Police: Accused 29/King killer claims slayings ‘vengeance’

Accused killer Ali Muhammad Brown is claiming political motivations for a killing spree that included the Central District slaying of two men he met after a night out on Capitol Hill.

Police say Brown has admitted to the killings as part of a one-man jihad:

“My mission is vengeance. For the lives, millions of lives are lost every day,” he reportedly said. “Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, all these places where innocent lives are being taken every single day … All these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government. So a life for a life.”

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 8.20.29 AMAuthorities this week said Brown has been connected to a fourth murder in an April drive-by shooting in Spanaway. In July, CHS reported on Brown’s capture in New Jersey where he has been accused of another murder.

Seattle Police say Brown killed 27-year-old Ahmed Said and 23-year-old Dwone Anderson-Young in a “premeditated” and “unprovoked” June 1st attack at 29th and King.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray issued a statement on the latest charges against Brown:

The charging documents reveal disturbing details about Brown’s motive for committing these murders, which appears to have based on anti-American sentiment and an extreme interpretation of the Muslim faith. While Brown invoked his faith, we must be clear that Brown’s views and his actions do not reflect the values of Muslims.

Brown’s alleged attacks make the second high-profile case this year involving Capitol Hill and a suspect believed to have hate crime motivations. Wednesday, CHS reported that defense attorneys for convicted Neighbours nightclub arsonist Musab Masmari have filed an appeal of the 10-year sentence in the case.

Seattle cops don’t live in Seattle

Data-driven news blog FiveThirtyEight reports that only 12% of Seattle’s police force calls the city home ranking it among the worst big cities in America for the measure. You’ll note that the department’s black officers are much more likely to call the city home:

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 5.21.51 PM
In light of the continuing protests in Ferguson, FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver discusses the significance of where police officers live:

In Ferguson, Missouri, where protests continue following the shooting of a teenager by a police officer this month, more than two-thirds of the civilian population is black. Only 11 percent of the police force is. The racial disparity is troubling enough on its own, but it’s also suggestive of another type of misrepresentation. Given Ferguson’s racial gap, it’s likely that many of its police officers live outside city limits.

If so, Ferguson would have something in common with most major American cities. In about two-thirds of the U.S. cities with the largest police forces, the majority of police officers commute to work from another town.

In 2011, I helped create this map for SeattleCrime.com showing where Seattle Police officers call home around the region:

At the time, the McGinn administration was floating ideas around residency requirements for SPD officers. In the continued fallout from Ferguson, it will be interesting to see if the push is renewed.

UPDATE: Here’s a note we received from an East Precinct officer who has asked to remain anonymous:

A lot more officers than 12% live in the city. Many of us, including myself, use an address of relatives or a PO Box to receive our mail and city correspondence. As far as mandating where an officer lives, that has been ruled illegal . An employer can’t force that issue in Washington.

The officer says that on his squad of seven, four officers live in the city — but only one lists a local mailing address.

Defense to appeal 10-year sentence in Neighbours arson case

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 10.00.19 AMAttorneys for convicted Neighbours arsonist Musab Masmari have filed an appeal of the 10-year sentence in the case.

“Because of the political nature of this case, one always suspected this could happen,” defense attorney Charles Swift said after the July decision by Judge Ricardo S. Martinez to double the five years both sides in the case had agreed to. Prosecutors told CHS at the time that they believed Masmari had an anti-gay bias but they asked the judge to not raise the sentence based on hate crime motivations because it would open the possibility of appeals.

The Seattle Weekly broke the news on the appeal and reported more on attorney Charles Swift’s involvement in the case:

As with Hamdan’s case, which went to the U.S. Supreme Court, Masmari’s sentence was political, Swift thinks. Shortly after the term was handed down by U.S. Judge Ricardo Martinez on July 31 – doubling the five-year sentence that prosecutors and Masmari had agreed to in a plea bargain – Swift told reporters he was worried this could happen “because of the political nature of this case.” The next day, he gave notice of appeal to the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, challenging the sentence. He is set to file his appellate brief by Halloween.

Masmari, a former Capitol Hill resident, pleaded guilty to setting a New Year’s Eve fire inside a crowded Neighbours nightclub. The arsonist blamed his actions on drinking too much alcohol before setting the fire. In the statement Masmari said he drank an entire “cheap bottle of whiskey” on New Year’s Eve and said he did not remember what happened afterwards. “This defendant violated people’s right to gather safely: he put more than 700 lives at risk when he purposely started a fire at a crowded nightclub on New Year’s Eve,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan in a written statement in May.

Blotter | Harvard/Pine gaybashing charge — Plus, conviction in 2008 Central District murder

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

  • Gaybashing charge: A 22-year-old Auburn man arrested in the Sunday night, August 10th alleged gaybashing at Harvard and Pine has been charged with malicious harassment, the state’s hate crime statute. Ivan Prokhorin faces the charge for his role in allegedly sparking an attack on two men he saw holding hands on Harvard Ave. According to police, Prokhorin, who was with two other males, yelled “Fucking faggots” and followed the two victims to their vehicle carrying an empty Corona bottle. The men told police they grabbed a baseball bat from their own car to defend themselves. “Is there a problem?,” one of the victims asked. “Yes, because you are a fucking faggot,” Prokhorin is alleged to have yelled as he attempted to strike the victims with the bottle but missed and hit the car, shattering the glass. Police say one of other suspects then wrestled away the bat and hit one of the victims several times on the back. The victim was not seriously injured. According to police, the attackers fled in a car but officers located the BMW near 9th Ave and E Alder. There are currently no charges filed against the men who were with Prokhorin. Continue reading

Blotter | Police find no suspect — and no victim, either — in armed robbery on Seattle U campus

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  •  Seattle U robbery: SPD investigated a strange robbery reported on the Seattle University campus early Saturday morning. According to a security bulletin issued by the school, “an individual was seen by security robbing another individual” in the area of the St. Ignatius Chapel around 12:54 AM. SPD responded to the 11th/Madison report of an armed robbery but could not locate the victim seen by Seattle U security. A search for the suspect was also unsuccessful. He was described as “a light skinned male, thin build, wearing a white and blue tank top.” “He may be missing his shoes,” the bulletin notes.
  • 22/Cherry phone mugging: The victim in a Saturday night phone grab near 22nd and Cherry told police he was robbed by a group of five males. Police responded to the near-9:30 PM incident but did not immediately locate the group, according to radio dispatches.
  • Broadway bottle assault: One man was arrested and another trespassed from the area in a tussle with a 200 block Broadway E business owner Wednesday night after one of the suspects allegedly threw a wine bottle at the business owner, missed, and hit the owner’s mother. According to the SPD report on the incident, the owner told police he “had problems with the two before” and said the men were “verbally abusing passersby and drinking in front of the store” –Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 1.25.47 PMOfficers arriving at the 6:30 PM advised the owner to call police in the future to trespass people from in front of his store. Police found one of the suspects had an outstanding warrant for theft. He was taken into custody for investigation of the assault and the $10,000 warrant. The other suspect was trespassed from the business.

Blotter | Gunpoint robbery at 24th and Harrison’s Prentis Frazier Park

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  • Gunpoint robbery: A woman said she was robbed at gunpoint Wednesday night while sitting on a bench at 24th and Harrison’s Prentis Frazier Park, according to Seattle police. Police are searching for two male suspects. The victim told police that around 10:20 PM two men approached her as one pointed a silver revolver at her face and said “give me your stuff.” When she screamed the man threatened to shoot her, at which point the woman handed over her back pack and phone. According to SPD, the victim described the suspects as “two black males in their 30s. One man was about 5-foot-9, the other suspect was approximately 6-feet tall.” Officers searched the area around the park but made no arrests.
  • E Pike phone robbery: A Capitol Hill man said a group of men robbed him of his iPhone early Thursday morning outside the QFC entrance at Broadway and E Pike, according to police reports. The victim told police 5-6 men approached him near the Cha Cha Lounge on E Pike. The victim said the men chased him as he ran towards the QFC, where he tripped and fell. The suspects then took his phone. Police made no arrests.

Man arrested for using a bat in possible gaybashing on E Pine

Seattle Police arrested a man Sunday night on Capitol Hill for striking a man with a baseball bat and verbally harassing the victim for holding hands with another man. The incident happened around 11 PM Sunday when two men were walking by Harvard Ave and E Pine while holding hands. When the victims passed a parked car, they told police the occupants of the car started heckling them and called them “faggots.” Two of the suspects got out of the car and started following the victims.

One of the victims grabbed a baseball bat from their own car to defend themselves, but one of the suspects took it from him and hit him several times on the back, according to police. The victim was not seriously injured. According to police, the attackers fled in a car but officers located the vehicle near 9th Ave and E Alder. One of the men was arrested and booked into King County Jail for malicious harassment.

Update (8/12): On Monday a King County judge found probable cause to continue jailing Ivan Prokhorin, 22, in the alleged attack, according to court documents. Bail for the Auburn man was set at $75,000 and Prokhorin is next scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.

According to police reports, one suspect said he was from Russia, one said he was from Ukraine, and one said he was from Kazakhstan. Here’s SPD’s Blotter.

Russian hacking suspect makes first Seattle court appearance for Broadway Grill data breach

The Russian man accused in a widespread hacking operation that affected many on Capitol Hill in 2010 made his first appearance in a Seattle courtroom on Friday afternoon.

Roman Seleznev, 30, was arraigned in the downtown federal courthouse after a federal judge in Guam ordered his transfer from the island to Seattle earlier in August. He was ordered to remain in custody and no further court dates have been set, according to court documents.

Seleznev was indicted in Seattle in 2011 for hacking into point of sales systems at Washington restaurants, including a data breach in 2010 that involved stealing credit card information from hundreds of customers of Capitol Hill’s Broadway Grill.

While Seleznev was indicted in 2011, he wasn’t taken into custody until July 5th. DOJ representatives won’t say how the suspect was ultimately captured or how he ultimately arrived in Guam. The arrest of Seleznev, the son of a member of Russia’s Duma, set off international protest as his home nation called his seizure a kidnapping part of a string of disputes with the US over cybercrime.

“Cyber-criminals should take heed: distance will not protect you from the reach of justice. We will investigate, we will locate, and we will bring foreign hackers to stand trial,” U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan said in a statement. Continue reading

Blotter | Victim says robbed at knifepoint in Cal Anderson

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  • Park armed robbery reported: A man walked into 12th and Pine’s East Precinct lobby early Saturday morning to report that he had just been robbed at knifepoint by three men inside Cal Anderson Park. Police responded to the area around 12:45 AM to look for the three reported suspects described only as a white male armed with a knife wearing a white shirt and blue jeans, and two black male accomplices. The victim said his black bag with a Microsoft logo was taken from him by the armed man near the bathrooms inside the park. Police reported the park was still full of people at the late hour but that nobody in the area reported seeing the robbery. The victim was not injured. The incident joins a string of reported hold-ups and muggings in and around the park this month.
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Blotter | Another Cal Anderson robbery — Plus, hit and run chase crosses Hill

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  • Cal Anderson phone mugging: A string of robberies in Cal Anderson continued Wednesday night as a victim required medical attention after being punched in the face and mugged by two assailants accompanied by a group of young males in Capitol Hill’s central park. Police were called to an apartment near the park where the victim had fled following the robbery around 11:30 Wednesday night. The victim told police he was punched and robbed about 10 minutes earlier inside the park after he was surrounded by a group described as multiple young, black males. The attacker in the mugging was reported wearing a bright orange polo. A police search of the area turned up no suspects. Seattle Fire was called to the apartment to treat the victim for his injuries. The robbery follows a similar incident early Sunday morning in which a man who was settling in to sleep in the park told police he was attacked and robbed. Last Friday, a large group was reportedly involved in the hold-up of two men that ended with one of the victims hit by a grazing gunshot to the head. Police arrested a 17-year-old in connection with Friday’s incident. Last August, SPD also had its hands full with an armed robbery spree around Cal Anderson and Capitol Hill. Police eventually arrested three suspects in connection with the wave of robberies.
  • Hit and run chase crosses Hill: A man’s wild ride from a West Seattle nursing home to a failed car jacking in South Seattle ended with his arrest Wednesday — but not before a string of hit and runs including a collision or three around Capitol Hill and First Hill. One of the collisions was captured on video and posted online. Here is SPD’s report on the Wednesday afternoon wild ride:

    Officers arrested a 36-year-old man after her went on a tear involving hit and run collisions in multiple precincts and an attempted armed car-jacking.

    The incident appears to begin in West Seattle. For unknown reasons a man entered a nursing home, knocked everything off a counter, pushed a walker at an employee and then proceeded to drive away recklessly. According to the 911 caller, the man was driving on the sidewalk and was involved in a hit and run collision.

    Next, the suspect was involved in at least one hit and run collision near Mercer Street and Dexter Ave North. The suspect was then spotted on Capitol Hill and was involved in at least one hit and run collision there as well as another in the International District.

    Eventually the suspect made his way into the South Precinct where he finally ditched his car. Using a knife he attempted to car-jack someone, but failed. Officers located the man and took him into custody near Martin Luther King Jr. Way South and South Walden Street.

    Officers are still working to establish a clear chronology and given that the suspect’s antics spanned four precincts, the total damage and persons affected are still being tabulated. 

Blotter | Big group reported in another Cal Anderson mob robbery

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  • Cal Anderson group robberyIn Monday’s edition of the Blotter, CHS noted, thankfully, there didn’t appear to be a subsequent string of armed robbery activity following Friday’s morning’s gunfire and hold-up incident in Cal Anderson Park. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean the park is entirely at peace. According to the SPD report on the incident, a large group of young black males similar to the crowd seen in Cal Anderson the night of the hold-up was responsible for an overnight attack and robbery of a man who said he was trying to sleep in the park early Sunday morning. The bloodied victim of the 4:42 AM assault told police he was surrounded by a group of 10 to 15 males as he tried to settle into sleep on the park’s sports field with two counterparts. The victim said the group jumped him and grabbed his wallet from his back pocket during the melee. As police arrived, the large group could be seen running and walking from the area in all directions. Seattle Fire was called to treat the victim for a cut to his chin suffered when he fell after being punched several times in the face. The victim’s two companions declined to provide a statement for police. There were no arrests.
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Blotter | Police say 29/King murder suspect tied to more cases

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  • Ali Muhammad Brown

    Ali Muhammad Brown

    29/King murder suspect tied to additional killings: Investigators are looking into whether “extremist beliefs” drove accused murderer Ali Brown. Seattle Police say Brown killed two Seattle men in a “premeditated” and “unprovoked” June 1st attack at 29th and King after a night out on Capitol Hill. Brown is now the suspect in a string of murders:

    Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray identified Brown as a suspect in the slaying during a news conference this afternoon in Newark, N.J. Several law enforcement sources in Seattle also identified Brown as the person accused of killing 19-year-old Brendan Tevlin.
    In addition to Brown, also suspected in the slaying are 19-year old Jeremy Villagran and 18-year old Eric Williams, both of West Orange, N.J., according to WABC-TV of New York City.
    According to The Newark Star-Ledger newspaperTevlin had just returned home from his first year of college at the University of Richmond in Virginia when he was found shot to death inside his SUV in the parking lot of an apartment building in West Orange on June 25.

  • 23/Jackson bank shooting charges: The 24-year-old man who shot a bank security guard with his own weapon before turning the gun on himself has been charged in the attack. The July 24th incident does not appear to have been a robbery attempt. Instead, prosecutors say Arthur Idowu Thomas had recently been released from jail and had been previously trespassed from the property where the Bank of America is located. Records show Thomas with a Central District address near the location of the incident.
  • 28th Ave S murder charge: One case in a string of gun violence in the Central District earlier this year finally has a charged suspect. Seattle PI reports that 25-year-old Lorenzo Pratt was arrested in Oregon and has been charged with second-degree murder in the April 24th shooting death of 20-year-old Deszuan Smallwood.
  • First Hill pedestrian death update: Police have identified the driver of a Cleanscapes garbage truck that struck and killed a 42-year-old Capitol Hill woman in an apparent hit and run last week but say it’s not clear that the driver knew he ran the woman over. Rebecca Scollard, whose last address is listed as the Seattle Housing Authority’s low-income Denny Terrace building at 100 Melrose Ave E, was declared dead at the scene.
  • (Image: @aarwen)

    (Image: @arwen)

    Capitol Hill driving shenanigans: Lots of reports of crazy driving reports sent to CHS related to an incident Thursday night near Federal and Republican as a driver smashed his car into a roundabout tree and reportedly attempted to flee the scene — without any shoes on. SPD detained the driver in the a block away but he was apparently sober despite the crash.

    Meanwhile, this driver had a hard go of an attempt to parallel park on Broadway on Sunday. Photographer Tim Durkan reports:
    The very apologetic driver, sober as a judge, was a little over enthusiastic on the acceleration and managed to take out a steel bike rack and a friends motorcycle in one spectacular parking fail10404447_10204500511418044_4239968617340383488_n

  • Courts: A federal judge sentenced Neighbours nightclub arsonist Musab Masmari to 10 years in prison – doubling the sentence agreed to by both sides in the case. Also in a federal court, accused Broadway Grill point of sales hacker Roman Seleznev was denied a bid to free him from custody as a judge ordered the 30-year-old Russian to be transported to Seattle from detention in Guam.
  • DUI: Another member of Seattle’s food and drink literary scene has been arrested for driving under the influence on Capitol Hill. Kathleen Flinn has been charged with DUI after being pulled over in the 700 block of Federal Ave E Friday night. The Capitol Hill author of the New York Times bestseller The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry is scheduled to enter her plea this week. In June, modernist cookbook author Maxime Bilet was arrested and charged for driving under the influence and hit and run after a collision near Madison and Summit. UPDATE 8/5/14: Flinn pleaded not guilty. A hearing in the case is scheduled for September.
  • Madison Park investment advisors nailed: For a different flavor of improper behavior, turn to Madison Park where federal investigators have shut down the neighborhood’s Lakeside Capital Management:
    The SEC, in an order today instituting administrative “cease and desist” proceedings against both the firm and Daugs, states that Daugs “used over $8 million in client advisory assets to conduct undisclosed actions that fraudulently breached his fiduciary duty.”
  • Cal Anderson quiet: Unlike 2013′s series of armed robberies around Cal Anderson, Friday’s hold-up in which one victim was grazed in the head by a gunshot has — so far — been an isolated incident. We are not aware of any additional armed robberies in or around the park over the weekend.