Synagogue hate graffiti part of string of Trump-echoing vandalism around Capitol Hill, Central District

Another case of hate tagging -- thanks to EV for the picture

Another case of hate tagging — thanks to EV for the picture

“LOVE WINS,” read the sheet quickly put up by a neighbor to cover the hateful graffiti found Friday morning targeting 16th Ave’s Temple De Hirsch Sinai on a day when even a box of old history books left innocently for the synagogue’s rabbi caused fear and uncertainty. If love wins — and is going to keep winning — it has some work to do around Capitol Hill and the Central District where Friday’s vandalism appears to be part of a string of similar property damage with messages hitting all of progressive Seattle’s deepest fears about the Trump administration.

Neighbor EV sent us the example seen outside an apartment complex in the Central District and quickly painted over. EV writes: Continue reading

Blotter | Sleepy bar patron rescued from Broadway nightspot

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

  • Escape from Julia’s: A Capitol Hill bar patron spent an uncomfortable Saturday morning trying to get home after reportedly falling asleep and being locked inside the Broadway establishment where she had been partying that night. According to East Precinct radio, police were called to the Witness bar in the 500 block of Broadway E just before 3 AM where a woman said she had woken up in the bathroom and said she was trapped inside. But when police arrived, they found only the Witness crew cleaning up and no sleepy patron. A 911 operator talked further with the woman and the patron realized she had actually passed out inside the restroom of another Broadway nightspot. Police asked her to look out the windows to try to help determine her location. She realized she was inside of Julia’s. The woman was waiting while police tried to track down somebody to come to the Broadway club to unlock the doors around 3:30 AM. We presume she was finally freed.
  • Chainsaw robbery: A landscaper finishing his work near 20th and Galer reported he was robbed of a chainsaw and other equipment in an incident reported around 5:30 PM on Thursday, March 2nd: Continue reading

‘LOVE WINS’ — Neighbor’s quick work covers anti-semitic graffiti targeting Temple De Hirsch Sinai — UPDATE: Suspicious package

A Capitol Hill neighbor took things into his own hands after anti-semitic graffiti was found Friday morning near 14th and Union on the property of Temple De Hirsch Sinai.

UPDATE 2:30 PM: SPD’s Arson and Bomb Squad was called to the synagogue around 1 PM after a box was found outside the temple and reported to police. After photographing and investigating the item, police determined it was harmless and reopened the area around the temple’s 16th Ave entrance. The box, it turns out, contained a donation of old history books. Police said they were acting out of an “abundance of caution” following the graffiti found Friday morning and a string of threats against religious and community centers.

“I just met with the leadership of this temple a few days ago,” SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole said at the scene Friday during the investigation of the package. “With all that is happening nationally and with the graffiti issues here, we want all of the people in our communities to feel safe.”

O’Toole said she was attending the mayor’s proclamation of Irish week in Seattle when she heard about the suspicious package investigation. “I was out and about and said, gee, I’m going to head there myself and try to reassure them that we’re here with them and that we take these cases very seriously.”

Robert Merner, assistant chief in charge of investigations, said his department has been visiting with area groups including Temple De Hirsch Sinai over concerns about national threats. He also had some advice for anybody considering dropping off a box of old books – call ahead.

Original report: CHS arrived to find the neighbor covering the spray painted message with a message of his own painted on a bed sheet and taped to cover the wall. The neighbor told CHS he felt compelled to cover the graffiti because he didn’t want the message of one bad person to take on greater significance and reflect poorly on his new neighborhood.

An official at the scene declined to comment until he had an opportunity to talk with others at the temple about any messages the synagogue wanted to share about the incident. Continue reading

Board to hear appeal on East Precinct cop fired for racial bias

The Seattle Police Department’s Discipline Review Board is set to hear an appeal from the former East Precinct cop fired for racial bias in a 2014 Capitol Hill “walking while black” case.

An SPD representative tells CHS that the appeal from the Seattle Police Officers Guild and former officer Cynthia Whitlatch is moving forward and will likely be heard later this month.

Whitlatch was fired in 2015 for “sustained policy violations involving bias, abuse of police discretion, and escalation of a contact” in her July 2014 arrest of William Wingate, a black veteran in his 70s who happens to take very long walks while carrying a golf club, and had a run-in with the veteran officer on a summer day at 12th and Pike just a block from East Precinct headquarters. In 2016, a jury agreed that Wingate’s rights had been violated in a civil case brought against the department.

The appeal will be heard by “a three-member body stacked two-to-one with police officers,” the Stranger’s Ansel Herz wrote when he broke the news on the appeal last summer.

The police union and the Murray administration, meanwhile, continue behind the scenes negotiations on a new contract that is hoped to cap off years of changes under the federal consent decree ordered to overhaul the department in the wake of several excessive force violations by SPD officers.

UPDATE 3/31/2017: The discipline review hearing has been continued “with no date currently set for when it will occur.”


Blotter | Weekend gun crimes, chaotic Pine stabbing response

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

  • Weekend gun crimes: SPD investigated at least two gun violence incidents over the weekend. In the most serious incident, a male with a gunshot wound was dropped off at Swedish First Hill Friday night around 6 PM. Police were trying to determine where the shooting had occurred and had video of the car that delivered the victim to the hospital before fleeing the area. We do not know further details on the condition of the victim. Police say he was not from the Seattle area and was not forthcoming with more information about the shooting. Early Saturday morning just before 2 AM, police were called to the area around 23rd and Cherry after multiple reports of gunfire. Witnesses reported hearing six to ten shots and seeing people flee across the Garfield sports field. Meanwhile, another caller reported a vehicle had been struck by the gunfire near 23rd and Cherry. Police also found shell casings scattered south of the intersection. There were no reported injuries or arrests.
  • Pine stabbing: A chaotic stabbing scene outside a Capitol Hill nightclub Sunday ended up less serious than first feared. Police and Seattle Fire were called to the streets around the Baltic Room early Sunday morning just before 2 AM after a woman was reported stabbed outside the club. Due to large crowds of people and vehicles in the street leaving the club, Seattle Fire units were forced to wait nearby before responding to find the victim. Minutes later, according to SFD radio dispatches, the medic team reported a group was carrying the female victim to the waiting ambulance for treatment. Police were called to the ambulance at Pine and Boren to deal with friends and family of the victim who were trying to enter the vehicle with the victim. The female suffered non-life threatening injuries and was eventually taken to Harborview by private ambulance for treatment. Police were looking for a female suspect who was known to the victim in the crime. There were no immediate arrests.
  • ‘Bob the Builder Bandit’: Police are looking for help identifying the construction hat-wearing suspect involved in a chain of hold-ups around Seattle including this February 6th stick-up at Pike Grocery. If you can assist, call 911.

‘Fictitious’ porn recruiter may owe thousands in sex scam case


Via Hickey’s Twitter account

Former Capitol Hill resident Matt Hickey and what prosecutors say was his “fictitious talent recruiting company” may be forced to turn over photographs and track down and remove images that have spread across the internet after failing to respond to a consumer protection lawsuit brought by the Washington Attorney General.

Last week, Hickey was found in default in the case in which the tech blogger and photographer was alleged to have created a fake porn business “solely for his personal gain and sexual gratification.”

Hickey is currently being held on three second-degree rape charges in King County Jail and faces charges in a string of sexual assaults in which women said they worked with the photographer “under false pretenses or stated Hickey had sex with them when they were too intoxicated to give consent.”

The Stranger reports that Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson says Hickey’s lawsuit “marked the first time that state consumer protection laws were invoked to respond to a scam like this one.”

The court must now rule on what punishment Hickey will face in the consumer protection case in which the attorney general’s office asked Judge Jeffrey M. Ramsdell to establish that Hickey violated the Consumer Protection Act, block him from any similar activities in the future, “restore” property to victims including electronic and physical copies of photographs taken of the victims, order Hickey to relinquish any rights to those photos, order “that the Photos Defendant obtained through unfair and deceptive conduct are removed from the internet,” and, the kicker, nail Hickey for $2,000 for every violation of consumer laws. The AG also is requesting “reasonable costs and attorney’s fees.”

After two years of East Precinct testing, SPD can roll out $2M body cam program

Despite concerns remaining about when the devices will be turned on (and off), how privacy issues will be handled, and how the recordings might be made available to federal authorities, a 2016 Department of Justice survey showed Seattle residents want their police to wear body cameras. Monday, the City Council voted 6-2 to lift budget restrictions and allow the Seattle Police Department to move forward with a $2.3 million plan to outfit every officer with the devices starting later this year. Continue reading

Police investigate 23rd/Jackson shopping center shootout

A hail of bullets struck the shopping center building home to AutoZone and other businesses near 23rd and Jackson Thursday just after noon. There were no reported injuries.

Police say gang detectives are investigating the incident in which witnesses described a crowd of people running from gunfire through the center’s parking lot.

Police found damage to the building and bullet fragments strewn across the area near the auto parts store on the north end of the shopping center’s parking lot across from the 23rd and Jackson Starbucks.

The gunfire was heard by police in the area just before 12:15 PM, according to East Precinct radio.

Police were searching for at least one vehicle seen leaving the area following the shooting. Police were also looking for at least one possible victim who appeared to have been hit by the gunfire but no victims were found in the area or at nearby hospitals.

Blotter | State Patrol chases down suspected truck thief after Lakeview/Belmont crashes

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

  • Belmont auto theft arrest: Police and the Washington State Patrol were busy Tuesday morning after an I-5 pursuit of a reported stolen vehicle turned into a series of crashes involving at least three different vehicles before ending just up the Hill from Lakeview and Belmont Ave E. There was one arrest. The incident began playing out at the base of Capitol Hill around 9:20 AM after WSP stopped a stolen pick-up truck and the driver fled the scene on foot. You can see the incident play out in this video posted to Reddit by a resident in the area. Seattle Police rushed to the scene and the suspect was taken into custody within minutes. Seattle Fire was called out to treat one occupant of vehicles involved in a collision with the stolen truck for what were described as minor injuries.

  • Reported hit and run: Seattle Fire and SPD were on the scene Monday night after a reported hit and run of a pedestrian at Bellevue and Pine but the circumstances of the incident remain murky. Emergency personnel arrived to find a woman in her 60s down in the street just north of the intersection on Bellevue with an injured arm. The victim said she had been hit by a driver who had left the scene. Police could find no witnesses to the collision and did not have a description of the vehicle to work with. The woman was transported to Harborview for treatment of her injuries. SPD says its traffic collision team did not investigate the incident.
  • UPDATE — Broadway mattress arson: Here’s a bonus blotter item for your Tuesday afternoon. Seattle Police were looking for a suspect seen running from the scene after a mattress was set on fire in front of the Broadway Performance Hall. Seattle Fire responded to the incident just after 2:30 PM after a 911 caller witnessed a male suspect spray paint something on the mattress, light it on fire, and take off running on Broadway. Police were looking for a suspect described as a white male, around 6-feet tall, wearing a black knit hat, grey jacket, and black pants. Seattle Central was able to provide surveillance video from the campus to police, according to East Precinct radio dispatches.

Police search for suspect in ‘coveralls’ after another Broadway hold-up

A suspect wearing a surgical mask and what was described as blue coveralls threatened that he had a gun and robbed the Broadway Rite Aid Monday morning.

Police were called to the area around the store at Broadway and E Olive Way around 8:20 AM after a report that the suspect had left the store with around $100 in cash and fled southbound on foot.

The suspect was described only as a black male around 6′ tall. He was reportedly wearing a white surgical mask and a blue, full-body mechanic’s suit with a hood, and told the cashier he was armed with a gun.

Police searched the area around Broadway including Cal Anderson and Capitol Hill Station.

The incident follows a string of robberies along this stretch of Broadway including a Valentine’s hold-up of the Chase Bank, and a series of robberies at the same Rite Aid, a restaurant, and the Bank of America in mid-January.