A Seattle Police officer was treated for facial injuries and at least one person was arrested after a fight broke out during a police stop on Nagle Place Saturday afternoon.
Information on the rush of police to the area around Cal Anderson Park is preliminary at this time and hasn’t been confirmed yet by SPD.
According to East Precinct radio, an officer was contacting three people near the park around 3:20 PM. A few minutes later, units coming to the area as part of routine back-up reported that the male SPD officer was fighting with a suspect and had suffered facial lacerations.
During the fight, a “fast back” alert was issued and more officers rushed to the area.
One female was taken into custody and police were looking for a male that left the scene during the melee.
Seattle Fire was called to treat the officer who was alert and conscious at the scene. SFD also responded to nearby East Precinct at 12th and Pine a few minutes later for a female in her 20s complaining of stomach pains.
SPD officers in Cal Anderson
Amid concerns amongst the community regarding fears about an uptick in theft, armed robberies, physical and sexual assaults, the Capitol Hill Community Council Thursday night met with representatives from SPD and the mayor’s office in an effort to address the issue.
“We understood,” said East Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis. “We have increased the presence of police out there 10-fold,” he added.
Brian Hawksford, a staffer in Mayor Ed Murray’s office, confirmed for the council attendees that the Monday budget proposal to the City Council will include funding for new SPD officers.
According to Davis, the majority of such incidents have taken place in the Pike/Pine corridor, with groups of individuals preying on unsuspecting bar goers. The rest have been reported in secluded areas of Cal Anderson, where several of the armed stick-ups have occurred. He compared the situation to “baby seals and great white sharks.”
CHS has reported on a few reported street robberies since the emphasis patrols started earlier this month but one purported armed robbery turned out to be a pistol-packed argument between two men over marijuana. Meanwhile, East Precinct has also been dealing with a spate of shooting incidents including this one on E Alder in which a teen ended up in the hospital with bullet wounds.
The short-term strategy for Pike/Pine described by Davis is one of “trying to figure out who’s who,” in regards to identifying those perpetrating the routine robberies and gaining more information on their strategies and whereabouts. Continue reading
CHS can report that there was one less armed robbery on Capitol Hill this week than previously reported.
Monday, CHS reported on an incident at Cal Anderson around 5:30 PM involving an extremely upset man who told police he had been held up at gunpoint in the park:
According to East Precinct radio dispatches, the victim fled to Seattle Central where he reported the hold-up to 911. Police were called out around 5:20 PM. According to the victim, the hold-up occurred near the basketball court off Nagle Place. The distraught victim told police his assailant threatened him with a 9 MM pistol during the robbery.
Police searched the area, looking for a black male, bald, with a chin-strap style beard and wearing a light blue plaid shirt, blue jeans, and Jordans.
But, according to details from the just-released report on the incident, the hold-up wasn’t as much a robbery as a disagreement between pot smokers — one who happened to be armed with a pistol, apparently:
According to the report, police were able to identify the suspect and attempted to contact the West Seattle man via phone with “negative results.”
A victim told police he was robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight in Cal Anderson Park early Monday evening despite ongoing emphasis patrols in the area.
According to East Precinct radio dispatches, the victim fled to Seattle Central where he reported the hold-up to 911. Police were called out around 5:20 PM.
According to the victim, the hold-up occurred near the basketball court off Nagle Place. The distraught victim told police his assailant threatened him with a 9 MM pistol during the robbery.
Police were looking for black male, bald, with a chin-strap style beard and wearing a light blue plaid shirt with navy or gray pants. Police believed he may be a person known to area officers who has previously been trespassed from the park.
Seattle Police say East Precinct and gang units are continuing emphasis patrols in the Pike/Pine area. Last week, precinct officials asked Seattle Parks to leave the lights on around Cal Anderson until 2:30 AM on the weekends to help quell a wave of street crime. Meanwhile, the mayor has announced he plans to hire more officers and give them better crime fighting intelligence.
UPDATE 9/16/14: SPD has so far been unable to track down the suspect in Monday’s reported armed robbery. Records show he was arrested this summer on a weapons charge and for harassment.
Meanwhile, CHS has learned of an additional robbery reported near the park over the weekend.
According to radio dispatches, several SPD units including officers on foot patrol, and a K9 officer were in the area of 11th Ave at the time of a reported 12:45 AM street robbery just outside the park early Saturday morning. Several units responded to the area to search for the mugging suspect described as a heavyset Latino male in his 20s, around 6’1″ and wearing a blue button-up shirt.
A search of the area was not immediately successful. No further details are available at this time.
Police found more than 30 shell casings in the street near 21st and E Fir after reports of gunfire in the Central District rolled into 911 late Sunday night. As police investigated, a 16-year-old suffering from a non-life-threatening gunshot wound arrived at Harborview. Meanwhile, Monday afternoon, police rushed to the area around Judkins Park following a report of a gunman shooting at another vehicle from a window of a speeding SUV.
In the Monday afternoon incident, police swarmed the area around Judkins Park just before 2:30 PM and found shell casing strewn across 23rd Ave at Dearborn and at least one uninvolved vehicle hit. There were no immediate reports of any injuries involved with the gunfire. Traffic in the area was diverted during the investigation. UPDATE: SPD has posted a report on the Monday afternoon incident: “One vehicle was damaged by the gunfire. There were no reports of injuries. The roadway was reopened just after 3 pm.” More here.
Police say they are still investigating the Sunday night shooting incident:
Around 11:15, police received a number of 911 calls about gunshots near 21 Ave and East Fir Street. At the scene, officers recovered more than 30 shell casings from different guns and found several buildings and cars had been struck by gunfire. Police weren’t able to locate anyone with injuries at the scene.
Mayor Ed Murray announced Friday that his 2015 City of Seattle budget proposals will include a boost in the number of police officers serving the city and increased spending on homeless and mental health services. But he also promised that better policing is a priority.
Calling the proposals “fairly fluid” due to budget issues at the federal and state levels, the mayor said an improving economy and new “efficiencies” would enable the city to add new programs in 2015. Murray said he would push for the hiring of 50 new SPD officers to join the 1,300 already serving the city with a goal to add 100 officers before the end of his term.
SPD Staffing by Quarter, 2014
Murray said his SPD budget priorities for 2015 were to include more “civilian expertise,” be more data driven, include more community, and to have more officers.
Murray also said Friday his administration will hire a civilian chief information officer to help ensure “better policing.” New Chief Kathleen O’Toole is deploying CompStat-driven patrol decisions that have driven how big city forces like NYPD are utilized.
“More accountability remains our priority,” Murray said Friday.
Murray matched his SPD budget announcement with priorities for human services spends in 2015 including money to “backfill” the DESC of Seattle service centers budget, support Project 360 to aid homeless youth, and help fund the Urban Rest Stop hygiene center. Continue reading
The Murray administration is dusting off one of the public safety experiments from the McGinn camp’s attempts to quell Capitol Hill crime.
A Seattle Parks rep tells CHS that the lights around Cal Anderson’s sports field will be left on until 2:30 AM on weekend nights for the coming weeks:
We will leave the lights on at Bobby Morris Playfield until 2:30 a.m. this weekend and next. The lights will remain on early Saturday mornings, 9/13 and 9/20, and early Sunday mornings, 9/14 and 9/21.
The representative tells CHS the move comes at the request of SPD as it increases patrols, has officers walking the beat, and has brought in gang units to attempt to calm spiking street crime numbers in the neighborhood. “The short-term strategy is obviously we’re saturating this place not just with precinct resources but with city-wide resources,” SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole told CHS about the efforts around Pike/Pine. “The long-term strategy is that we’re developing a community policing plan for every neighborhood of the city.”
In 2013, Mayor Mike McGinn’s office was credited with the idea to keep all of the park’s lights on overnight as street crime also spiked that summer. But the “experiment” was brought to an end in November as officials said they had “not been able to conclude that having the lights on at night was an effective deterrent to crime” and that the lighting caused neighbors to complain. There were also issues with inappropriate use of the park at night.
Cal Anderson is open to the public from 4 AM to 11:30 PM but many people walk through the green space — and hang out there — at all hours.
We have questions out to Parks about the decision including what it would take to make the extra lighting a permanent schedule.
Rounded edges. Larger screen. But still no kill switch. Apple announced the latest “new features” for its iPhone smartphone line Tuesday. Once again, there was nothing that will help change the game when it comes to discouraging smartphone thieves. The phones are worth hundreds of dollars each — and nearly everybody walking across Capitol Hill is carrying one.
“10 years ago you could not guarantee that almost every person on the street had something worth $400 to $500 in their pockets,” SPD spokesperson Detective Drew Fowler tells CHS about one of the major drivers behind the return of the summer crime spike to Capitol Hill.
As the wheels of justice slowly turn, a trio of major criminal trials involving Capitol Hill and First Hill are moving forward.
- Road rage murder trial: The trial of the man accused in the alleged at 15th Ave NE and 75th road rage murder of Broadway QFC wine steward Yancy Noll is slated to begin later this month. According to court records, the case against Thomasdinh Bowman will begin being heard on September 22nd. Bowman has pleaded not guilty to the first degree murder charges in what prosecutors have called a “thrill kill” case. If convicted, prosecutors say Bowman will face up to 31 years in prison.
- Monfort trial Jury selection: The trial of the accused cop killer who faces the death penalty after he allegedly opened fire on two East Precinct officers on Halloween night 2009 and killed veteran officer Timothy Brenton is scheduled to move forward with jury selection in October. According to court records, jurors will begin to be notified early in the month before a planned selection process that is expected to begin on October 27th and could last into December. The trial for accused killer Christopher Monfort is slated to begin in January. In 2013, a judge ruled Monfort could not face the death penalty because county prosecutor Dan Satterberg’s office had “failed to exercise the discretion it is statuatorily and constitutionally obliged to exercise.” That decision was later reversed. Early in 2014, Governor Jay Inslee instituted a moratorium on all executions in the state. Satterberg office continues to pursue a capital case against the defendant.
- First Hill murder: The trial of Dr. Louis Chen — accused of stabbing his family to death inside a First Hill condo in August 2011 — has been pushed back and isn’t currently slated to begin until spring 2015, according to court records. In 2012, CHS reported that Chen had been “restored” to competency with mental health treatment and found fit to stand trial for murdering his partner and toddler son.
Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole on Broadway in the early hours of Sunday morning. (Image: Tim Durkan)
Broadway at Pike early Sunday morning. (Image: Tim Durkan)
Keeping promises made at a meeting Friday where community members, business owners and others expressed concerns about the record late-summer spike in crime including street robberies concentrated around Pike/Pine, Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole oversaw this weekend as SPD gang units were deployed to Capitol Hill’s core. The recently-sworn-in chief who vowed to “work tirelessly on behalf of Seattle” when her selection was announced in May was seen out on the Hill’s streets with a badge herself Sunday morning near the heart of a roaring nightlife scene.
When sworn in this last June, O’Toole, a former Boston police commissioner who also worked on police reform in Northern Ireland with the Patten Commission, was faced with the immediate the task of enacting reforms mandated by the Department of Justice aimed at curtailing excessive force and biased policing, the Seattle Times reported. At her swearing-in ceremony, she expressed her commitment to being in Seattle, and outlined goals including working at “rebuilding public trust, and rebuilding departmental pride and respect.”
CHS caught up with O’Toole on Broadway between Pike and Pine — where at the time an apparent suspect was being talked to by several officers behind the building that houses Moti Mahal — at about 12:45 AM. O’Toole talked to CHS about crime and arrests on the Hill so far over the night and weekend, about some of her reasons for having a visible presence on the streets as the police chief and about observations made while on the ground in the neighborhood. She also talked more about the short and long term strategies to reduce crime in the area discussed at the Friday meeting at the East Precinct Headquarters, and gave tips on how to stay safe while out and about, including some advice based on her time on the force in Boston.
“Probably another arrest here,” O’Toole said while waiting to be briefed about the situation unfolding behind Moti Mahal. “I think we made about four arrests tonight.”