West Seattle, Washington
It’s pretty much right over our house in Upper Fauntleroy. Nothing on 911 in terms of medic call. Listening to the scanner to see if we can pick up anything about who they’re looking for and why – they’re focused on a house (where, we don’t know) where radio traffic indicates they are following footprints, plus a canine is involved in the search. 8400 block has been mentioned, on or near Tillicum (east of Lincoln Park; map). 12:43 AM UPDATE: Per scanner, it was a burglary, and there is a suspect now in custody. Helicopter has just moved on.
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Just like last night, we were out for a bit, got home, and suddenly there’s a helicopter – this one also sweeping around southwest West Seattle, Lincoln Park/South Beach Drive vicinity. We saw a few cruisers while we headed through that area a few minutes ago but nothing active except an empty car being checked out by an SPD cruiser with rollers, near the Lincoln Park 76. Listening to the scanner, of course, nothing obvious so far. 11:58 PM UPDATE: Comment from area resident says police told her/him it’s a search related to a robbery at Beach Drive/Lincoln Park Way. We saw two SPD units parked in that exact spot, no rollers though, while driving home at about 11:25 so this might match up. 12:06 PM UPDATE: From the scanner, report of suspect running southbound on beach from ferry terminal after jumping the wall. Helicopter (confirmed as Guardian One, operated by King County, but it assists Seattle Police, who don’t have a chopper) heading that way. 12:22 AM UPDATE: Heard from Lt. Ron Smith at Southwest Precinct: Search for “possible burglary suspects who fled southbound through Lincoln Park.”
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Just got about half a dozen notes about a helicopter over Morgan Junction/Seaview/etc. We can hear it from WSB HQ in Upper Fauntleroy but can’t see anything. We’ve had some previous Friday night helicopter visits linked to high-school football but the reports so far say this one is using a spotlight to sweep for something. Scanner’s on, listening to see if we can pick up what it’s about, we’ll post if/when we find something out; if you see any obvious police search on the ground, please post a comment to help solve the mystery – thanks! 9:06 PM UPDATE: Just talked to the folks at the precinct, and it’s NOT a police call – they’re not on anything major – might be King County-related, but definitely not one of their cases. The info-quest continues … 9:17 PM UPDATE: Closer to our ‘hood and it looked like two choppers. Plus a knowledgeable source in e-mail says one is definitely King County’s “Guardian One” (Seattle doesn’t have its own police chopper so Guardian One works for multiple agencies). We left a message for the Coast Guard on the offhand chance it has anything to do with this. 9:25 PM UPDATE: Absent official information to this point, we’re going to head down toward L-Park (which is just down our hill) in hopes we might bump into someone on the ground who has actual info. Keep posting in the comments – if we don’t crack the case, you just might. (And as we typed that – an SPD cruiser just went past our house.) 9:30 PM UPDATE: OK, scratch that, whatever is going on, they’re zeroing in on “a house” somewhere and have just mentioned the helicopter on the scanner. No address heard, we’re going to stay here and keep listening. 10 PM UPDATE: KING 5 news says sheriff’s deputies were looking for a murder suspect in White Center, but they don’t have much info about the case – who was killed, when, where why. The suspect is reportedly in custody. That doesn’t entirely explain all the West Seattle searching unless it turns out (and we will be pursuing KCSO info too) that they were first looking here. 10:14 PM UPDATE: Actual information! Thanks to King County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. John Urquhart for calling back. He says a man “assaulted his girlfriend by cutting her” — not serious injuries — she went to the Texaco station at 16th and Roxbury to get help — he ran to a friend’s house — officers, with helicopter help, zeroed in on that house to arrest him — he is in custody. Sgt. Urquhart says there was a report the man MAY have had a homicide warrant from SOMEWHERE ELSE but he has not verified that so far. As for what all the helicopter action over West Seattle was about – he doesn’t believe it was related except that it may have been the chopper setting up and waiting to get the signal to move in and help with this arrest. 10:32 PM UPDATE: TV says the suspect is believed to have been linked to a Kent murder in July. 10:36 PM UPDATE: Sgt. Urquhart just called us again to confirm that information — the man arrested in White Center tonight was wanted in a summertime murder in Kent. 10:49 PM UPDATE: Also got a note back from Lt. Ron Smith at the Southwest Precinct, who says two of his officers did help KCSO handle calls in White Center for a short time because of this incident — Seattle Police are all clear of the WC incident now — and also adds one other detail, that the location was “11th SW just south of Roxbury.”
Those photos show the lineup of law-enforcement vehicles — and law enforcers — on 42nd SW between Holy Rosary‘s church and school this morning, after a motorcade that kicked off a “Red Ribbon Week” drug-awareness rally; (added at 1:47 pm) here’s video of the motorcade’s arrival, as students stood on the curb to welcome the visitors:
The rally had a bigtime guest list, including Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske (media weren’t allowed to photograph students’ faces closeup, a fairly common rule for coverage of schools’ events, so that’s why you’re seeing the tops of heads here):
Holy Rosary was chosen as the only school in Seattle to host this major event this year (there was one in Tacoma too) — and at the assembly that followed the show of force in the street (plus a helicopter landing on the playground), students heard from the widow of murdered DEA agent Enrique Camarena, the inspiration for “Red Ribbon Week.” This wasn’t your average “drugs are bad, don’t do them, see ya” rally – Mika Camarena spoke quietly and powerfully to ask the children to respect themselves and their health, as well as those in uniform. In the middle of the gym where she and others spoke was a bust of her late husband, which she acknowledged as she walked up:
Just before the indoor portion of the assembly began, this DEA chopper landed on the playground out back (who needs a helipad?):
The chopper and various law enforcers (including Duke the Seattle Police drug dog, shown below with his human partner) were on display as show-and-tell for Holy Rosary students after the assembly.
Today’s assembly was emceed by local TV reporter Jim Dever, who lives in West Seattle. As part of Red Ribbon Week, by the way, Holy Rosary students have made artwork that’s on display at Jefferson Square Safeway; you can see samples on the school’s home page (scroll down).
MYSTERY HELICOPTER: Received more than a few notes about this earlier this evening (thank you!) but couldn’t find anything obvious via scanner or in person. Anybody who can solve the mystery of what a chopper was doing over eastern West Seattle – Triangle, Fairmount, possibly Pigeon Point – in the 7 pm hour, please share. (10:16 pm: Nancy e-mails to say that from past experience, it might have been a chopper covering sports at WS Stadium; not WSHS football since they were at Ingraham — 33 to 6 win for the Wildcats, by the way, congrats, and they’re in Game of the Week running for next week! – but schedules reveal Seattle Prep played O’Dea tonight at WS Stadium.)
DOOR-TO-DOOR ALERT: This quick note from Todd in the California/Charlestown (map) area:
Just a note to alert the area that those pushy magazine salespeople (who ignore or can’t read ‘no soliciting’ signs) are at work on the Admiral / Gen. Hill line.
ONE MORE NOTE: Just got word from Carol Viger that the West Seattle High School Grad Night fundraiser car wash planned for tomorrow is off. We’ll let you know when it’s rescheduled.
(top photo shows damaged sailboat, with Coast Guard boat nearby)
Thanks to the tipster who called with word of this – All that activity in the water off Alki Point is because of what the Coast Guard says was a collision between a sailboat and a power boat. Three people are reported to have minor injuries. The Coast Guard has a 41-foot vessel involved in the rescue, and says the Seattle Fire Department is involved too. Helicopters (including TV-news choppers) are also in the area. 3:34 PM UPDATE: The fire boat is reportedly bringing the injured people to Don Armeni – we’ve got a crew there and just confirmed with SFD that the fire boat’s heading that way, to meet up with an engine that just pulled up. 3:49 PM UPDATE: The injured boaters have now arrived at Don Armeni, where fire, medics, and TV crews are all gathered too. We just added two cameraphone photos from the Don Armeni arrival – looks like it was actually one of the smaller Coast Guard boats involved in bringing them in. More as we get it. 4:10 PM UPDATE: We’re south of Alki Point now, and what looks to be the sailboat involved in this (TV news choppers hovering over it are a giveaway) is closer to the Emma Schmitz-vicinity Beach Drive shoreline and coming close to shore – we’re heading that way. 4:36 PM UPDATE: We’re still at Emma Schmitz, where Coast Guard boats have been up next to the sailboat that we believe to be the one that was involved (hard to tell for sure because two are out there):
The TV news choppers continue to hover, so if you’re in front of a TV you may have seen more from their megazoom aerial cameras. Meantime, back at Don Armeni, an SFD briefing confirms the three people who were hurt will all be OK – two with leg injuries, one with head and neck lacerations. A fourth person was brought ashore but is not hurt. 4:47 PM UPDATE: The sailboat has moved further away from where we are – it’s southwest of Emma Schmitz, probably more directly west of Lowman Beach, but out in the middle of the sound. 5:01 PM UPDATE: Looks like the damaged sailboat is now heading slowly north, and will be passing by here (Emma Schmitz still) before too long, it’s got a boat ahead of it and one behind, escorting it. 5:26 PM: We’re watching now from Constellation Park, just south of Alki Point – it’s closer in as it approaches this part of the shore, with a smaller Coast Guard boat right alongside. Definitely a sizable yacht; haven’t seen anything yet about its name or ownership (let us know if you have, and by the way, THANKS AGAIN to everyone who called, texted, etc., as this unfolded – once you let us know, then we can get busy helping find out what’s up so everybody else knows too! call, text, e-mail 24/7 – all the options are here). 5:48 PM UPDATE: The sailboat and its entourage are starting to pass Alki right now, heading east (we’re watching now from just west of 64th) — spoke too soon, now it’s pointed north, perpendicular to the beach, still offshore at 64th … then headed northward, where we’re ending our surveillance. Here’s video we got earlier, just after the injured boaters were brought to Don Armeni:
8:18 PM UPDATE: The Coast Guard has issued a news release identifying the sailboat involved in the collision as the chartered 70-footer Neptune’s Car; the other sailboat we saw was the Obsession, out picking up some of the passengers who were still on Neptune’s Car after the original rescue. Here’s the full text of the USCG release:
The Coast Guard, Seattle Fire and Police responded to a vessel collision one mile off of Alki Point, here, where a 22-foot runabout and a 70-foot charter sailboat, Neptune’s Car, collided Monday.
At 3:03 p.m., Coast Guard Sector Seattle received a call on VHF channel 16 reporting the collision had occurred.
Station Seattle launched a 41-foot rescue boat crew.
Two passengers aboard the Neptune’s Car and the operator of the runabout were transferred to the Don Armeni ramp in West Seattle to a waiting emegergency medical crew.
The remaining 13 passengers and two crew members aboard the Neptune’s Car have been removed from the vessel, transferred to the sailing vessel Obsession and are returning to Pier 54, here.
The Neptune’s Car was taking on water from a large hole on the forward port side but the flooding was stopped by rescuers. The Neptune’s Car was able to move under its own power and is returning to CSR Marine escorted by a Coast Guard small boat.
ADDED LATE MONDAY NIGHT: Here’s a short video clip of Neptune’s Car while it was still off Beach Drive shoreline, the gash plainly in view.
More than a few e-mails this morning asking about a helicopter flying around northeastern West Seattle around 5:30 am – checked with Sgt. Jeff Durden at Southwest Precinct and it doesn’t seem to have been associated with police activity. We’ll see if we can find out anything from aviation-related sources.