Robber threatens man with gun to rip off cell phone in E Union hold-up

SPD responded to a report of another armed robbery in the area Saturday night. The preliminary report on the incident is below. According to the victim, the hold-up went down on E Union near Summit around 5:30 PM. The suspect description and the description of the weapon differs from a series of armed robberies around the southeastern edge of Capitol Hill involving a black male in his teens or 20s brandishing a silver pistol. A suspect description in one of those hold-ups described the robber as short, around 5’6″, and with cornrow-style hair. The suspect in Saturday’s robbery on E Union was described as a thin, black male, 24-27 years old, 5′ 8″ to 6′ tall, with dreadlocks.

Armed street robbery on First Hill today
A man was robbed at gunpoint today about 5:30 pm while he was on East Union Street near Summit Avenue. 

The victim told officers that an unknown man approached him on the street from behind him.  The suspect produced a handgun and pointed it at the victim.  The suspect demanded that the victim hand over his cellphone.  The victim did as instructed, and the suspect walked off eastbound on East Union Street.  While he was walking away, the suspect turned around and pointed the handgun at the victim one more time before leaving the area. 

The suspect is described as a black male, 24-27 years old, 5′ 8″ to 6′ tall, dreadlocks, thin, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, dark grey or black pants, and black gloves.  He was armed with a black handgun.

East Precinct officers responded to the area and conducted an area search, but the suspect was not located.  Robbery Unit detectives will now handle the follow up investigation.


13 thoughts on “Robber threatens man with gun to rip off cell phone in E Union hold-up

  1. The first/other robber was so successful, we now have a copy cat. Let’s hope their next attempted robbery is closer to a Starbuck’s — better chance of a cop being in the vicinity to put a stop to it.

  2. Okay, I read Capitol Hill Blog regularly, and choose to read the Crime reports. How can I not? I appreciate the reportage, yes, and that includes updates when someone is caught (or not). But it’s veering into shock reporting now. It’s veering into obvious territory. The hill builds and builds ostentatious apartments and condos, restaurants that only trust-fund babies (or idiots who don’t care about credit card debt) can afford, and is shocked when people are targeted?

    Ironically the richest among us aren’t as exposed to street crime because the richest are in cars or cabs or helicopters or however they get around. Capitol Hill is a neighborhood in a city. None of this shocks me, but what I don’t want is some blog rehashing crime reports in a way that has nothing to do with safety. I want to know what I can do. I want to know what anyone else is doing, instead of just being scared or bitching about cops drinking coffee (see previous two commenters here).

    These robberies can take all of 10 seconds and no, people who see it happen are very unlikely to notice it happen or if they do, help, because, hello, gun!

    For all those people thinking cyclists are idiots not concerned about safety, I’m back to thinking it’s safer to bike on the hill than walk around. And I’m going to only take essential items with me during the day.

    But what are the cops doing? What is anybody doing? I will not feel helpless and I want this blog to take a more activist role in this and invest more energy in solutions. It sure has lots to say about restaurants, including a variety of polls and other ways to get readers involved. Why just push out crime reporting without taking responsibility for the impact of that reporting and the role of a community blog?

    Interview the police. Find out what’s going on in self defense classes. Do something. Don’t just be a conduit. People are getting hurt. And extra likes on your Facebook page won’t stop it.

  3. Gee, Lexie, my Wonder Woman cape is at the cleaners this week. Why do I get the distinct impression that you are one of the unsuccessful Occupy Wall Street left-overs evincing their sour grapes philosophy while trying to fan the flames of yet another protest? And why should this blog do anything other than its stated purpose of reporting on events and new businesses in the neighborhood?! The fact of the matter is that it is the Seattle Police Department’s responsibility to protect the citizens from these thugs and thusfar, the SPD seems to be far more vigilant in ticketing time-out parked cars than patrolling the neighborhoods? GROW UP!

  4. @Gracie:

    1) I’m so glad you’re not a cop because you can’t even get my name right. It’s Lex, not Lexie.

    2) You’re assumptions about my identity are wrong, so I’m also glad you’re not a private detective or other occupation that requires intuition.

    3) Re: “And why should this blog do anything other than its stated purpose of reporting on events and new businesses in the neighborhood?!” Fair enough, except the blog also reports on the interests, identities and opinions of individuals, groups, and businesses. So if some people decided to take action as citizens on issues such as community safety, that would be in the scope of this blog. I don’t see how a post about what people are doing/feeling/asking in relation to all these crimes is out of scope of this blog.

    4) Crime in a community is a health issue, both a sign of problems among people who commit crime and a cause of problems among those who experience it. If Capitol Hill becomes a non-walkable neighborhood due to crime, then that affects everyone’s health and the solvency of businesses counting on foot traffic, and businesses being able to draw employees to work in the neighborhood safely. If a doctor says someone should take long walks for their health, a dangerous neighborhood makes long walks potentially unhealthy.

    5) If it’s your impressions that cops are at Starbucks instead of patrolling, perhaps Capitol Hill blog could investigate this matter by asking about number of hours of active patrolling on foot or car or bike in the neighborhood. I would say that in any job, someone is allowed to take a lunch or get a cup of coffee. Would greater police visibility help the crime issue? I would first want to know what actual visibility their were on the whole, not just what I see or don’t see from my one point of view. You only have two eyes and so do I.

    6) If you want to take a completely passive approach and accept the crime issue as just another thing to passive aggressively complain about, that doesn’t help anything. I don’t want to accept this as the new normal on Capitol Hill.

    7) The safety of Capitol Hill is absolutely connected to other neighborhoods, as well as the interplay of various sub-communities within Capitol Hill. The Stranger doesn’t necessarily do a better job of reporting on these topics. At least Seattle Gay Scene talked about a self-defense class recently in relation to this.

    8) Different groups are disproportionately affected by violence. Some people remain untouched and uncaring. I care and I’ve been affected. I don’t need your approval or permission to be able to take action in a neighborhood I’ve lived in for 19 years. And I don’t need Capitol Hill blog to change. It’s simply an opportunity to realize these are extraordinary circumstances and sometimes neighborhood blogs may choose to evolve and add other levels and angles to what is clearly a continuing story.

    9) You addressed me, so I’m addressing you. I don’t know you. You don’t know me. I would hope we share a belief that crime is a serious problem in the community and progress is a good thing.

    10) I don’t do flame wars. I won’t reply beyond this. I’ll simply read Capitol Hill blog for awhile longer to see if any other angles are brought into play, and because at least general awareness is good. Otherwise, I’ll seek my community safety news elsewhere, even if I have to find information myself directly.

  5. I definitely like to know when crime has happened in our neighborhood.

    Also, the point of this blog is just to be a general news source for the area. You’re actually upset that the blog author isn’t working on solving the increased crime problem on the hill? I really don’t understand why you feel it’s this blogger’s responsibility. It’s as much yours as it is his, or any of ours.

    But it’s definitely on SPD. first and foremost. They are aware of the problem and they are responsible for dealing with it.

  6. “I will not feel helpless and I want this blog to take a more activist role in this and invest more energy in solutions.”

    Nothing’s stopping you from starting your own blog to do this. I suggest you go do that.

  7. Lex, I think the point they’re making is that heading up the proactive response to this ‘crime wave’ is not within the scope of reporting what’s going on in Capitol Hill. But if you or anyone else undertakes it, reporting on it would be.

  8. It’s really an outdated cliché to claim that police officers spend a lot of time drinking coffee. But, if you do happen to see an officer at Starbucks, that’s OK as they deserve a work break just like anyone else does.

    Also, the parking enforcement people are not police officers, so it’s not fair to imply that parking violations are being prioritized over crime. There are good reasons to enforce parking regulations, both for citizens and for the City’s budget.

  9. Lex, you obviously have a passionate concern about the increasing street crime in our neighborhood, and I commend you for that. But I would point out that the blog IS doing something about it, simply by documenting the crimes that occur and making everyone aware that it is happening. This is the first step to get people to take some action on the issue, or at the very least to make changes for their own personal safety.

  10. I like reading about when issues occur in my neighborhood. I live right down the road from where this happened. I’d rather be aware and prepared than a sitting (errr walking) target.

  11. Twice now in the passed few months, a woman around first hill Swedish Medical center has come up to me, crying hysterically, telling me she is Canadian and only has canadian money and has to pay for cab (this time it was parking) to see her father who is in the ER from a heart attack. She cries and panicks and asks me to give her cash or change and sobs and sobs, even mutters phrases like, “Its so embaressing!” as she runs across the street sobbing towards me. The first time she was dressed to go to a club around Madison and Broadway, the second time she was walking near the intersection of Minor and James. It is the same woman I guarantee it. And most likely, its not true. What makes her think I have any money? Why does she think I’m rich? I don’t even look rich. My coat has all if its buttons replaced, I’m wearing 3x repaired leather boots from 2010 and blue jeans, and I recently lost my job. Perhaps I just have a regal air, I don’t know, but the lady really needs to stop trying to scam me because I’m poor and it just pisses me off everytime I have to think about my lifelong drudgery and current immediate circumstance of no job. Plus, it looks like her tacky lipstick cost more than last weeks income. So no lady, you trying to abuse my sentiments and empathy to act like someone in need, are disgusting. I dispise liars greatly. Especially ones who try to pull my heart strings for profit. If I want a theatrical show, I’ll go to a play.