assault was related, as police have not released anything more about the suspect whose arrest they announced Friday). We’ve been cc’d on numerous email chains initiated by area residents, some of which initially drew city replies, but more recently have not. Concerns the residents voiced include not just the aforementioned crimes but also fires and ongoing problems from illegally parked vehicles and items obstructing streets to stolen cars being stripped, plus a recent discovery of registered sex offenders in the area.
We asked the city’s homelessness-response spokesperson Linda Robson about the area at the end of last week. She told us, “An inspection team was sent to the 26th/Juneau/28th/Brandon area (Friday, August 19th) to get an up-to-date assessment. The Unified Care Team database currently lists a handful of reported encampment sites in the general area that have been somewhat fluid, so getting a current and accurate assessment of the larger area will be the first step for the team when it comes to doing any kind of remediation or site removal work.”
We also emailed West Seattle/South Park City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, with whom people upset about the encampments are now trying to arrange a meeting. We asked if the situation was even on her radar, as we haven’t seen it mentioned in her weekly newsletters. She replied that it’s “very much on my radar.” She also had been told about the Unified Care Team’s assessment. She added: “I share the concern about safety, especially given the fire, shooting death, and rape in recent weeks. In late July I spoke with the SW Precinct Captain about this location, before the fire.” She noted that, as we reported three weeks ago, there had been some city response at 26th/Juneau. And she said, “The Precinct Captain also told me how people living unsheltered in the area had helped in the shooting investigation, leading to the identification of the murder suspect for arrest.” As for the sites’ status, Herbold wrote, “Once specific locations come to the attention of the City: the City’s Unified Care Team assesses them and prioritizes them for a response, which could range from providing outreach and cleaning services, to scheduling a removal. I have advocated for clarity about criteria so the public can have the opportunity to understand how sites across the city are prioritized for action.” Asked how she’s responding to constituents’ concerns, she attached an example exchange from early August with a North Delridge resident (not one of the chains we’ve been cc’d on) voicing similar concerns. Her response included information on how to report encampment-related concerns plus this caveat “Because encampments reported to the City may not be prioritized for a City response, my office also conveys concerns from constituents about specific locations to local outreach workers who are funded to work in District 1, who visit residents to offer resources, referrals and information. There is no guarantee that 1) the individual will be at the encampment when the outreach worker initially visits, 2) appropriate indoor shelter is immediately available, or 3) referrals will be accepted in the short term.”
So it appears the next step on the North Delridge encampment cluster is whatever decision the Unified Care Team makes. We’ll be following up. (We also have an inquiry out about the RV encampment along 16th SW by South Seattle College, which has grown.)
Some have asked if there is anything they can do to help the woman who was attacked and raped in Delridge this past Monday evening, beyond joining neighbors in their awareness campaign (covered here Friday night). Now there is. We’ve heard from Melissa, a friend of the victim, who says they have just set up a GoFundMe page if people are interested in donating to help with her expenses as she recovers. Friends say she is an immigrant who had been working as a nanny and planning to start college this fall as an international student. Meantime, the 18-year-old suspect arrested Friday is expected to have a probable-cause/bail hearing tomorrow.
5:51 PM: Neighbors gathered at the awareness event regarding the North Delridge rape just broke out in applause at this news: SPD tweeted that they’ve arrested a suspect, an 18-year-old man, in Everett. More when we get it.
ADDED 7:42 PM: No additional information yet about the suspect, and SPD tells us they’re not expecting to have anything more to say tonight. Meantime, more than 30 people had gathered at Cottage Grove Park by the time small groups started fanning out into the neighborhood with teal balloons – for sexual-assault awareness – and flyers.
They hoped to reach neighbors who hadn’t yet heard about Monday evening’s attack, but they also wanted to be respectful of the victim’s privacy – they hadn’t spoken with her yet – so the advocacy was relatively low-key. One organizer said that just to see so much community support was heartening,
They shared stories and concerns as they prepared the balloons before heading out, One woman told us she had just been on the SW Graham stairs from High Point minutes before the victim, and apparently her attacker, traveled the same route. She said she’d been followed just months ago and hasn’t “felt safe in the area for a long time.” But she found hope in neighbors talking with each other.
One man circulated a petition with a letter he said he planned to send City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, inviting her to meet with the community on September 10th. He said he’d never seen things so bad in the neighborhood in the 36 years he’d lived there. And while an organizer expressed appreciation that two SPD officers had stopped by, she said the true power will be in neighbors banding together. “What you guys are doing is one of the most important things a community can do.”
No arrest yet in Monday’s North Delridge sexual assault, nor do detectives have any new information to release, Seattle Police tell WSB today. But area residents plan an action Friday night. “We want to bring awareness and support, and make the authorities look at us and do something,” says one neighbor. Another tells WSB the neighborhood’s reaction began with anger but then led to a search “for ways to bring more attention to this issue.” They plan to meet up at Cottage Grove Park at 5 pm tomorrow (Friday, August 19th) to place teal balloons around the neighborhood; that’s the color for sexual-assault awareness. They’ll also be circulating flyers. They want to ensure everyone knows this happened. The victim was attacked around 6:15 pm Monday; police searched the 26th/Juneau vicinity and beyond for hours, but SPD has released few details and only a description of what the attacker was wearing.
7:10 PM: We don’t have full details on this but several people have asked about it so we’re making note of what we do know – police have been searching near 26th/Juneau for what was reported as a suspect in a sexual assault. No info yet on circumstances nor even victim description but police have been using at least one K-9 team to search (that’s why you’ve heard short siren bursts – those are part of the warning that a search dog is out). We’ll add anything more we find out.
7:55 PM: SPD spokesperson Valerie Carson says the only information they’re releasing tonight is that they searched the area but so far have not arrested anyone.
TUESDAY NOTE: Still awaiting information from SPD; hoping to have a followup whenever we get it.
10:58 PM: Seattle Fire has just upgraded a response to the 9400 block of Delridge Way SW – it’s now a “full response.” Original dispatch was a report of people possibly setting “rubbish on fire next to a building.” Updates to come.
11 PM: They’ve just downsized the response, after arriving units discovered what they told dispatch was a “tapped rubbish fire.”
Just got word of this, so it wasn’t in the daily list. Laurel Trujillo at Ounces in North Delridge sent the invitation – between now and 6 pm, kids 10 and under are invited to come jump for free in the “bounce house” they’ve set up. Parents must be there to watch, of course. Ounces is at 3809 Delridge Way SW.
If you follow the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar and/or the daily preview lists we compile from it, you know West Seattle nightlife brings many chances to play games in West Seattle – trivia, bingo, Scrabble, more. Now, get ready for a different kind of contest – an adult spelling bee! It’s on the way to The Skylark in North Delridge next month – here’s the announcement:
Skylark, West Seattle’s most intimate live entertainment & dining venue, is pleased to announce the launch of Spelldown After Dark (TM), an adult-only spelling bee to take place every Friday night in September and that will pay cash prizes to nightly winners and to the final 2022 Spelldown Champion.
Says Skylark owner and Spelldown co-founder Matt Larson: “Spelldown has been developed over many months, has been tested with live players who left wanting more, and is now primed to bring a game show-like competition to greater Seattle. We expect players to feel the rush of competition in their veins, but there is a limited number of seats per Friday night and we encourage players of all levels to sign up quickly. Spelling has never been this much fun … both to play and to watch, so bring your friends!”
Sign-up for players is now open! The games will begin on Friday, September 2nd at 8:00 pm and will repeat each Friday in September starting at the same time. Players, who we call Spelldowners, will be limited to 12 per Friday night. For the first four Friday nights, all players will be new, so in total for all of Seattle, we are limited to 48 players for Spelldown 2022. There is a one-time sign-up fee of just $15, one winner per night, and the first four winners plus 2 runners-up will play in the thrilling championship finale on Friday, September 30th.
Sign-up for audience members is also now open! To maximize the fun of being in the live audience, audience members will be limited to 65 per Friday night. There is a small cover charge of $10 per audience member and there will be opportunities for audience participation! Given limited availability, Spelldowners, invite your friends and followers to support you in this game show-like experience before space runs out on the night you have selected.
For Spelldowners, more information and sign up here:
For audience members, sign up here:
We reported Monday on the removal of dozens of eco-blocks that had been placed along SW Andover and 28th SW after the city swept the longrunning RV encampment there in June. This afternoon, we finally have the full SDOT explanation of what happened and what’s planned for the area:
The eco-blocks were removed by the business that placed them. Following protocol, SDOT sent a warning notice after the concrete blocks were placed due to the lack of an approved street permit. The correspondence led to a productive conversation in which the business took responsibility for setting them and agreed to remove the eco-blocks at their own expense. During discussions, we shared plans for paving the street and discussed how the curb space and right of way currently work for businesses in the area.
New pavement being added on the north side of SW Andover Street creates space for a westbound protected bike lane, the option to leverage the paving project, and fill a gap in our bicycle network. This concept resonated with those with whom we spoke. Crews are also making drainage and landscaping improvements, which is why you noticed dirt removal. The paving of SW Andover St between 26th Ave SW and 28th Ave SW is currently scheduled for August 8-11. The paving repairs damage that may have occurred due to increased traffic during the West Seattle Bridge closure.
The bike lanes will be on both sides of SW Andover St, between 26th Ave SW and 28th Ave SW, and bike enhancements could be potentially added to SW Yancy St. The design is at about 50%, and we expect installation to be this fall. There will be no impacts to travel lanes. However, some parking and loading zones will be impacted and removed. The Bike Master Plan recommends a Neighborhood Greenway treatment. Due to the industrial nature of the area and for the comfort and enhanced safety of those biking, we are installing a protected bike lane (PBL). The Levy to Move Seattle is funding the bike lane design.
SDOT says the paving will be complete this week; the schedule for building the bike lane is not yet finalized.
12:20 PM: Thanks for the tip. Dozens of “eco-blocks” placed in the aftermath of the SW Andover/26th/28th RV encampment sweep almost two months ago are gone, and city crews are back in the area today. They told our photographer that they’re there to remove some of the soil as the next phase of the cleanup.
As our top photo shows, SW Andover is blocked in the area, and crews expect to be there until about 2 pm today. Before the sweep, West Seattle Health Club said they’d been told of a proposal to build a bike lane along that stretch of Andover; the person who tipped us today said a crew member told them about a plan for pedestrian/bike infrastructure. We’re asking SDOT if that’s true, as well as seeking further details of what’s happening today, and will add whatever we hear back.
4 PM: We’re still waiting for additional info from SDOT. Meantime, Newell Aldrich in Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s office tells WSB, “CM Herbold has been in touch with SDOT since June about potential extension of the bike lanes on Andover beyond the existing portion between Delridge and 26th. She received confirmation from SDOT that they do plan to install bike lanes there beyond 26th and Andover to 28th, and beyond. We haven’t seen a design yet. The Seattle Bicycle Master Plan includes connections on 28th, then Yancy to Andover.”
Thanks to the reader who sent a tip that South West Plumbing‘s North Delridge headquarters appeared to have suddenly cleared out. We went over to look and indeed – dark, closed, no one there, trucks gone, So we called today, and here’s what we learned: They’ve moved to Renton, to a site near IKEA. The move happened this past weekend, They stress they’re still serving this area (and the rest of the region), but they’d outgrown the site at 2401 SW Alaska. As for what happens next with that North Delridge site, we’re still looking into that; it’s 20,000 square feet, zoned C1-55, which means commercial/residential development up to five stories.