Police are investigating a reported knifepoint robbery that took place in broad daylight — and apparently without intervention from passersby on Capitol Hill Thursday afternoon. Seattle PrideFest took to Facebook to decry the lack of response from others in the area as actor and performance artist Robbie Turner was held up in the afternoon robbery:
If you are anywhere in this city, and you see somebody punch someone and pull out a knife to rob someone of their phone, you should at a mimumum start yelling and if you can, get others with you to go and protect the person being attacked. At least make some sound! Our very own Robbie Turner had this happen to him today near SCCC and NO ONE came to his rescue. The scene was shamefully silent. A phone can be replaced, a black eye will heal, but a community where people don’t stand up for one another needs a heart transplant. We ♥ you Robbie!
We have not yet confirmed details of the hold-up with SPD but records indicate that police were called to E Olive Way a few blocks from Broadway Thursday afternoon around 4 PM to investigate an armed robbery. No medic units were dispatched to the area. UPDATE: Police say the robbery was reported to have occurred on the Seattle Central campus and that the victim went to a friend’s business on E Olive Way where police were called.
Turner was slated to appear at the Baltic Room Thursday night.
UPDATE: The New Queer on the Block site has posted a disturbing account of the attack reportedly posted to Turner’s Facebook page:
Something just happened. Something bad. 2 hours ago I was walking home from work to get in drag so I could attend SUPREME with Dr. Jen. I was about 3 blocks from Atomic Cosmetics over by SCCC’s park answering a phone call when a 20 something African American male punched me in the face. I dropped my phone & instinctively placed my right foot on the phone knowing that something was amiss. The man said, “Sorry, sorry, sorry.” And then pulled out a knife & swung it at my throat. It was less than an inch from slicing my throat open in front of a VERY LARGE crowd on the campus. No one yelled, no one came to my assistance. Plenty watched. As I leaned backward, I shoved the guy with my left arm so that he wouldn’t actually cut me. With his opposite arm he hit me in the head causing me to really lose my balance. I stumbled backward as he reached down, stole my phone & ran away downtown bound. Still, no one came up to me. In fact onlookers stared & cleared out of the area: crossing the street suddenly, going inside the school, walking in any direction that was away from me & my torn grocery bag & my strewn about belongings.
You can read more of the account here.
UPDATE 5/10/13 9:15 AM: Police have released the preliminary report on Thursday’s incident which includes a description of the suspect and more specifics on the location of the robbery. No arrests have been made in connection with the case.
UPDATE: The group LGBTQ group Social Outreach Seattle reminds that Turner has been involved in championing the group’s safety efforts including his work teaching self-defense courses earlier this year. SOS is calling for a May 22nd rally to bring attention to safety on Capitol Hill and in the queer community:
Social Outreach Seattle, in cooperation with SPD and local businesses, is scheduled to launch BLOCK WATCH on Wednesday, May 22. On that day, we will also lead and organize the CAPITOL HILL ANTI-CRIME/VIOLENCE MARCH AND RALLY.
Here are the details:
- WEDNESDAY, MAY 22
- 6 – 6:45 P.M. GATHER AND RALLY AT SCCC (1701 Broadway Seattle, WA 98122)
- 6:46 – 8 P.M. MARCH (E on Pine, R on 12th Ave marching S, R on E Union St. marching W, R on Minor Ave. marching N, R on Pine marching E, L on Melrose marching N, R on E Olive Way marching NE, L on Summit marching N, R on E Roy St marching E, R on Broadway marching S.
- 8 – 8:30 p.m. RALLY AT SCCC
You can RSVP on Facebook to show support HERE
SAVE THE DATE. INVITE EVERYONE YOU KNOW. This is a nonviolent march and rally. SOSea will partner with area businesses, service-based organizations and churches, schools, ANYONE who believes that OUR NEIGHBORHOOD BELONGS TO US, NOT CRIME.
UPDATE: The latest CHS analysis of crime data for the East Precinct beats that cover Capitol Hill showed a jump in incidents across the Hill last year including an 8% jump in assaults. Robberies overall were down about 4% but in the area where Thursday’s hold-up occurred, robberies jumped significantly in 2012. SPD has not yet released any East Precinct data for 2013.
UPDATE: A resident also shared this email with us that was sent to SPD, City Council public safety chair and mayoral candidate Bruce Harrell and the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce about concerns over an uptick in crime around Cal Anderson:
FIRST, a big thanks from this Broadway neighborhood family. We have lived on the hill for 27 years & have great respect & gratitude for the service/relations of the SPD with our neighborhood. We are a middle aged lefty couple who truly loves the diversity & edge of the neighborhood. Our son is returning from college soon & will surely enjoy many hours in the park this summer…..We are not wimpy or whiny. Until now.
We are writing to you about CAL ANDERSON park and the need for increased patrols ASAP. Last spring, we had the flare of crime, squeaky wheels, media coverage & then the requisite responding & massive police presence in the park. Things got under control and then the coverage drifted away.
Can we cut to the chase this year & go to an early middle ground of increased police patrol of the park? PLEASE.
The reports of sexual assault, daytime robberies and assaults in & near the park are clearly an indication of the current trouble brewing. The general feel of the park is making a dangerous turn…There are folks OPENLY intimidating passers-by near the fountain and along the path near the field/courts…. open containers near the courts have reached the same levels we saw last year. We all know that the truly bad folks often take cover in loosely policed areas with easy victims.
PEOPLE ARE SCARED. I feel, for the first time in 27 years, intimidated in my own neighborhood. I am not afraid of homeless people or kids. I am afraid of criminals.Seriously, you must KNOW this is happening. The neighbors are becoming agitated. The local police advised US to call 911 as much as possible to “create a paper trail”. The neighborhood & local media is about to see the pattern & we will be back to the “crisis” point we reached last year.
We all know that the Community Policing Models of increased visibility & relations with the neighborhood is always the most effective way of dealing with a hot spot.THANK YOU for listening to us. This conversation is happening all over the hill. We urge you to be pro-active.