Federal agents taking a man into custody near Roy and Belmont triggered a large “help the officer” response Wednesday afternoon that brought Seattle Police units streaming to the street just off Broadway.
In an incident caught on video by a neighbor who wrote about the arrest in a CHS Community Post, federal agents can be seen taking a staggering man into custody as he screams about diplomatic immunity:
Here is how neighbor Bkrich described the scene on Roy just after 1 PM:
At this point one agent informed the suspect that there was a warrant for his arrest, showed him the document, and began to make the arrest. To me, the suspect seemed a bit dazed and out of it from the very start, and once he saw the warrant and handcuffs, the suspect began to act highly erratically (as seen in the video below). He began screaming that he is a German diplomat and has diplomatic immunity, clearly resisting arrest, flailing on the ground, pushing the agents away and yelling incoherent phrases.
Bkrich writes that the men identified themselves to him as federal agents.
During the struggle, a “help the officer” alert was broadcast and East Precinct officers followed protocol to rush to the scene. By the time they arrived, the man had been subdued, according to SPD radio dispatches. Seattle Fire was called to the scene to treat an adult male for exposure to pepper spray. SPD referred questions about the incident to either the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security as the spokesperson we spoke did not have information about which agency police had been called to assist.
After contacting DHS, a regional spokesperson for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement told CHS the Seattle-base representative for the department was looking into the incident “to determine whether ICE was involved.”
UPDATE 7:10 PM: Here is the statement provided to CHS by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Wednesday’s incident:
This afternoon, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers encountered an individual being targeted as an ICE enforcement priority in Seattle. The individual was uncooperative and OC, commonly known as pepper spray, was required to restrain him. Local police and medical first responders were notified and decontaminated him. The individual remains in ERO custody pending removal proceedings.
The spokesperson tells CHS the man was taken into custody “in an administrative immigration enforcement action, not in conjunction with a criminal case.”