Man stops to admire 10th Ave mural, ends up wrestling duo for his iPhone, winning


Feather Breath, originally uploaded by liquidnight.

A man told police he stopped to take a picture of the 135-foot mural on Sound Transit’s 10th Ave construction wall Thursday afternoon when he ended up in a 2-on-1 tussle for his iPhone.

According to SPD, the man told police he was walking on 10th Ave near the wall around 3 PM Thursday when he decided to stop and take a picture of the colorful mural on a sunny Seattle day. As he took out his phone, he said he was approached by two males who asked him for the time. The man said he told the duo it was 3 o’clock and then turned to take the picture. The man said one of the two suddenly grabbed his phone but the victim continued to hang on and grappled with the first suspect while the other attempted to push the man to the ground.

The tussle must not have been worth it. The man said the two let go of the phone and ran off, northbound on 11th Ave. He described his would-be phone snatchers as two black males in their late teens or early 20s. SPD’s search of the area was not successful.


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22 thoughts on “Man stops to admire 10th Ave mural, ends up wrestling duo for his iPhone, winning

  1. I never go out on the streets of Capitol Hill in the middle of the night, but this happened on a nice day, in a wide open space where people frequently walk or drive by and there’s all sort of construction activity. I feel like now I need to go out in daylight hours prepared to defend myself at any time. That’s really bad/sad.

  2. That’s the most commonly used line to get a soon-to-be victim to engage, or take out his phone, or look at his watch. Just be careful when someone asks you that.

  3. really? you never go out on capitol hill in the middle of the night and now you’re scared of it in the daytime? where do you live? all neighborhoods of seattle are very safe. travel somewhere with a real crime rate and poverty problem sometime and learn where and when to really be scared.

  4. It may or may not ever help, but it’s worth the bother to buy some pepper spray (mace) to keep on you. You can find it on eBay for incredibly cheap, in multiple sizes that will fit in your coat pocket. Easily less than $10.

  5. I take a step back, assume a subtle defensive posture, visually check their hands, look them in the eye, and say “Sure, it’s time for you to buy a watch”.

  6. JSeattle < -- Sorry to say it, but the idea that there's a robbery on average one every three days is not at all comforting. I know! Maybe I'll only go out one in every two days! Then I'll be safer. ;) yos-wa <-- I've lived in Seattle all my life. It is blatantly untrue to say neighborhoods in Seattle are equally safe. Secondly, I am not concerned with the crime in other cities; I don’t live there. Finally, I didn’t say a single word about being afraid of going out during the day, only that wisdom dictates I be prepared to defend myself.

  7. It seems to me that things are getting worse on the streets in spite of all the press. These thugs don’t only creep around at night anymore.

  8. our fearless legion of Seattle superheroes are needed during daylight hours…now where did i leave that batcave phone number at….

  9. It’s so safe that a guy getting unsuccessfully jacked for an iPhone, no weapons involved, is somewhat noteworthy. Where I lived before here, this might not have even made the neighborhood listserve…

    By all means, be vigilant, use common sense, and don’t be a target. But seriously… this is a wonderfully safe place to live, particularly for a big city in the US.

  10. All of ya’ll are missing the issue here. Seattle is usually very safe BUT:

    Would you walk around in public anywhere with $200 cash in your open hand? Of course not!

    And yet many people carelessly flash their high-powered fancy smartphones which are worth a lot of moolah and also contain valuable personal info?

    That’s not smart! Is it?

  11. MountDana – first off, i never said the neighborhoods are equally safe, just that all neighborhoods in seattle are very safe in relation to neighborhoods in other cities.
    second, the sentiment of “i’m not concerned with the crime in other cities; i don’t live there” is a terrible one. just another person turning a blind eye to anything that doesn’t directly affect you?
    third, if you feel you need to be ready to defend yourself at any time, that’s what i would define as fear. it’s ok to say you are living in fear. acceptance is the first step.

  12. Being constantly (and irrationally) afraid of being attacked/robbed/whatever is a terrible way to live life. (Not to imply that is what MountDana means).

    Being situationally aware and confidantly prepared to defend oneself,
    however, is quite empowering.

  13. Your cell phone is worth more than $200. $200 is what they trick you into thinking the cost is through the evil system of carrier subsidies. A used iPhone sells for quite a bit more. A Google search for “unlocked iphone 4” has results asking for about $700.

  14. Yet another reason not to even own a cellphone, iPhone, smartphone, whatever-phone. Somehow, we got along just fine without them in the past.

  15. Then we may as well lock ourselves in our homes and never go anywhere, morning or night.

    People get jacked at all hours of the day, in all situations, whether or not they are flashing their fancy whatever-phones. The most important thing you can do is to keep an awareness of what’s happening around you, and make it obvious that you are doing so.

  16. I hope you’re not saying that one must not go out without some kind of electronic device in your ear, or clutching one in your hand like some kind of security blanket. I don’t and I manage just fine, and I get out just as much as the next guy…

    I do agree that awareness of your surroundings is the best defense against random street crime…but that’s kind of difficult for all those who are preoccupied with whatever trivia they are hearing in their ear, or seeing on their little portable screens…

    I find it kind of depressing to see the majority of my fellow humans in their own little electronic bubble, ignoring all else like the smell of a flower or the spring song of a lovely bird.

  17. Living simply is certainly your choice but it’s foolish and incorrect to suggest that people are safer without phones and cameras on their person than with them.

  18. I disagree. It’s just common sense that a person is more likely to get mugged if there is something of value visible on their person, or if they are using some expensive electronic device….no guarantee that they won’t be a victim, just less likely. I would be very surprised if statistics did not support my point of view (if such stats were even available).