Man charged for bag incident that brought snipers, bomb robot to 12th Ave

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SPD’s bomb robot at work on 12th Ave (Image: @mmitgang via Twitter)

The man police say wore a mask to cover his face as he dropped a bag in front of a Seattle Police vehicle at the East Precinct headquarters and caused what prosecutors call a “massive response” to a bomb scare on Capitol Hill the weekend of the Chelsea explosions in New York City has been charged with second degree “malicious placement of imitation explosive device,” the King County Prosecutor’s office tells CHS.

David Gurz, 44, was taken into custody by police as the blocks around the precinct at 12th and Pine were cordoned off around the suspicious bag in the Sunday, September 18th incident. Police say he was caught on surveillance video but had shed some of his clothing and turned his shirt inside out as he attempted to flee the area. Continue reading

Blotter | Cal Anderson sex assault, crime stats, fireworks, elementary school poop ‘attack’

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS Crime coverage here.

  • UPDATE: Man struck at Belmont/Bellevue: A man in his 70s was reported unconscious and bleeding from the head after being struck by a driver as he walked in a crosswalk at Belmont Ave E and Bellevue Place E Wednesday morning. Police and Seattle Fire arrived at the scene of the 9:39 AM collision to block off traffic and provide treatment before taking the man to the hospital. According to Seattle Fire radio, the driver was traveling around 10 to 15 MPH when the pedestrian walking his dog was hit. The man suffered a laceration to his head and was rushed to Harborview. The dog was not injured and with Seattle Police after the incident. UPDATE: We don’t have any current information on the victim’s condition but SFD tells us he was considered to have suffered serious injuries including injuries to his head and legs in the collision.
  • Crime stats: The latest SPD SeaStat (PDF) statistical crime analysis public report has been released and it shows crime overall in the city so far in 2016 is up about 2% compared to the same period last year. The rise is driven mostly by big jumps in commercial burglaries, car prowls, and, worse, sexual assaults and domestic violence assaults. This month’s report also tallies how many firearms have been confiscated so far in 2016 — 698 — and shows that the most recent trend for gunfire reports in the city has shifted south from Capitol Hill and the Central District to South Seattle. Thursday brings this month’s EastPAC community crime meeting at Seattle U’s Chardin Hall.
  • Cal Anderson sexual assault: Seattle Police arrested a man Sunday evening for allegedly grabbing a woman’s breasts at Cal Anderson Park while yelling “rape culture is awesome.” According to police reports, the victim was taking a nap in the park around 7 PM when the 31-year-old suspect laid down next to her and grabbed her. The victim told police she did not know the man. Two friends of the woman tried to stop the suspect. One punched the man before police arrived. He was treated for injuries and booked into King County Jail. Continue reading

Police investigate suspicious package outside E Precinct — UPDATE

The package outside the E Precinct. (Image: @chris84wa via Twitter)

Seattle Police closed several blocks on Capitol Hill Sunday afternoon while investigating a suspicious package outside the department’s 12th and Pine East Precinct.

Police deployed a robot to investigate what appeared to be a black suitcase on 12th Ave just south of E Pine. Police said streets would be closed periodically in the area as the investigation continued.

UPDATE: A SPD officer picked up the package around 1:45 PM. Police began reopening streets to pedestrians and letting residents back inside buildings.

UPDATE 9/19/2016: SPD tells us that the item turned out to not be dangerous but the man believed responsible for leaving it outside the precinct was taken into custody and is currently being held in King County Jail after being booked on investigation of a “threat to bomb.”

Bunker blocked: After Capitol Hill confrontation, mayor backs off North Precinct plan

Maybe it was already his plan. Or maybe it was the last straw. The heated confrontation between Mayor Ed Murray and a Block the Bunker activist at a Capitol Hill fundraiser Tuesday night has turned out to be a preview to what is being called a reset of the $149 million plan to build a new North Precinct police headquarters and a major victory for efforts to reform the Seattle Police Department.

“I inherited the proposal and I made mistake about not stopping that proposal,” Murray said Tuesday night, admitting in front of the crowd gathered for a fundraiser at Sole Repair for the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline that the city did not use its “racial equity toolkit” to evaluate the North Precinct project.

Thursday, the mayor attempted a correction.  Continue reading

Teen victim flees to community center after 23rd Ave shooting

The teenage victim in a reported shooting near 23rd and Jefferson fled inside the nearby Garfield Community Center Garfield Teen Life Center Monday afternoon just before 4 PM.

Police were searching the area for a suspect described fleeing the scene.

The victim, reported to be a male in his teens, suffered a gunshot wound to the arm according to preliminary reports. UPDATE: SPD confirms that a 17-year-old male was shot in the arm in the incident and was transported to Harborview for treatment.

Though classes had been dismissed before the shooting occurred, the Garfield High campus was placed on lockdown during the search. Continue reading

Capitol Hill nightlife safety group drafting survey to better track drugged drink incidents

A safety sign example from a meeting held last month to discuss the spiked drinks issue (Image: @seattlepd via Twitter)

A safety sign example from a meeting held last month to discuss the spiked drinks issue (Image: @seattlepd via Twitter)

It’s been a month since a spike in reports of drugged drinks rattled Capitol Hill’s nightlife scene.

Even though bar and club owners remain on high alert, Seattle Police say they are not investigating any specific incidents directly related to drugged drinks.

“That’s not an indicator it isn’t happening,” said SPD spokesperson Sean Whitcomb. Getting victims to report when they have been drugged, even in cases when no assault occurs, continues to be a challenge for police. Continue reading

Police search for motorcycle helmet-wearing suspect in Madison Park bank robbery

A man wearing a black motorcycle helmet held up a Madison Park bank Tuesday afternoon and fled the area.

Police were called to the bank near 40th and E Madison just after 3:30 PM to the reported robbery. Police say the suspect did not brandish a weapon during the hold-up and would not say how much cash if any the bandit made off with.

Police were working with a limited description of the suspect due to his covered head and face. The suspect was described as around 6 feet tall, and wearing a black jacket, and gloves during the crime, according to East Precinct radio dispatches. Many banks post notices that headgear like helmets and even sometimes hats or hoods may not be worn inside.

SPD did not identify which bank was robbed. A Wells Fargo branch is located near the intersection where police say the crime took place.

Blotter | Broadway robbery arrest charge, I-5 fall, Summit Slope explosions

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS Crime coverage here.

  • Robbery arrest weapons charge: A 20-year-old man faces a weapons charge after he was arrested in an August 23rd armed robbery on Capitol Hill. King County prosecutors charged Scotrick Narayan with second degree unlawful possession of a firearm after he and another suspect allegedly tried to rob a man at gunpoint at a Broadway bus stop. In 2015, Narayan was convicted of attempted unlawful possession of a firearm. He is being held on $75,000 bail at the King County jail. A 22-year-old man also arrested in the incident was released from King County jail on August 24th. According to police, Nayaran was also carrying a backpack containing 8 grams cocaine, 7 grams heroin, 8 grams of heroin and a variety of pills, marijuana and a small scale.
  • I-5 fall: The victim in a Saturday, August 27th fall onto the I-5 offramp below Pike at the Convention Center fortunately suffered injuries described only as “moderate” by Seattle Fire. According to SFD, the woman fell about 15 feet in an area known to be used by homeless people to camp. Similar falls in past incidents have resulted in serious injuries and sometimes death. The victim was transported to Harborview for treatment after the 8:20 AM incident. Continue reading

SPD: Better training, reporting has cut ‘crisis intervention’ use of force

Training officers to end mental health crisis situations without force or arrest has been a major focus of reform at the Seattle Police Department in recent years. Those trainings now appear to be paying off in a big way. According to a report released by the department this week, officers rarely use force when responding to calls involving people in some form of mental health crisis.

With approximately 9,300 crisis responses reported last year, only 149 (1.6%) involved any use of reportable force, and of these, only 36 (0.4% of crisis responses overall) involved greater than a low-level, Type I use of force.

SPD credited its increased training and data collection for the encouraging trend — reforms that were part of the department’s response to a 2011 federal consent decree over excessive use of force by officers. Continue reading

Woman jumps from window in First Hill home invasion robbery

A woman reportedly jumped from a second floor window and fell 20 feet in an early morning home invasion robbery attempt at an apartment building near Alder and Broadway.

Seattle Police and Seattle Fire responded to the chaotic scene on First Hill early Wednesday morning just after 3 AM. The woman reported to be in her 40s and suffering from a leg fracture and possible broken nose according to Seattle Fire radio, was rushed to Harborview only blocks from the scene after police said she fell from a second story window when a group of four males armed with handguns and a knife entered the apartment building and attempted to rob a family member by busting into her unit inside the Alder St. apartment building: Continue reading

Jury finds Broadway Grill hacker guilty in massive credit card theft case

Screen-Shot-2014-07-07-at-11.21.24-AMThe son of a Russian lawmaker was found guilty Thursday of an international computer hacking and identity theft scheme that included stealing credit card numbers in 2010 from the now-shuttered Broadway Grill on Capitol Hill.

A federal jury in Seattle found Roman Seleznev guilty on 38 of 40 counts, including computer hacking, wire fraud, and identity theft. He faces up to 34 years in prison when he’s sentenced in December.

According to a 2011 indictment, Seleznev’s hack of the Broadway Grill point of sale system resulted in at least $1.7 million in losses to banks and credit card companies. The DOJ also alleged Seleznev operated a global “carder” system to aid hacking and the sale of credit and bank card data. Investigators said Seleznev was linked to data breaches at Mad Pizza locations in the area, and a breach at Grand Central Baking.

In total, prosecutors said Seleznev pilfered $170 million through his international hacking operation. Continue reading

Police arrest two, seize handgun after Broadway robberies, pistol whipping

SPD says it captured two robbery suspects armed “with a handgun and a backpack full of narcotics” early Tuesday morning after two robberies along Broadway near Cal Anderson Park:

vgveOfficers Jamison Maehler and Christopher Couet were walking a foot patrol near Broadway and East Howell Street just before 5 AM when they heard a man shouting for police. Officers raced to the man’s aid, and learned two suspects had offered him drugs and then tried to rob him at gunpoint.

The victim pointed out the two suspects, who were walking south on Broadway.

Officers Maehler and Couet chased after the suspects, who split up and took off in different directions. Police were able to chase down and arrest both men, who are 20 and 22 years old.

Police discovered the 20-year-old was carrying a pistol, along with a backpack containing 8 grams cocaine, 7 grams heroin, 8 grams of heroin and a variety of pills, marijuana and a small scale. He is also convicted felon unable to legally possess firearms.

As officers were investigating at the scene, police received another report that the same two suspects had robbed another man in the same area a short time earlier.

Police booked both suspects into the King County Jail for investigation of robbery.

Seattle Fire also responded to the 400 block of Broadway E to treat one robbery victim who was pistol whipped in the head, according to radio dispatches.