49-year sentence for man who killed partner and son inside First Hill condo

Louis Chen has been sentenced to 49 years in jail for the murders of his partner Eric Cooper and toddler son Cooper Chen inside a First Hill condo five years ago this August, court records show.

Earlier this year, the 43-year-old doctor pleaded guilty to the August 11, 2011 stabbings.

The plea agreement headed off a cough syrup defense being planned by Chen’s attorneys. Prosecutors said they would not seek the death penalty for Chen who had faced life in prison for the murders if convicted. In 2011, the prosecution requested more time to prepare for the case in order to complete a reconstruction of the bloody murder scene. CHS detailed SPD’s account of the brutal murders here in which Chen is alleged to have stabbed his partner more than 100 times and stabbed his child to death.

In a letter to the court, one of Eric Cooper’s parents wrote:

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Chen faced between 34 to 49 years in prison, according to the King County Prosecutor.

Blotter | Cops bust Batarang-tossing assault suspect

(Images: SPD)

(Images: SPD)

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

  • Batarang bust: A suspect who reportedly tried to attack a Capitol Hill bar bouncer Monday night with an “improvised spear” apparently had more in his bag of bad guy tricks. SPD says the suspect was taken into custody — but not before he allegedly threw a “a sharp, black Batman-style throwing star” at the police SUV pursuing him. From SPD:

Officers arrested a man on Capitol Hill Monday after he threatened a bouncer with a homemade spear and threw a batarang at officers as they pursued him.

Police were called to a Capitol Hill bar around 6:30 PM after a man with a knife attached to a metal pole reportedly swung the improvised spear at a bar employee near East Olive Way and East Denny Way. Continue reading

Man found stabbed outside Harvard Market QFC

A man was found stabbed and bleeding outside Capitol Hill’s Harvard Market QFC early Sunday morning.

Seattle Fire and police were called to the scene just before 4 AM to a report of a male with multiple stab wounds to his arms outside the Harvard entrance to QFC near the upper parking lot, according to radio dispatches. Arriving medics found the man in his 20s with several puncture wounds and a deep laceration to his arms. He was rushed to Harborview for further treatment.

Police were investigating the incident and working to determine where the stabbing occurred. According to SPD dispatches, police were looking in the area of the parking lot near the Knights of Columbus building on Union a few blocks from where the victim was found. There was no suspect information broadcast and no immediate arrests.

Police were busy on Harvard for the second night this weekend. Early Saturday morning, police investigated gunfire in the parking lot above the QFC.

DUI arrest after car plunges into Central District construction site

The scene at MLK and Union Saturday morning. Thanks to Leslie for the photos and tip!

The scene at MLK and Union Saturday morning. Thanks to Leslie for the photos and tip!

IMG_9909A driver was arrested for investigation of DUI after a car carrying the 39-year-old, another adult, and two children plunged around 20 feet after crashing off the roadway, through a fence, and into a construction pit Friday night at MLK and Union.

Seattle Fire rushed to the scene of the 11:21 PM crash to find the car sitting upright on the under-construction foundation of the four-story development underway at the corner. We do not know specifics of any injuries but no additional medical units were called to the scene after the initial response. The car’s four occupants were able to get out of the vehicle on their own, according to Seattle Fire radio reports. Continue reading

Police investigate Broadway/Pike gunfire

For the second weekend in a row, police pushed late night Capitol Hill crowds back inside area venues as officers responded to gunfire in the area.

Early Saturday just before 3 AM, shots rang out from the still busy parking lot above Broadway and Pike. People were seen running from the lot, according to a caller reporting the incident. According to police radio, officers arrived to find a mostly empty lot and three shell casings on the ground.

There was one report of a person who was shot being loaded into a vehicle but no victim was located near the scene. Police stopped a SUV that was reported leaving the lot but we don’t know if any arrests were made. A check of area hospitals was underway.

All information in this report is preliminary and has not yet been confirmed by SPD.

The late night gunfire follows an incident closer to 2 AM closing time last Saturday morning that brought out a huge police response as officers searched for a gunman in the Broadway parking lot behind Mud Bay and across the street from Neighbours. There were no immediate arrests in that incident.

‘You have to start somewhere’ — Seattle looks at bias-free policing law

The investigation of William Wingate's arrest showed the importance of some of the new

The investigation of William Wingate’s arrest showed the importance of examining past statement and records of officers accused of biased policing (Images: CHS)

How can you legislate racism? It is a question at the heart of any effort to eliminate biased policing and one that Seattle King County NAACP president Gerald Hankerson was quick to raise Wednesday during a City Council committee meeting on the subject.

The answer came from City Council president Bruce Harrell: “You have to start somewhere.” Over the past year, Harrell and his staff have been working on a series of measures to codify bias-free policing practices in Seattle. On Wednesday, Harrell unveiled the basics of his plan.

Central to the proposal is making permanent the bias-free policing requirements laid out by a federal monitor as part of Seattle Police Department’s federal consent decree over excessive use of force practices. Collecting demographic data on police interactions is particularly crucial, Harrell said. Continue reading

Blotter | No serious injuries as 19th Ave E driver flips car on side

Thanks to a neighbor for the picture from the scene Monday

Thanks to a neighbor for the picture from the scene Monday

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

  • 19th Ave E crash: The 25-year-old driver of a Subaru was lucky to escape uninjured in a crash Monday that left the car on its side in the middle of the usually quiet 19th Ave E. According to Seattle Police, the Subaru struck three other cars in the crash as it ended up on its side in the street. The driver was not seriously injured and there were no arrests for DUI, Seattle Police said. Traffic and the Metro bus route were diverted in the area for a few hours following the just before 5 PM incident. A full investigation is underway to determine what caused the driver to lose control as he drove north on 19th Ave E near E Mercer and the increasingly busy area of restaurants on the block.
  • Hammer assault: A man in a Hawaiian shirt and armed with a hammer as well as an advertising sign he found along the street was arrested by police after reportedly attacking a group on Broadway in an early morning July 7th assault. According to police, officers were called to Broadway and Harrison around 2:20 AM and found an intoxicated male who had fallen and struck his head after a scuffle with the group. The men told police the suspect accused a male victim of having stolen his wallet and was swinging a hammer when they tried to intervene. The group was able to disarm the man but he grabbed a sign from the sidewalk and began swinging again. During the ensuing fight, the victims said the suspect was punched and fell to the ground, striking his head. The suspect started crying and became remorseful when they called police, the victims said. Police arrived and took the intoxicated male into custody.
  • Trash can fires: A reminder, please make sure smoking materials are completely extinguished before tossing them in the trash:

East Precinct cops ready to roll out program to put drug users in treatment, not jail

By the end of July, Capitol Hill police officers will be able to refer drug users to treatment programs — not jail. Along with a visit from a touring example of a safe drug consumption site, the month is bringing a few steps of progress in breaking drug addiction cycles that have challenged the neighborhood for decades.

In recent weeks, East Precinct officers have been trained to participate in the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program. LEAD now joins the already functioning Multi-Disciplinary Team program on Capitol Hill in giving law enforcement new options and resources for dealing with addiction. Officials are looking at ways the two programs can work together.

According to Public Defender Association director Lisa Daugaard, all East Precinct police officers will be trained to participate in LEAD by the end of the month. Until now only West Precinct officers have been able to recommend people for LEAD participation. There was initial talk of only expanding the program to Capitol Hill, but “Capitol Hill community leaders actually pushed for inclusion of the rest of the precinct on racial justice grounds,” because, according to Daugaard, community leaders felt that parts of the East Precinct with a higher percentage of minorities than Capitol Hill should also benefit from the program. Daugaard said she anticipates that once East Precinct officers have been trained, “there will probably be significantly more referrals” for the LEAD program. Continue reading

Nobody hurt, big police response after Broadway gunfire — UPDATE

There were no reported injuries early Saturday morning when a gunman opened fire in a Broadway parking lot across from the nightlife crowds of Neighbours and other nearby clubs just after 2 AM.

A huge SPD response filled blocks of Broadway with police cars and officers as police moved patrons inside nearby nightlife venues during the initial response to the gunfire. According to East Precinct radio dispatches, a male with a gun was reported around 2:15 AM in the parking lot behind the Mud Bay pet supply store in the 1500 block of Broadway. A report of shots fired followed.

All information in this report is preliminary and has not yet been confirmed by SPD. UPDATE 9:33 AM: SPD has posted a brief update on the incident:

There were no reported injuries early this morning on Broadway after officers heard several shots fired shortly after bar closing. Just before 2:15 am, Nightlife Emphasis officers working near Broadway and East Pine heard six to seven shots fired just to the north of them. As the officers rushed to investigate, they located a male fleeing the scene. He told officer that an unknown male shot at him and his friend for unknown reasons, but then the victim became uncooperative with the officers. Officers located six shell casings in the parking lot and did observe a broken window to a nearby apartment complex. Officers checked on the resident and determined that they were unharmed. Officers did not locate any injured people. Officers collected the evidence and continue to investigate.

Nobody was reported hit in the gunfire and officers cautiously looked for the suspect in the crowded parking lot. Police provided a limited suspect description via radio of a Middle Eastern male wearing all black but it wasn’t clear where the information had come from. Witnesses provided conflicting descriptions of where the gunman may have fled. Police identified a Mercedes at the scene that may have been associated with the man.

At least one window in the area was reported struck by gunfire.

CHS is not currently aware of any arrests in the incident.

SPD ‘micro community’ policing survey shows ‘strong level of trust’

On Capitol Hill, the main issues are mental illness, car prowls, and graffiti. The biggest crime issue people had to complain about on First Hill is littering and illegal dumping. Meanwhile in the Central District, people are worried about getting shot, car prowls… and, well, getting shot. This from the results of a Seattle University-run survey on behalf of the Seattle Police Department as part of its ongoing “micro community” policing plan.

Limited results from the survey and a new micro community policing site were announced Thursday:

MCPP are the result of grassroots efforts, with direct collaboration from residents, business leaders, stakeholders, and police officers on the beat. Under the MCPP, community residents work in partnership with their local precinct captain and Community Policing Team to identify problems, analyze existing quality of life and crime data, and design individualized plans to reduce and prevent crime.

Continue reading

Police look for convertible, gunman in 26/Alder shootout

Police were looking for a gunman and occupants of a dark convertible who exchanged gunfire Thursday afternoon near 26th and Alder. There were no immediate reports of injuries but multiple witnesses reported seeing the male shooter open fire on the speeding car.

Police found shell casings at the scene and were interviewing witnesses to the 5:30 PM shooting. The involved vehicle was described as a dark green or black Firebird or Camaro-type car.

The gun battle took place just blocks from Powell Barnett Park where the East Precinct is holding its community picnic Saturday in an effort to continue efforts to activate the park.


Police search for information after wave of Central District anti-black attack reports

Seattle Police are asking for help gathering information after multiple reports of hate crimes around the Central District spread Wednesday.

UPDATE 7/14/16 4:10 PM: SPD says it has made contact with the victim and a hate crime investigation has been opened. The Stranger has the basic details of the report:

A black woman was physically attacked by a group of white men at the intersection of 31st Street and Jackson Street along Frink Park around 5 p.m. on Tuesday. She had just gotten off a bus with her six-year-old son.

“Social media made it seem like there was a roving group of people who had committed multiple crimes. As far as we know, this is the only report,” an SPD spokesperson told the paper. CHS confirmed with SPD Thursday afternoon that police are now in contact with the victim.

Original report: In the reports, a group of white males is said to have attacked black people at different locations around the Central District. SPD turned to Twitter to ask people to come forward with any information that could assist investigations:

This account was sent to us Wednesday morning. We have been working to find out more about it through the day.

This account was sent to us Wednesday morning. We have been working to find out more about it through the day.

In one account sent to us, a woman said her friend and another person were attacked and beaten Tuesday around 6 PM near E Yesler and that the incident was reported to police.

SPD public information representatives said they can’t find any details of an attack at that time and location and publicly available dispatch records don’t show anything similar in the neighborhood.

In addition, our review of radio traffic in the East Precinct around the hours the attack was reported don’t include any assaults nearby.

The reports come at a time of heightened tensions over policing and the black community following more deadly shootings of black men by police and the deadly attack on police officers in Dallas. Seattle, meanwhile, is in the midst of ongoing attempts to reform its police force as a new labor contract with the department’s Seattle Police Office Guild’s 1,250 members is being finalized. Continue reading