About Sam Heft-Luthy

I've lived on Capitol Hill since age 0.5. Now I'm channeling that Hill experience into my work as 2013 CHS Summer Intern, where I'll be reporting on community happenings, art, music, and just about everything going on around the neighborhood.

Blotter | SPD arrest ear biter-offer following 10th Ave E assault

See something others should know about? Mail CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959.

  • One arrest in Capitol Hill ear assault: SPD has details of an ugly assault Thursday night on 10th Ave E that left a man missing part of his left ear:

    Man arrested for biting off another man’s ear off
    Written by Detective Renee Witt on August 9, 2013
    Officers searched for a man’s missing ear with negative results. Last night just shortly before 10:00 p.m., officers responded to an assault call in the 100 block of 10 Av E. According to the victim the suspect walked into his fenced yard and urinated.
    The victim asked the suspect to leave when the suspect’s girlfriend came over and also told the suspect that they should leave. The suspect then began assaulting his girlfriend. The victim pushed the suspect and tried to stop him when the suspect attacked him. During the attack the suspect bit a large portion of the victim’s left ear off.
    The suspect then left the area. Officers arrived and conducted a search for the suspect. Officers found him near Cal Anderson Park. The man’s mouth was covered in blood. He was contacted and placed him under arrest without incident. The 21-year-old suspect was booked into King County Jail for Investigation of Assault. The 23 year-old male victim was transported to Harborview Medical Center for treatment.
    Officers asked the suspect if he swallowed the victim’s ear. He would not answer but looked up and smiled. An area check for the victim’s ear was negative.

  • Busted leg assault: A man’s leg was broken in an assault early Sunday morning. The victim told police he was walking south on the 1700 block of Broadway when he saw the suspect traveling the opposite direction. According to the report, the suspect “appeared to be babbling to himself.” When the victim got near the suspect, the suspect allegedly tackled the victim — breaking his leg in the process — and walked north on Broadway.
  • Purse snatch related to robbery spree? Two women in their mid twenties were robbed early Sunday morning on the corner of E Seneca St and Broadway Ct. One of the victims told police she was getting into her vehicles when two men approached her, one of whom took her purse. The suspects fled toward a waiting car at Broadway Ct and E Madison St. One victim told police: “I’m Ethiopian, I am not racist. I am certain these were Somalians.” Police believe the IHOP purse snatch may be related to the recent string of gunpoint robberies on Capitol Hill and elsewhere in the city.
  • Robbery attempt an “initiation”? The SPD report on this July 29th attempted robbery and assault incident at Pike/Broadway includes an interesting note recorded by the reporting officer that seems to indicate part of the assault was related to an “initiation” —Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 10.45.25 AM
  • Thieves rip off woman’s purse then burgle her apartment: The victim of an early-morning purse snatch at Pike and Broadway last Friday suffered doubly when her 13th Ave E apartment was broken into following the crime:Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 10.48.03 AM
  • Robbery map: Here’s a map of reported street robberies including armed (weapons involved), strong arm (no weapon but force used), business hold-ups and purse snatchings around the Hill since July 1st. We count 28 — some of the icons represent multiple incidents at this view level. In the five weeks previous, there were 14 incidents recorded. You can view the reports and modify parameters on the SPD “My Neighborhood Map” site to make your own partially-informed takeaways on summer crime trends around the Hill.

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 10.18.19 AM

  • 10th/Pike assault: The suspect in a 10th and E Pike assault just before 2 AM last Friday morning surrendered to police for arrest after officers found an unconscious female slumped and bleeding from behind her ear after being punched and hitting her head on the sidewalk. According to the report, the suspect walked up to police as they searched the area as the injured female was transported to the hospital. He was booked into King County Jail for investigation of assault.
  • Art school heist: Gage Academy reported a June art theft to police a few weeks after the incident when a student realized two paintings were missing. According to the school, a suspect can be seen on surveillance video walking away with the paintings on June 11th just after 5 PM. The works were valued at $175, according to police.

Blotter | Man tossed into 12th/Pike jungle after argument, liquor thief, downtown violence

 See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959.

  • Man thrown over fence: The victim in an early morning assault last Thursday had a painful night after a 20-foot drop into a bushy area in the 1200 block of E Pike. According to the SPD report on the July 25th incident and an email sent to CHS about the incident, a caller reported the sound of a man calling for help from an overgrown area in the back of a parking lot around 4:30 AM. Police arrived and could hear the man yelling for help from below and complaining of a broken ankle. Seattle Fire was called out to help rescue the man. Back on solid ground, the victim told police how he ended up in the jungle-y predicament:Screen Shot 2013-08-01 at 1.01.25 PMThe victim was transported to Harborview for treatment.
  • Safeway-1993-7-20-13-Liquor-Theft-Robbery-13-257990pic-3Liquor robbery suspect: Police are searching for the suspect in a robbery at the 22nd and E Madison Safeway earlier this month. They have released surveillance photos of the suspect, and are asking anyone who knows the identity of the suspect to contact them at (206) 684-5535.
  • Bike assault: A woman was pushed off a bicycle Wednesday afternoon when she confronted a neighbor who she told police had a history of harassing her. The victim told police she was riding her bicycle on Harvard Ave E approaching the E Miller St intersection when she saw the neighbor. According to the report, when she asked her neighbor if the two of them “could have a little chat to iron out [their] differences,” he pushed her off her bicycle and fled. The victim was not injured, and police provided her with the information necessary to file a court order protecting her.
  • Swedish Hospital confrontation: Police responded to a call at Swedish Hospital Wednesday night after a man refused to leave the premises.  Security told police they asked the man to leave several times before he took what was described as a stance “similar to a football player lowering their shoulder.” The man was released after he cooperated with police and denied making threats.
  • Downtown crime: It seems like the area around Cal Anderson isn’t the only part of the central city where SPD is facing pressures to step up presence and patrols. Dozens of businesses have sent a scathing letter to City Hall about violence and criminal activity in downtown Seattle.


SPD introduces Seattle Central course on community policing

(Image: Seattle.gov)

(Image: Seattle.gov)

Students registering for fall quarter at Seattle Central Community College will have another class to consider adding to their cart. In partnership with the Seattle Police Department, SCCC will offer a free course intended to teach prospective police recruits the goals and tactics of law enforcement as well as prepare them for the academy exams.

Acting Sergeant Adrian Diaz will instruct CPP101: Introduction to Community Policing, which will be offered tuition-free to 25 students, Mayor Mike McGinn, SPD Assistant Chief Nick Metz, and officials from SCCC announced in a press conference last week.

The program is part of an SPD drive to increase community outreach and involvement in the personnel recruitment process, McGinn said.

“We needed to look outside the box for what we were doing as far as recruitment,” Metz said.

McGinn said the course is intended to increase diversity in SPD’s ranks, addressing misconceptions about the expectations and requirements of police service in minority and low-income communities.

Though state law prohibits SCCC from reserving enrollment spots for minorities and women, Metz said SPD has been working with groups like El Centro De La Raza to recruit candidates that reflect the diversity of SCCC and the city at large.

Neumos’ new Block Party paint job is part Renaissance, part punk rock



(Images: CHS)

On Tuesday afternoon, while the Neumos crew bustled around Capitol Hill planning this weekend’s Capitol Hill Block Party, artist Crystal Barbre sat smoking a cigarette waiting for her scissor lift to recharge.

With murals, the hardest part isn’t the actual painting, she explained, it’s all the logistical distractions you don’t have to worry about when you’re doing your art in the studio — permits, scissor lift maintenance and not blocking the fire exit.

The prominent distraction? Passing pedestrians, all eager to share their opinion on her work.

Barbre said pedestrians are her favorite distraction. Continue reading

Blotter | Victim reports E Pike gay bash, busy night for SPD on Broadway, Dick’s emphasis patrol

  • Hate bashing? A Capitol Hill man who is continuing to suffer from injuries in the attack says he was the victim of a hate bashing earlier this month as he walked near E Pike and Bellevue. To add insult to injury, the victim says he and a friend spotted the perpetrator the next day sleeping in a doorway near the site of the attack but that police were too slow to respond and the suspect was able to slip onto a bus and get away.

    According to the victim and the SPD report on the incident, police are continuing to investigate the July 10th assault. The victim says the suspect began taunting the man and his two friends seemingly at random and then asked them if they were gay and said “[they] hate faggots where he was from.” The suspect then assaulted the victim leaving him suffering from a concussion.

    When he spotted the suspect again on the 11th, the victim and a friend walking with him called 911 and waited nearby for 45 minutes when police finally arrived — after the suspect was long gone. The man said he ended up with pictures of the suspect that unfortunately don’t show the suspect’s face.

  • Busy night for SPD on Broadway: Broadway was busy with police activity as throngs of onlookers came out to watch the action surrounding the Macklemore video shoot Wednesday night. In one incident, a man who said he was high on bath salts was taken into custody for assault near Broadway and Harrison. Police, meanwhile, were also busy with reports of hundreds of people trespassing onto area roofs and entering the Sound Transit construction site to use the chemical toilets. There was also a reported purse snatching near Broadway and Madison. Seattle University sent out the following bulletin after the suspect reportedly ran onto the campus: “At approximately 9:40 pm a strong armed robbery occured (sic) at Broadway and E Madison. The suspect ran onto campus from the Madison portal at 10th ave. The suspect is a black male in his 20s with wearing a green crue (sic) neck sweatshirt with a backpack.” No arrest was made. Later in the night, another assault call turned into a reported robbery after the victim was contacted at Seattle Central. We have no further details on the last incident at this time. There were a handful of medic calls at Dick’s — two of them were for fans who fainted waiting through the night’s hours-long production.
  • Dick’s patrol emphasis: KIRO reports that the Dick’s parking lot has joined Cal Anderson and other hot spots on East Precinct’s “emphasis” patrol list.
  • DEA raid: An E Madison pot dispensary was raided — again — Wednesday.
  • Good Samaritan ambush: Two people were robbed early Monday morning after giving two strangers a ride to 14th and Jefferson from South Park. According to the report, three men and one woman were waiting for the victims at 14 Ave and E Jefferson St, who proceeded to attack the victims and steal the registration to the vehicle, their cell phones, and $20 in cash before fleeing the area in a black 4 door car.Blotter
  • Comet closet hideout: An assault suspect hid in a cleaning closet at E. Pike St’s Comet Tavern after an altercation outside of the E Broadway and Pike St Shell late Wednesday night. The victim and his sister told police the suspect had struck her with a bottle of alcohol before fleeing to the tavern. When police located the suspect, he claimed the victim was harassing the gas station clerk, and the altercation was in self-defense as he helped usher them out of the store. Police detained the suspect, who has since been released.

Cluster of funky merchants clearing out for 12th/Pike development

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

B&W Antiques has occupied the same space on Capitol Hill for 28 years: the turn-of-the-century building on the corner of 12th and Pike.

As the property’s owner Investco Financial Corporation prepares to demolish the structure to make way for a new mixed-use development, tenants have been given their 90-day notice of displacement.

Soaring Capitol Hill rents and the potential return on investment from creating new apartment projects are forcing several businesses to find new homes or close their doors, including B&W Antiques.

“It’s a sad thing that this is happening to the Hill,” said B&W owner Bob Leeds.

Continue reading

Blotter | Another gunpoint robbery — Plus, victim uses speaker phone to foil purse snatch

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959.

  • 11th/John stick-up: Two people told police they were robbed at gunpoint in an early morning Tuesday, July 9th hold-up near 11th and John. The robbery joins a spate of gun-point robberies in the area in recent weeks.Screen Shot 2013-07-18 at 2.09.26 PM
  • Speakerphone defense: SPD has released more details about a purse snatch attempt we first reported here. A robbery victim used a phone to foil an attempted mugging late Thursday night. Around 2 AM, the victim was walking past a parking lot in the 600 block of E Pine St when a couple began following and made a grab at the victim’s purse, according to police. The victim called 911 and put the phone on speaker, at which point the suspects ran off, police say.
  • Double heroin overdose: Medics responded to a van parked on E Pine near 11th Ave Tuesday night around 9:30 after a caller said a man in his 20s was unconscious from an apparent heroin overdose. Seattle Fire arrived to find two people in the vehicle who had apparently overdosed and rushed both victims to Harborview.
  • Traffic dispute: A traffic dispute at 14th and Marion grew heated Sunday when a man threatened another man with a loaded .45 caliber handgun:

Pointed Gun During Traffic Dispute Lands Man in Jail 

A man is in jail after he got into an argument with another man over a traffic/parking dispute on Capitol Hill early this morning. Continue reading

Capitol Hill to host 2014 Seattle Deaf Film Festival

Arts organization Deaf Spotlight has an open call out for submissions to the 2nd annual Seattle Deaf Film Festival, which will take place next spring on Capitol Hill.

The first Deaf Film Festival was held at the University of Washington’s Kane Hall, but this year the films will be screened at the Northwest Film Forum on April 4-6, 2014.

In order to be considered for inclusion, a film must be made by a member of the deaf community – either deaf, hard of hearing, or the child of a deaf adult.

Organizers are accepting submissions in the genres of Documentary, Drama, Animation, Thriller/Action and Musical/Comedy. Submissions received before July 31 will receive a lower price for entry.

Check the festival’s website for more info.

New program brings Capitol Hill homeowners together to save on solar


City Council member Mike O’Brien will apparently not install every panel in the program (Image: Solarize Seattle)

A 10 to 15% discount on solar installations isn’t exactly a fire sale, but it might just be the push Capitol Hill residents need to make that green energy investment.

Solarize Seattle, a joint project of Seattle City Light and non-profit Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development (Northwest SEED) launched this week.

The program will provide informational workshops and a group discount on solar installations. The program includes local volunteers and local organizations including Sustainable Seattle, Sustainable Capitol Hill, and Sustainable Central District.

Northwest SEED Project Manager Mia Devine said the project started from a desire to make solar energy less intimidating to consumers.

“People who are interested in putting solar in their homes… are intimidated by the tech, they don’t have the time to do all the research,” she said. “They also have a hard time selecting a contractor.”

Solarize Seattle seeks to mitigate these issues by pre-selecting a solar contractor and holding workshops where volunteers and the solar contractor will introduce the public to solar technologies and guide them through the funding and installation process.

Anyone who attends a workshop is eligible for a free site assessment, where  they will be provided with a quote for installation and a breakdown of funding opportunities, including low-interest loans.

Northwest SEED has run two similar programs in the past, and they’re expecting about the same numbers for this initiative – Devine said the program expects somewhere between 30 and 100 new solar installations. Anyone interested in attending a workshop can register here to be notified when a workshop is being held in your area.

Capitol Hill mural project hits a wall over copyright concerns

An Awesome Seattle Foundation project from last year (Image: CHS)

An Awesome Seattle Foundation project from last year (Image: CHS)

A plan to add to Capitol Hill’s mix of large-scale, publicly accessible art is on hold due to concerns about intellectual property.

“Stunning Seattle” mural initiative organizer Justin Hart tells CHS that the project, which includes plans for murals on four Capitol Hill buildings, has been delayed due to an insurance issue with the city. The city is stipulating that insurance be purchased to protect against intellectual property infringement, Hart wrote in an email to CHS.

The group organizing the project still intends to produce smaller murals through this summer, but the larger murals will most likely be waiting until 2014.

You can learn more at stunningseattle.org.