Police say Ruckus hit in $5K armed hold-up, Capitol Hill’s first big pot shop cash robbery

Seattle Police are searching for an armed robbery suspect who chose an interesting pair of gloves for his lucrative gunpoint hold-up of a Capitol Hill pot shop.

The October 29th incident at 15th and Republican’s Ruckus marijuana shop went unreported by media and SPD but a recently released incident report includes details of the heist. Continue reading

Support for wages, concerns over reforms as Seattle City Council set for police contract vote — UPDATE: Approved

UPDATE 4:45 PM: In an 8-1 vote, the Seattle City Council approved ratification Tuesday afternoon.

Committee chair Lorena González said that there is still much to be done to continue reforms at SPD but that she was “proud” to approve the collective bargaining agreement.

She also dismissed criticism that the contract would “roll back” reforms, listing a dozen elements from the new deal that she say represent progress in social justice issues at the department.

Paramount in the deal will be a strong Office of Inspector General and wiping out of the controversial Disciplinary Review Board. González said the inspector’s office will be able to be present at Office of Professional Accountability proceedings and will have access to all OPA files.

“Today, is one of those days where I find myself in the unfortunate position of agreeing with some of the observations made by my friends at the (Community Police Commission) while disagreeing as to others and, fundamentally, disagreeing as to (1) the impact of this contract on our ongoing police reform efforts and (2) the appropriate next step to take to continue making progress on police reform,” González said in a statement issued following the vote. You can read the full statement and the list of 12 accountability reforms from the contract here.

U.S. District Judge James Robart, who is overseeing the Department of Justice consent decree process, will also review the contract to ensure compliance.

The vote followed a more than two hour session of public comment and statements from several council members. Community members including Nikkita Oliver and the Rev. Harriet Waldman spoke to say they supported higher wages for police but could not support the contract. “Voting for this contract will dismantle the work we have been doing for years,” Oliver said. The city has “failed in these negotiations,” Walden said.

A large contingent of community members representing the International District was also on hand to show support for SPD and the new contract.

Original report:  The Seattle City Council will vote Tuesday afternoon on a long-awaited, hugely debated six-year deal with the Seattle Police union that would bring much needed wage increases but would also roll back progress on much needed reforms, critics say.

District 3’s Kshama Sawant representing Capitol Hill, the Central District, and surrounding neighborhoods said Tuesday she will continue to oppose the deal. Seven of the nine council members must approve the contract for ratification.

“As a rank-and-file union member myself, I support the wage improvements that are contained in the tentative collective bargaining agreement between the City and [the Seattle Police Officers Guild],” Sawant said in a statement on the pending vote. “I think it is unfortunate that other public service workers, such as educators and EMTs, have not gotten such significant wage increases in this increasingly unaffordable city.”

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Big police response after fight with unruly bar patron at Chop suey — UPDATE

The scene on E Madison courtesy a CHS reader

SPD and emergency vehicles filled E Madison after a fight between security and an unruly patron brought multiple officers rushing to the Chop Suey music club Sunday night.

Police were called around 7:10 PM as a Chop Suey bouncer was struggling with the patron.

As the first police arrived, a second call went out over East Precinct radio for a “help the officer” incident bringing multiple police vehicles rushing to the scene.

UPDATE 11/19/2018: According to the just released SPD report on the incident, the fight involved two men who witnesses said had been drinking and acting strangely at the Diesel bar next door. After being kicked out of Diesel, one of the suspects reportedly urinated on Chop Suey’s door, sparking the confrontation with security.

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Police search for suspect after reported 10th/Mercer armed robbery

Police spread out around the north end of Broadway Friday night with a K9 unit in search of a gunman after a reported armed robbery.

Officers were called to 10th and E Mercer around 6:30 PM to the reported street hold-up. They were looking for a suspect described as an Hispanic male, mid 20s, around 5’5″, with a thin build, and wearing a black wool cap, and a hoodie, according to East Precinct radio dispatches. The suspect was last seen fleeing on foot from 10th from Mercer. He was reported to have been armed with a handgun.

Police and a K9 unit searched the area including a construction site and a house near the crime scene reportedly used by squatters.

There were no reported arrests and no reported injuries in the incident.

How a Capitol Hill overdose and spade-marked baggies brought down man prosecutors say was neighborhood opioid kingpin

Cash seized by police was so filthy with drugs, investigators wanted Narcan on hand before they dealt with it

A picture of Smith and his daughter the convicted drug dealer included in his plea for leniency to a U.S. District Court judge

An April 2017 overdose death in an E John apartment brought down the man prosecutors say was the kingpin opioid dealer on Capitol Hill until his arrest, prosecution, and sentence this week to twelve years in prison.

Gregory Smith, 34, “was a primary—if not the principal—opioid dealer in Capitol Hill,” prosecutor write. “Beginning in mid-2016, Smith’s ability to source massive amounts of fentanyl analogues from China only further reinforced his status as the go-to dealer in this area of Seattle. His personal impact upon the opioid crisis in Seattle was substantial.”

“A sophisticated trafficker, trading in cryptocurrencies, working with overseas suppliers, knowing not to deposit large quantities of cash into financial institutions, and amassing an arsenal of weapons and a security system to protect his assets and supply,” Smith was sentenced this week to 12 years in jail in a plea deal following an investigation that traced more than 70 shipments of fentanyl analogues to the Des Moines Memorial Dr S dealer from China.

Smith’s co-defendant Kyle McClure was also convicted of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and sentenced to two years in jail, according to court records. Continue reading

Madison Park woman killed in Seattle Center domestic violence stabbing — UPDATE

The 28-year-old who died after what police say was a domestic violence stabbing attack at the Seattle Center Friday has been identified as a Madison Park resident.

Police say Gabrielle Maria Garcia was stabbed multiple times in the attack inside the Seattle Center’s Armory food court. The attack happened in front of the couple’s child, according to the SPD report on the incident.

David Lee Morris, 29, was arrested at the scene and is currently held in King County Jail for investigation of domestic violence homicide. He has not been charged but the court found probable cause to keep Morris jailed in a Saturday hearing. UPDATE 11/7/2018: Morris has been charged with first degree murder with aggravating circumstances of domestic violence.

Garcia was rushed to Harborview where she later died.


Trial set for boyfriend accused in Broadway apartment knife attack case

Miskell (Image via Linkedin)

Efforts to arrive at a plea deal have apparently fallen through and a trial date has been set in the case against Branden Miskell, the 31-year-old prosecutors say tried to kill his boyfriend in a bloody January 2018 knife attack inside their Broadway apartment.”

According to court filings following a conference hearing last week, the case is now slated to go to trial early in January though it could face further delays. The court’s setting of a date ends a series of sessions in recent months dedicated to updates in discussions between prosecutors and Miskell’s laywer Saad Qadri over a possible plea deal.

“As you know the case is set for trial, and we are currently considering all options,” Qadri tells CHS. “It is our hope we can reach an amicable resolution.” Continue reading

Police report: Argument over stabbing led to E Union shooting

New details have emerged about what led to a shooting on E Union early last Wednesday morning that left a trail of blood and shell casings scattered on the pavement and a 21-year-old collapsed outside a neighborhood emergency room.

According to the just released SPD report on the incident, officers were able to watch the shooting go down with security video that captured the gun violence and fighting that preceded it as two groups tussled outside Capitol Hill’s Sizzle Pie around 3:20 AM Wednesday.

According to a witness, the groups could be heard arguing and one male accused another of stabbing his friend in an incident at a Tukwila park. The video shows a fight break out with one person hitting another in the face with a glass bottle and one of the groups scrambling into a vehicle at the scene. Continue reading

One shot in fight on E Union — UPDATE

The scene where the shooting occurred Wednesday morning around 3:20 AM (Images: CHS)

A victim was shot in what a witness said was a robbery gone wrong early Wednesday morning on E Union just off the main drag of the Pike/Pine nightlife district. But police say the shooting appears to be part of an altercation between two men with a grudge — not a hold-up.

SPD has confirmed the shooting and tells us the victim’s injuries were not believed to be life threatening. SPD’s brief on the incident has been added below.

Officers rushed to the area outside Sizzle Pie just after 3:20 AM to a reported disturbance and two cars speeding from the scene. They found shell casings and a trail of blood. Continue reading

Police investigate weekend Capitol Hill gunfire incidents

Police investigated gunfire and possible gang activity in at least two shooting incidents reported around Capitol Hill over the weekend.

Early Sunday morning just after 3 AM, police covered the area around 16th and Madison after 911 callers reported gunfire and the sound of squealing tires. Officers discovered broken glass and signs of a collision at the scene but no shells or bullet damage was immediately found in the area following the likely driveby shooting. Continue reading