Youth jail construction site targeted in overnight ‘molotov cocktail’ attack — UPDATE

An attempted arson attack early Tuesday morning on the under construction expansion of the county youth jail facility was thwarted by a Seattle Police officer at the 12th Ave site and “molotov cocktails” that failed to explode.

All information in this report has not yet been confirmed by police and is based on East Precinct radio dispatches. UPDATE: SPD confirmed the investigation and said more details will be released soon. UPDATE x2: An update from SPD is below.

According to the reports, just after 3:30 AM, an SPD officer notified the East Precinct that multiple molotov cocktail-like device has been thrown into the corner of construction site near 13th and Remington. The officer dealt with at least four bottles that landed on the ground near portable construction offices at the site. Seattle Fire was called to handle a small grass fire and at least four more bottles that failed to explode.

There were no reported injuries and no equipment or structures were reported damaged at the site. UPDATE: A county spokesperson tells us there was some very minor damage to a trailer but no damage to the facility under construction. Overnight security at the site is hired by building contractor Howard S. Wright, not the county and “is largely staffed with off-duty officers from SPD and other law enforcement agencies.

The construction has continued on the more than $200 million youth jail facility despite a legal decision that thrust its funding into question and an ongoing protest effort over the massive investment in a facility advocates say is used to disproportionately incarcerate black youth. In April, nine people were arrested during a “People’s Moratorium” protest at the site. UPDATE: The county has taken issue with our characterization of the work underway at 12th and Alder as an “expansion” even though the new campus will fill most of the block and have a larger physical footprint than the existing facility. Here is how they describe the project:

The Children and Family Justice Center is comprised of both a courthouse and youth detention space, and will replace the complex known as the Youth Services Center. It is not an expansion of the current facility, which will be torn down after completion of the CFJC. In addition, detention in the CFJC will be smaller than the current facility, with just 112 beds versus more than 200 now.

As of Tuesday morning, no groups had taken credit for the attack.

Police secured the site in the early morning hours and the Arson and Bomb Squad was called in to collect the broken glass, bottles with rags, and other evidence at the scene.

UPDATE 2:05 PM: SPD has posted a brief on the incident and is asking for the public to help in the investigation:

Arson detectives are investigating after multiple fires were deliberately set inside of a construction site in the 1300 block of East Remington Court early Tuesday morning.

An officer working as security for the site heard sounds from inside the fence line just after 3:30 a.m.  When he went to investigate he found multiple small fires and what looked to be some shattered glass bottles. The officer grabbed a fire extinguisher and put out the fires and continued to investigate. He was able to spot one more fire on top of an office trailer that was quickly extinguished by additional arriving officers.

Detectives from the Arson and Bomb Squad are now poring over the evidence and asking anyone with information to call (206) 684-8980.

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12 thoughts on “Youth jail construction site targeted in overnight ‘molotov cocktail’ attack — UPDATE

  1. A parent at my teen’s school attended domestic violence intervention family classes at the juvie facility and court hearings there. The staff were incredibly supportive to both all of the family and the teen involved. It’s sad that they have to feel fear now of being set on fire because some bunch of idiots (a) don’t know what the facility provides and (b) have no alternative proposal to replace the services. Would they prefer that juveniles who are violent be housed in a mental hospital lock down? In an adult jail lock down? Where should the tuba man killers have been housed, adult prison? It makes me really angry that the “no youth jail” folks, including the clergy arrested recently, propose no better options to juvie. Perhaps they should go volunteer their time and energy at Echo Glenn.

  2. “It makes me really angry that the “no youth jail” folks, including the clergy arrested recently, propose no better options to juvie. ”

    Clearly you haven’t been paying attention

  3. If they had been paying attention they would know the “better option” is to just let all violent offenders out of jail. And to make sure young criminals are never forced to account for themselves or their actions.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  4. Has Kshama opened her big mouth attacking the police officer who thwarted this?

    Buckle up for to pay her legal fees.

  5. Somebody posted these words of wisdom on a different comment thread:

    The same people who are trying to convince us that we don’t need youth jails resort to arson to try to burn one down.

  6. If these people really cared about youth they would focus their time, money and protests around how we need to get to root causes to prevent your involvement in the justice system. No youth jail does absolutely nothing to solve the issue and actually denies many youth and families opportunity for intervention and help. Protest that we don’t fund prevention, family services, mental health, address poverty or access to healthcare etc otherwise you are wasting everyone’s time with your misguided protests.

  7. And just in time to demonstrate the real-world need for youth detention facilities, an armed carjacking and assault with a deadly weapon occurred in Seward Park just the other night. Three of the four suspects managed to elude arrest. The perps led Police on a potentially dangerous high-speed chase through the community before crashing. The age of the detained suspect? 16.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, Nikkita Oliver has made no comment on the incident, because “don’t be caging our babies” is a hard argument to sustain in the face of facts like that.

  8. The far-left’s “solution” is having violent youth offenders sit in a peace circle with burning sage and pass a “talking stick” around and share your emotions. They tried it with a 16-year old violent criminal and when he was unsupervised he escaped and stabbed a 15-year old to death. If they’d had him in prison in the first place rather than a BS “peace circle” the murder never would have happened.

    • The saddest part is that you probably believe that first sentence you typed. Must be hard to leave the circle jerk echo chamber that is MyNorthwest and venture out into the real world. Welcome!

  9. Hmmm….

    “molotov cocktails” that failed to explode.
    “When he went to investigate he found multiple small fires and what looked to be some shattered glass bottles. ”

    OK, who’s the stupid, could some vandals not figure out how to make a molotov, or does SPD not know what a molotov does?