A dozen Seattle Police officers will begin wearing cameras in East Precinct

UPDATE: SPD is also showing off its new uniforms. New vehicles coming, too. Mayor Murray already made the gay mayor, new police uniforms joke in the press conference so you don't have to.

UPDATE: SPD is also showing off its new uniforms. New vehicles coming, too. Mayor Murray already made the gay mayor, new police uniforms joke in the press conference so you don’t have to.

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Barring any last minute technological issues, a dozen East Precinct cops will begin wearing the department’s batch of test body cameras this weekend in a two to three-month trial of the technology that could eventually lead to full-time deployment across Seattle.

A Seattle Police Department spokesperson confirmed Wednesday afternoon that Seattle’s trial of two competing products is scheduled to begin over the weekend in the precinct covering Capitol Hill and the Central District. Continue reading

Concern about gay bashing after 10th/John attack

Friends of a man who was assaulted and called “faggot” in an attack the victim says happened near E John and 10th Ave Sunday night around 8 PM say the victim lost several teeth and suffered scrapes and bruises in the unprovoked bashing.

According to the SPD report on the incident, the male victim told police he did not believe he was targeted because of his sexual orientation but also said he had not had any contact with the two male suspects and was not robbed during the incident:

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 10.15.47 AMThe suspects were described only as two white males and police were not notified of the crime until around 2 hours after it occurred.

Details of the attack have been spreading via social media but police are not currently investigating the incident as a hate crime.

“The attacker didn’t know the victim, so there’s not a guarantee they would’ve known he was a gay man,” said SPD spokesperson Detective Drew Fowler. “‘Faggot,’ at times, is used as a general pejorative.”

UPDATE (12/18): A commenter who says he was the victim in the incident said he does not believe he was targeted due to his sexual orientation, and thus does not consider the attack to be a hate crime.

The incident comes at the end of a year marked with renewed concerns in Seattle about gay bashing and bias crimes against LGBTQ people after a series of high profile and deadly crimes as well as more mundane but equally disturbing assaults.

SPD announces arrests in connection with East Precinct armed robbery spree

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 4.13.18 PMSeattle Police detectives say they have made a key arrest of a teen suspect believed to have been involved in “numerous” East Precinct armed street robberies.

SPD announced Sunday afternoon that two teenage suspects — one 15, the other aged 17 — have been taken into custody and booked into juvenile detention for this November gunpoint robbery in a Seattle University parking lot. Continue reading

SPD, DOJ announce indictments from arrests made during Pike/Pine crackdown

CHS found Chief O’Toole on Broadway on one of the first nights of this year’s increased policing in Pike/Pine (Images: CHS)

Seattle Police and the Department of Justice are holding up indictments on weapons charges against two men arrested on Capitol Hill as further proof that emphasis patrols in Pike/Pine have been effective in deterring violence and getting guns off the street.

“I meet regularly with Capitol Hill residents and business owners and we’ve talked at length about their crime and quality of life issues,” Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole says in a statement provided by the US Attorney’s office. “These cases demonstrate that we’re listening carefully and working with our Federal partners to address their concerns.”

Facing the federal weapons charges are Robel Gebremedhiu, 31, and Awad Aynisher, 30. The men were arrested in separate incidents this fall on Capitol Hill.

The US Attorney says both of the indicted men have been connected to a gang known as the East African Posse: Continue reading

Blotter | Another 15th Ave gunpoint hold-up reported

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

  • Another 15th Ave robbery attempt: The female victim in yet another 15th Ave armed robbery attempt described her attacker as “fairly well dressed” and not “like someone she should be afraid of,” according to the SPD report on the early morning hold-up reported just after 2 AM last Friday.The hold-up marks the 9th robbery involving a gun in the East Precinct since mid-november and the fourth we’re aware of around 15th Ave and Volunteer Park. On November 23rd, police were able to get the license plate of a car believed to be involved in many of the reported hold-ups but there have been no arrests.
    Police are looking for information on this white Crown Victoria-style car seen here in a surveillance video image recorded during a robbery near Seattle U in November

    Police are looking for information on this white Crown Victoria-style car seen here in a surveillance video image recorded during a robbery near Seattle U in November

    The suspect descriptions have varied across the hold-ups. In one set of robberies, the suspects have been described as a team of young, black males apparently connected to the suspect vehicle. In another set, one suspect was reported to be working alone in a hold-up of one man walking to work early on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and another man making a delivery inside a nearby 15th Ave business.

    The suspect in this latest incident on December 5th cuts a different figure than the rest. “She stated he did not look like someone she should be afraid of,” the police report notes of the victim’s description of the suspect in the hold-up. The victim told police she was returning from a trip to a nearby bank when the robber made his move:Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 9.49.13 AM

    The victim told police she screamed loudly and ran to her apartment as the suspect demanded her wallet and phone. The suspect was last seen fleeing the area on foot.

    A police K9 unit was able to track the suspect’s trail to a condo complex a few blocks away but could not find anybody matching the suspect description. There are no further physical details provided in the report. Police were planning to review video surveillance from the area. The female victim was not injured in the robbery.

  • 10th/Pine armed robbery: The victim in an early morning hold-up at 10th and Pine Monday just after 2:30 AM told police the suspects held him up for $300 in a knifepoint robbery. Police arrived within minutes of the call as witnesses told officers two black male suspects in their teens or early 20s  and wearing black jackets were seen fleeing on Nagle, into Cal Anderson and evading arriving police by running through nearby construction before running across Broadway and disappearing on Harvard. A search of the area was not successful. We are not aware of any injuries to the victim in the incident.Police say emphasis patrols started around Pike/Pine and Cal Anderson to quell a late summer street crime spike have continued. CHS last looked at robbery stats for the area in early November.

Two Capitol Hill anti-gay hate crime cases heading towards trial

In a year marked by tragic LGBT hate crimes on Capitol Hill, Seattle Police said the department would “err on the side of caution” when pursuing suspected cases. The King County Prosecutor’s office appears to be following suit. Prosecutors are moving forward with two malicious harassment cases stemming from Capitol Hill incidents this year.

Ibrahim Koroma was arrested in October for allegedly shouting anti-lesbian slurs at an female bouncer sitting outside of R Place. The bouncer told police Koroma called her a “dyke bitch” and said “in my country, we murder you, we murder you.” The victim told police it seemed Koroma was harrassing a gay couple on the street prior to the incident. Continue reading

Baby Jesus missing on Harvard Ave

(Images: CHS)

(Images: CHS)

Baby Jesus is missing on Harvard Ave.

The Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church has posted a flyer near the site of its annual Nativity scene pleading for the return of the Prince of Peace:

Jesus was last seen on Tuesday, December 2nd. The disappearance has not been reported to Seattle Police.

The church on Harvard Ave just below Seattle Central continues to display the Christmas-light decorated Mary and Joseph minus the babe. But churchgoers would like their little messiah back.

If you find Jesus, please return him to 1729 Harvard Ave.

SPD investigating 15th Ave-area armed robberies

Police are still on the hunt for the man responsible for two pre-dawn hold-ups along 15th Ave E late last month as new information in the crimes has been released.

CHS first reported here on the November 29th armed robberies on an icy Thanksgiving weekend Saturday morning. According to just released SPD reports on the robberies, a suspect armed with a handgun bashed his first victim over the head in a street robbery that started near 18th and Pine and, only minutes later, followed a delivery driver into a nearby coffee shop and held that victim up at gunpoint before fleeing the area. Continue reading

Police investigating 23rd/Jackson shooting

With reporting by Bryan Cohen

Police are investigating a shooting at 23rd and Jackson after gunfire rang out and cars sped from the area.

One possible victim in the shooting arrived at an area hospital by car after the 1:30 PM shooting but we don’t yet know if police have confirmed any connection to the 23rd and Jackson shots fired.

30 minutes earlier, a massive, student-led “Protest Against Police Brutality” march had passed through the area with hundreds of elementary and high school students included.

There is nothing to indicate that the shooting was related to the protest.

Police were examining a late-model Cadillac with damage from the gunfire in the parking lot behind the 23rd and Jackson Starbucks.

One witness told police the shooter was accompanied by three other young males. They reportedly left the scene in a red Camaro-type car with a black roof while the shooter ran from the scene, according to witness accounts.

UPDATE 12/8/14 1:45 PM: Police have confirmed details of the shooting initially reported by CHS and tell us that they have — as of yet — not been able to connect the man who arrived at Harborview with a gunshot wound to the scene at 23rd and Jackson. Police say the man arrived and walked into the hospital by himself with a gunshot wound to the lower back. We do not have information on his condition. Police also said both the suspect vehicle and a victim vehicle were seen speeding away from the scene. The car with the bullet hole being examined at 23rd and Jackson was apparently parked in the lot and not directly involved in the shooting. There have been no arrests.

Accused killer claims Capitol Hill wine steward tossed bottles in fit of road rage

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Bowman on the stand Thursday (Image: CHS)

“A violent hatred I’d only seen in the movies.” That’s how Thomasdinh Bowman described Capitol Hill QFC wine steward Yancy Noll’s actions in the moments before Bowman said he shot Noll at a north Seattle intersection in 2012.

For two weeks, prosecutors have painted Bowman as a calculated killer who studied how to get away with murder. On Thursday, Bowman, 31, said the shooting resulted from a road rage incident that went too far. Bowman said an abrupt stop he made while driving on I-5 sent Noll, 43, into a fury that made Bowman fear for his life as the altercation carried on into North Seattle. Bowman recounted how Noll followed him and hit him with a thrown bottle while both were inching along a north Seattle road.

But when it came to the actual shooting at 15th Ave NE and 75th, Bowman told jurors he doesn’t remember a thing, describing a nightmare-like state when the shots went off. Bowman testified about the myriad of ways he tried to avoid arrest in the hours and days following the incident, from destroying his gun to changing the appearance of his car. Continue reading