Following a burst of armed street robberies in one overnight span earlier this week, SPD patrol officers and gang detectives seem determined to pull illegal guns off the streets of Capitol Hill. Early Saturday morning, SPD made a flurry of busts around Broadway, seizing at least two handguns.
In one incident, SPD bike officers tracked down a man seen waving a gun on Broadway and arrested the wanted felon and another man with him just before 2 AM. From SPD’s report on the incident:
Police received 911 calls about the armed man running down the street near Broadway and E. Union Street shortly before 2 AM, just as nightclubs were closing for the evening and crowds of patrons were spilling onto Capitol Hill’s streets.
Two bike officers cornered the armed man in a parking lot near Harvard Avenue and E. Union St., where the suspect ducked behind a truck.
As officers closed on the man and ordered him to put his hands in the air, the suspect dropped a loaded handgun onto the ground.
Police said the 31-year-old suspect is on federal probation and is legally prohibited from possessing a firearm. He was booked for investigation of illegal possession of the weapon.
Meanwhile, only minutes after the first arrest, a man with a pistol was spotted getting into a car in the 1400 block of Harvard Ave. SPD stopped the vehicle and detained the five people inside, recovering a handgun in the process.
The gun incidents were part of a typically busy weekend night for officers working in Pike/Pine. One 20 minute span in the East Precinct late Friday night included two possible stabbings and an armed robbery in the Central District. All information on the incidents is preliminary at this time and has not been confirmed with SPD.
Around 11:20 PM, police and medics were called to a fight disturbance near Pine and Boylston involving a female carrying a ukelele and a knife. A male involved in the fight reportedly suffered a non-threatening stab wound. Police were investigating a report that the female was the victim of a robbery.
Meanwhile, another stabbing victim arrived at Harborview minutes later. It was believed his injuries were unrelated and had been inflicted in an incident in Freeway Park.
Then, just after 11:40 PM, police rushed to MLK and Cherry for a report of an armed street robbery. The suspect reportedly brandished a pistol in the hold-up before fleeing the scene when he jumped into a white van that sped away on 29th Ave. There were no immediate arrests.
Meanwhile, in a response to a memo leaked to media outlets saying some East Precinct officers “are very hesitant to use force in situations where force is clearly needed,” a directive from Chief Kathleen O’Toole has been posted publicly by SPD to clarify the department’s “use of force” policies. “I expect officers to take appropriate actions and not use the force policy as an excuse,” O’Toole writes. You can review the entire use of force directive here.