A crowd of SPD officers swept into Cal Anderson Saturday afternoon when a man would not comply with two City of Seattle park rangers who were trying to keep him from disrupting the Independence Day picnic underway in the park.
The SPD blitz came as the two rangers called for a “fast back up” after following the man around the festivities for more than 30 minutes. The man first drew the rangers’ attention for staggering and wandering onto the picnic’s performance stage as a rock band played. When the man eventually returned to the stage, the rangers radioed for assistance bringing a swift and forceful response from at least six officers who then struggled to move the unarmed man into a waiting cruiser as the crowd at the Independence Day picnic looked on.
According to the SPD report on the incident, the two rangers sustained minor injuries. Seattle’s park rangers are not part of the police force and, instead, are employees of Seattle Parks. They are not armed like members of SPD. There was some criticism of the ranger program when it was first announced from homeless advocates who said the rangers were being employed mainly to sweep parks clean of transients. The police union also opposed the program.
The SPD report posted about the incident is below.
On 7/2/11, at approximately 2:30 p.m., officers responded to Cal Anderson Park to a fast back up for 2 Park Rangers.
Earlier, the highly intoxicated suspect was in attendance at the park’s Independence Day celebration. There were approximately 150 attendees at the time of the incident, mostly families with children.
Seattle Park Rangers drove into the area to perform their duties when the suspect jumped on a performance stage and began causing a disturbance. He was asked to leave the area. He left but soon returned to cause other disturbances.
The Park Rangers told the suspect he would have to leave and called for Police. The suspect was irate and during the incident swung at the Rangers striking both of them. A “Help the Officer” was announced. Officers arrived and arrested the suspect.
The suspect was resistive and aggressive and had be be booked directly( was not processed at the precinct due to his combative behavior). The two victims sustained minor injuries.
The 51-yr-old suspect was booked into King County Jail for Investigation of Assault.