Racist assault reported inside Broadway/Pike Starbucks

Seattle Police are investigating an ugly assault at the Broadway/Pike Starbucks Friday morning as a hate crime.

According to police reports, a man spat on a black man and woman and used racial epithets during an assault inside the coffee shop Friday morning just before 11 AM. The suspect was gone by the time police arrived.

CHS learned about the attack from a blog post by one of its victimsDr. Bob Hughes, an associate dean at Seattle University:

My awareness of the incident, as I later explained it to the officer who took my statement, started with me realizing that my right hand was wet. We were in a Starbucks and there was lots of liquid around. My cortical brain told me that most likely someone spilled something. But then, I heard someone behind me say something that sounded like, “fucking nigger bitch.” My brain needed a new explanation. I turned and realized that a young White man in his early 20s behind me, neatly dressed with short-cropped hair with a dark-colored backpack, was directing this statement to my colleague. As I turned further to face him, he said, “That’s right fucking nigger bitch” again. He walked to the door and walked out. The incident didn’t really register with me, even as he walked out. What had happened? I turned to my colleague and asked if she knew the young man. She had never seen him. He went outside and stood at the window yelling more comments that we could not hear and finally walked away down the street. It was as he stood at the window that my brain started to make sense of things, as I realized that the liquid I initially felt on my hand was his spit. He had spit at my colleague, as it turned out, twice. This young man looked like a thousand other young college students I’ve seen over the years. Clean cut, well dressed. He was also visibly angry. He did not present as mentally disturbed or under the influence of any substances. He directed his anger at my colleague, having never met either of us. He saw two African Americans sitting in a Starbucks and decided that it was okay to assault us.

Dr. Hughes tells CHS that the incident was likely captured on video and that police were provided with access to the surveillance.

But Dr. Hughes confronts a larger issue in his post:

While the society has created hate crime laws and has professed an expectation that this kind of behavior shouldn’t be tolerated, clearly for this young man those weren’t enough discouragements to overcome whatever misogynistic and racial hatred and ignorance fuel him. And, on reflection a few hours after the incident, more than that young man’s actions were disturbing to me.  This was a very public act in a very small space.  Everyone at that café heard the incident and many saw it.  However, only one patron came up after the incident.  That woman apologized to us, saying that this should never happen to anyone, and she offered to be a witness.  Also, the manager came to assist us to clean ourselves and to help file the police report.  Everyone else at the café sat silently or went on with their business.  In a truly post-racial world, that would not be how things work.  In a post-racial world, that kind of violation would mobilize every person in that space to actively resist an assault on two people – an assault that only happened because of our race, and because of the gender of my colleague.

“My guess is that the next time, this young man will be more violent and his next incident will be more brash,” Hughes writes. “Unstopped, antisocial behavior like this escalates. And he lives in a world right now where he felt safe taking these actions. But when incidents like this stop, or people who witness these incidents involve themselves as actors against such acts, then maybe we’ll be moving toward a post-racial world.”

The case remains an open investigation according to SPD.

Blotter | Broadway armed robbery report investigated

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

  • Sunday night hold-up: Police investigated a reported armed robbery attempt Sunday night after a man showed up at Broadway’s Bait Shop saying a suspect had just pointed a pistol at him before fleeing the area. According to East Precinct radio reports, the unsuccessful robbery happened somewhere near 11th and Mercer around 11:40 PM. Police units surrounded the area and a K9 unit searched for a possible trail but the suspect could not be located.
  • Saturday night knife-point robbery: A woman said she was robbed at knifepoint Saturday around 9:30 PM in an incident at 18th and Mercer.
  • E Denny fall: A male in his 20s suffered a serious cut to his head but emerged relatively unscathed after reportedly falling down 15 to 20 stairs at a 700 block E Denny building early Monday morning just after midnight. According to Seattle Fire dispatches, the male victim slammed into a concrete planter during his fall, breaking the cement but his injuries appeared to be limited to a four-inch cut to his head.
  • E Pike overdose: SPD’s deployment of overdose antidote to bike officers is credited with saving another life in an incident last Wednesday afternoon that took place in the alcove of an empty E Pike business just east of Broadway:
    Around 2:30 PM Wednesday, East Precinct bike officers Chris Myers and Drew Fowler were patrol near Broadway and East Pike Street when they spotted a 33-year-old man sprawled on the ground in a doorway. As officers Meyers and Fowler approached the man, they noticed he was foaming at the mouth and convulsing. The man’s eyes were wide open, but he was unresponsive to officers and did not appear to be breathing. A witness at the scene told police the man had taken a pill a short time earlier so Officer Myers, believing the man was suffering from an opioid overdose, administered a dose of Naloxone. Moments after receiving the drug, the 33-year-old immediately rolled over and regained consciousness. Seattle Fire Department medics arrived at the scene but the man declined further treatment and walked away under his own power.
    CHS reported here about SPD’s trial period for the deployment of nasal naloxone, a heroin overdose antidote that experts say could save many more lives if made more widely available.
  • Busker robbed: A cellist who busks along Broadway was shoved to the ground after he attempted to get back $20 stolen from his tip jar in an incident investigated by police the night of Saturday, April 23rd:
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  • 12th Ave burglary: A business in the 1800 block of 12th Ave lost more than $700 in cash after a burglar broke in and got into a lock box. The burglary was reported on April 25th but it wasn’t clear when the break-in occurred — the wily thief also removed recording equipment so the building’s surveillance camera offered police no clues. The burglary follows a small rash of similar break-ins in the area in March.
  • E Loretta squatters: Police were called to an E Loretta Place building on April 23rd to a report that squatters were breaking in, sleeping on a balcony of the building, and stealing packages from residents. The complainant told police the suspects had left urine and syringes behind but they were nowhere to be found when police arrived.
  • Beer bandit: Police arrived at a disturbance early on the morning of April 24th near Broadway and Pike after a report that security from a nearby venue was wrestling with a man on the ground. According to the police report, the suspect had stolen two beers from the Broadway venue and fled with security hot in pursuit. The suspect threw one of the beers, striking a security guard and was eventually able to elude his pursuers and flee the area.

Police investigate 18/Mercer armed robbery

A woman reported she was robbed by an assailant who held a knife to her throat Saturday night near 18th and Mercer.

According to East Precinct radio reports, the armed robbery was reported just before 9:30 PM. The suspect held what was described as a “white handled” knife to the woman’s throat and stole her purse before fleeing in a waiting vehicle.

The suspect was described as a black male in his late 20s or 30s, around 6 feet tall, wearing a black knit hat and a black jacket. The vehicle was last seen leaving the area headed east on E Republican. There was no vehicle description available. There were no immediate arrests.

The victim was not seriously injured in the incident.

Here’s what police say really happened in Broadway/Pike shooting

Tuesday afternoon outside of QFC, there really was gunfire, there really were two shots fired and broken grocery store glass, and, even though he couldn’t be found, there really was a man who got shot.

Police say they believe Tuesday’s shooting at Broadway and Pike was an act of self-defense by a legally armed man. Here’s what the shooter told police:

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Arriving officers cuffed the shooter during the initial investigation but eventually released him at the scene. He told police he didn’t know the man he said attacked him. Witnesses at Broadway and Pike that afternoon agreed that it appeared the shooter was the victim:

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Two shell casings were recovered at the scene. But the man who was shot could not be found… until three and a half hours later:

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Police say the man who was shot was not taken into custody but could face charges for the assault. They also report that he wasn’t pleased to find out the shooter wasn’t arrested:

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Police tell CHS that the shooter’s actions — even as they played out on a crowded corner in the middle of Capitol Hill — appear to have been entirely legal.

Civic duty | Sawant ‘End Mass Incarceration’ forum, EastPAC community crime meeting

Thursday night brings overlapping opportunities to meet and learn more about how we police the streets of the East Precinct. The gatherings also present views of two strikingly different points in the path to crime and justice.

11217973_1158704170841245_4819840984223012997_nCity Council member and District 3 representative Kshama Sawant will present a forum discussion of efforts to expand the city’s Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program:

Please join me and the Capitol Hill Community Council on Thursday, April 28th at 7 pm at the Miller Community Center (330 19th Ave E, 98112) to discuss how we can implement the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (L.E.A.D.) program in District 3 as a possible alternative to failed “tough on crime” policies.

EastPAC-Logo-2015-Small_3Meanwhile, the SPD-backed East Precinct Advisor Council will hold its monthly meeting with a focus on the latest crime trends and enforcement efforts around Capitol Hill and the Central District:

Please join us for our monthly meeting. We will review: The current SeaStat report for Seattle with a focus on East Precinct. The Micro Community Police Plans Current initiatives

EastPAC April Meeting
April 28th, 6:30 to 8:00 PM in room 142 at Seattle University’s Chardin Hall, 1020 East Jefferson

Ending Mass Incarceration | LEAD: An Alternative to Jail and Prison
April 28th, 7:00 to 9:00 PM at the Miller Community Center, 330 19th Ave E

John Charlton pleads not guilty to murder of Ingrid Lyne

The man suspected of murdering a Renton mother and dumping her dismembered body in the Central District has pleaded not guilty to first degree murder.

John Charlton, 37, appeared in King County Court Wednesday morning for his arraignment in the death on Ingrid Lyne, 40, after a judge increased his bail from $2 million to $5 million in the case. Dressed in jail clothes, Charlton did not speak during the short hearing except to acknowledge that he understood the charges. Charlton also pleaded not guilty to a vehicle theft charge.

Charlton is suspected of killing the 40-year-old Swedish Medical Center nurse and mother of three inside her Renton home, stealing her car, and dumping her remains in at least two Central District recycling bins. Lyne was first reported missing on April 8th.

The 1600 block of 21st Ave, where Lyne’s body parts were found, appears to have only been a random stop for Lyne’s suspected killer. Police say the neighborhood bears no other connection to the case.

Officials have not said if they think Charlton used Lyne’s 2015 Toyota Highlander to transport her remains to the Central District, but it appears to be a likely scenario given the prosecutor’s timeline. The car was eventually found in Belltown. The awful evidence of what had happened in the home was discovered when CSI detectives removed plumbing beneath the tub following Charlton’s arrest.

Seattle Police arrested Charlton on April 11th in Lake Stevens for Lyne’s murder after a homeowner near 21st and Pine discovered her body parts in his recycling bin. Charlton was staying with his ex-girlfriend, who said in a recent interview that she was not surprised to learn Charlton had been charged with murder.

Charlton’s next hearing is scheduled for May 11th.

Police search for victim after reported Broadway/Pike shooting — UPDATE: Found

Seattle Police took one into custody following a reported shooting at Broadway and Pike Tuesday afternoon — but couldn’t track down a victim.

The incident began just before 2 PM as witnesses told CHS two men were seen fighting in front of the QFC. Police said the victim appeared to have been shot in the lower back and fled the scene. One male was taken into custody and could be seen cuffed and sitting on the hood of a squad car at the corner. Witnesses said the fight may have involved an airgun. SPD has not yet said if a gun was recovered at the scene but the victim who fled was not believed to be armed.

A search for the victim spread around the neighborhood and to nearby emergency rooms. As of 2:30 PM, the white male had not been located. One tip said he had fled in a cab headed west on Pine but police didn’t turn anything up with the taxi company, according to East Precinct radio.

SPD said it will update us once it sorts the situation out.

UPDATE: From SPD — we’re also asking for more information about if a gun was recovered and any shots fired involved with the incident:

UPDATE 4/27/2016 7:10 PM: A KOMO reporter says the victim was tracked down in Green Lake, bleeding in a bar. We’re still waiting for more from SPD whose communications team was out for training Wednesday.

Central District church burglary, graffiti investigated as hate crime

Sunday as its congregation prepared to celebrate the church’s 67th anniversary, leaders at the Central District’s Curry Temple CME arrived to find a terrible mess inside the 23rd Ave house of worship and hateful messages spray painted across the walls.

“Our church has been vandalized & items were stolen,” a message posted to the church’s Facebook page reads. “We had worship service we also had our 67th anniversary celebration at 3 o’clock the Devil is a Lie we should not be defeated and no weapon formed against us will ever prosper.”

Police are investigating the burglary and vandalism as malicious harassment, the state’s hate crime statute. The damage and messages are similar to the destruction that happened last month at the Africatown Center. In that investigation, police said a volunteer had been arrested in connection with the case.

At Curry Temple, the church is vowing to overcome the damage. A donation page has been set up and parishioners and the community are planning to gather Saturday at 10 AM for a prayer vigil and “call to action.”

“We are calling for Faith based leaders and Community leaders & Members to come together, stand with Curry Temple in Solidarity in [the] the Central District,” the announcement reads. “We are like a tree planted by water we shall not be moved.”

 

Police investigate drive-by shooting at 12th and Madison

A night of gun violence across Seattle overnight included a burst of gunfire in a drive-by shooting on Capitol Hill. The attack played out with a hail of bullets between people in two vehicles as they sped by patrons enjoying the night on Pony bar’s busy patio at 12th and Madison just after 1 AM, according to police radio dispatches.

There were no reported serious injuries.

It could have been much worse. Police found one victim who was believed to have been struck in the back during the shooting — the slug did not penetrate the victim’s skin.

Police recovered slugs and shells from at least three areas around the shooting where someone opened fire as two vehicles passed. One vehicle fled the scene eastbound on Union, the other west. Streets were closed and evidence gathered at the main scene outside the IHOP at 10th and Seneca where one of the involved vehicles was ditched, while bullets and shells were also being recovered at 12th and Madison, and 13th and Union. A car parked at 12th and Madison was also found with a bullet hole in its window.

According to witnesses, the two cars involved were a 4-door sedan and an SUV. Police found the SUV abandoned nearby at 10th and Seneca. Shortly after the shooting, another vehicle with bullet damage was stopped by police at Broadway and Cherry but it’s not clear if the stopped vehicle was the sedan involved in the shooting or a possible third vehicle involved in the drive-by.

Multiple witnesses at Pony told police they saw a male shooting from the window of the sedan as it passed the SUV.

A standard of late night social media conversations around the central city also quickly played out on the streets: fireworks or gunshots? A burst of sparkles from somebody’s bottle rocket coincided with the actual gunshots, according to police radio.

Police response to the Capitol Hill shooting early Saturday morning was rapid with gang units already in the area for Pike/Pine’s weekend emphasis patrols. Earlier this month, SPD credited its stepped-up presence in the entertainment district with a bust that netted a heavily armed, suspected drug dealer. Evidence collection following shootings has been one key weapon in trying to stem the tide of gun violence. Saturday morning, with the chaos from the shooting spreading across three or four blocks, police closed off the area around a single slug somehow found on the ground at 12th and Madison. Matching bullets and casings to gun types and specific guns means every crime scene is combed for items to be collected, cataloged, and, hopefully, matched.

The shooting followed a night of gunfire earlier this week in the Central District near Powell Barnett Park. Wednesday night around 8 PM, police were called to a report of a shootout involving at least two vehicles. They arrived to find shell casings and, fortunately, no victims.

The Capitol Hill incident was also part of a string of shooting across Seattle overnight. In Pioneer Square, multiple victims were reported in what is being called a shootout, while in West Seattle, a man was shot in the leg.

The gun violence echoes the rise in shootings Seattle and the East Precinct saw last summer. SPD has begun working more closely with federal law enforcement agencies to curb the gun violence. This spring, the department has also acted early to roll out a stronger presence in South Seattle to respond to increasing “shots fired” calls. In its most recent report (PDF), SPD says there were three reported shooting incident in the East Precinct between mid-March and mid-April:Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 8.31.18 AM

UPDATE: SPD announced it will increase the numbers of officers on patrol following the overnight violence. We’re told the most significant element for East Precinct will be a reduction in cross-precinct deployment which will allow more officers to be available here on Capitol Hill and in the Central District where the “summer staffing” has already been “accelerated,” we’re told:

Chief Kathleen O’Toole has directed the Seattle Police Operations and Investigations Bureaus to accelerate summer staffing deployment levels in an ongoing effort to deter and prevent gun violence. Starting tonight, Seattle residents can expect to see extra police officers in neighborhoods, nightlife districts and hotspots detailed in our SeaStat crime analysis reports.

These added resources will be a mixture of officers brought in on overtime as well as staff from other assignments, such as the Gang Unit, SWAT and Traffic, in coordination with the Real Time Crime Center.

The accelerated deployment is due in part to two early morning shootings in which four people were injured, one of them seriously.

The first shooting occurred shortly before 1 a.m. near 10th Avenue East and East Seneca Street. The second shooting occurred just after 2 a.m. in a parking lot at Occidental Avenue South and South Washington Street. The injuries occurred in the latest shooting.

Both investigations remain active and ongoing and have been assigned to the Gang Unit for follow up. Anyone with information regarding either incident is urged to call 911.

Why did Ingrid Lyne’s killer choose the Central District?

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Friends and family of Lyne have come together to mourn her passing and raise money for her three daughters, ages 12, 10, and 7. A GoFundme campaign has raised more than $240,000 for the girls.

Friends and family of Lyne have come together to mourn her passing and raise money for her three daughters, ages 12, 10, and 7. A GoFundme campaign has raised more than $240,000 for the girls.

In the two weeks since remains of Ingrid Lyne were discovered in a recycling bin at 21st and Pine, police have arrested a suspect and offered a gruesome outline of what they believed happened to the Renton mother of three.

Still, details on how the 40-year-old’s killer ended up on this residential block remain unclear.

John Charlton, 37, is suspected of killing the Swedish Medical Center nurse in her home, stealing her car, dumping her body in Central District recycling bins, and eventually making his way to Snohomish County where he was arrested.

The 1600 block of 21st Ave appears to have only been a random stop on Charlton’s way to Lake Stevens where he was eventually arrested. Police say the neighborhood bears no other connection to the case.

The handful of available details on Charlton’s whereabouts that weekend offer some insight into a possible timeline of events, but no definitive answers as to why he chose the Central District. Continue reading