Why isn’t Capitol Hill more afraid of crime?

The 33,000 or so residents and countless more visitors on Capitol Hill have experienced a reported violent crime like homicides, rape, robbery, and assault every day on average in 2018.

In Ballard, the rate of violent crime has been about half of busy Capitol Hill’s pace.

But residents of Capitol Hill and its East Precinct neighbors — First Hill, Montlake, the Central District, Madison Park, and the nearby — express less fear than their northern neighbors who this year topped the charts with their anxiety about Seattle crime. Continue reading

Man arrested in Capitol Hill gunfire incident was wanted on rape charge

(Image: Police Video Requests via YouTube)

(Image: Police Video Requests via YouTube)

The 23-year-old man whose arrest in a gunfire incident was captured on video early Saturday on Capitol Hill also had a warrant out for his arrest for allegedly raping his ex-girlfriend in SeaTac.

According to King County Court documents, Charles Southammavong was charged in July with second degree rape stemming from a May domestic violence incident in his SeaTac home. The victim, Southammavong’s ex-girlfriend, had a protection order against him at the time. Prior to the alleged rape, Southammavong had twice been convicted of domestic violence against the woman, according to court records.

Following his arrest on Saturday, a King County Judge found probable cause to hold Southammavong for unlawful possession of a firearm. He is being held in the King County Jail on $200,000 bail. Continue reading

SPD: Capitol Hill cell phone robber caught red handed

A 22-year-old man was arrested in Pike/Pine early Monday for stealing a cell phone from a pedestrian after officers watched him do it, according to Seattle Police. Officers also found a backpack allegedly connected to the suspect with more cell phones inside.

Two bike patrol officers were stopped by a man at the 900 block of E Pike around 2 AM Monday who said another man had tried to take his cell phone. As the victim was finishing his interview with police, he identified the suspect across the street.

According to SPD, officers watched the suspect approach a group of people who then quickly scattered. Those in the group told officers the man had just stolen a cell phone from one of them. Officers followed the suspect to the 11th Ave parking lot of the Central Lutheran Church where he was arrested for robbery.

Meanwhile, another phone grab Sunday night went better for the thief. Police were called to a Broadway burger joint late Sunday to a report that a phone thief had entered the restaurant and took off running with a patron’s phone. There were no arrests.

Burglary suspect arrested after break-ins at three E Pike businesses

Seattle Police are investigating three possibly connected burglaries that occurred along a short stretch of E Pike early Sunday morning.

Police arrested a 57-year-old man inside E Pike and Belmont’s Kaladi Brothers Coffee where he allegedly punched out the shop’s lock and attempted to steal cash from the business. Burglary detectives will also be investigating the suspect’s connection to two other nearby burglaries earlier that morning, according to SPD. The suspect had a lock to another business in his possession at the time of his arrest in addition to an undisclosed amount of cash, according to police reports. Continue reading

Anti-LGBTQ violence prompts self-defense classes in Volunteer Park

9U0A5911Around 20 people gathered in Volunteer Park on Sunday for the first in a series of self-defense classes being offered in the park this summer. The outdoor seminar is free and open to all, but specifically geared towards the LGBTQ community and people of color. With the recent assault of a trans person on Capitol Hill during Pride weighing heavily on the minds of attendees, organizers said the need to prepare for such attacks is an unfortunate reality.

“It really breaks my heart to see violence in this community and I’m just so tired of it,” said instructor Brendan Ng, who organized the class along with two other martial arts practitioners. The fist class was primarily attended by women.

One attendee, who gave her name as Sterling, said that while she has never felt “super, super unsafe” on Capitol Hill, she has been in some dangerous situations and heard about gruesome attacks, such as the anti-trans beating in June, that prompted her to attend the seminar. “I realized, ‘Oh, that could be me,’ and I thought I should learn how to defend myself,” she said. Continue reading

Police arrest suspect in attack on 72-year-old Capitol Hill woman

Seattle Police have arrested a 46-year-old man suspected of assaulting and attempting to rape a 72-year-old woman on May 7th near 17th Ave and E Denny Way.

Officers arrested the suspect on Friday without incident, just one block from the victim’s Capitol Hill home where the alleged attack took place. The man was booked into King County Jail for burglary, assault, attempted robbery and attempted rape. Police said the suspect was identified using evidence collected at the scene.

According to SPD, the attacked occurred around 11:45 AM on May 7th. The victim had just entered her residence when she saw the suspect standing at her door. She told police the man knocked her to the ground, attempted to sexually assault her, and struck her several times. The victim said the man left after she elbowed him in the face.

The woman was transported to Harborview Medical Center with serious injuries to her neck. Police searched the area but were unable to find the suspect in the hours after the alleged attack. Forensics specialists and sexual assault unit detectives also responded to the scene.

“Crimes like this have a serious impact on our community,” SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole said in a statement. “The Seattle Police Department is committed to keeping people safe, and hope this arrest will bring some comfort to the victim, her family, and the community.”

John Charlton charged with murder, suspected of dumping victim’s body parts in a CD recycling bin


The recycling bin where Lyne’s head and other remains were found. (Image: CHS)

King County prosecutors charged John Charlton with first degree murder Wednesday for allegedly killing a Renton mother of three, whose body parts were found in a Central District recycling bin on Saturday. The 37-year-old Snohomish man is suspected of dismembering Ingird Lyne, 40, in her home then dumping her body parts at 21st and Pine. Friends of Lyne, who worked as a nurse at Swedish Medical Center, said she had been dating Charlton for a short period of time after the two met online.

“The tragic murder of Ingrid Lyne has left a family and community in a spiral of grief and anguish,” said King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg in a statement. “We may never understand why she was killed … but the police and prosecutors working on this case have done a tremendous job of piecing together a solid case against the person we believe to be responsible for her death.”Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 4.32.26 PM

Lyne was reported missing on Saturday. She and Charlton planned to go on a date the night before, which included seeing the Mariners home opener. After Lyne’s dismembered body was discovered on Saturday at 21st and Pine, detectives searched her Renton home and found bits of flesh and a 15-inch pruning saw in her bathroom.

Charlton also faces a charge for stealing Lyne’s car, which he allegedly used to transport her remains to the Central District. The vehicle was eventually recovered in Belltown.

The body parts found by a Central District homeowner were officially identified as belonging to Lyne on Wednesday, though SPD officials said Monday they were certain of the victim’s identity. Officials said the Central District property was only a dumping location in the case and that Charlton had no other known connections to the area.  Continue reading

Blotter | More cigarette smash and grabs, Spiderman wallet swipe

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

  • Cigarette bandit: Yet another cigarette heist on Capitol Hill resulted in damage to an E Pike convenience store as a thief allegedly made off with $700 worth of cigarettes. Seattle Police responded to an alarm at Belmont and Pike at 3:50 AM on April 6th. When they arrived at the scene they found the store’s front window had been smashed, according to the police report. When the owner arrived he told police that 10 cartons of cigarettes had been stolen and that his window would cost around $350 to replace. He said this was not the first time such a robbery had occurred in his shop.
  • Broadway fight: It sure is a  tough time to sell cigarettes on Capitol Hill. Seattle Police arrested one man for attempted robbery March 29th after he allegedly got into a fight with a Broadway and Harrison shop owner while trying to steal packs of American Spirits from behind the shop’s counter. After a customer helped the merchant detain the suspect, the man began screaming that he was going to kill the two. A fight broke out and an onlooker called 911.Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 3.58.51 PMPolice arrived and arrested the suspect soon after. The suspect had a cut above his eye, but the other two men were not injured.

Continue reading

Murder arrest in Central District body parts investigation, victim tentatively ID’d as missing mother


Police investigators at the scene of Saturday’s grisly find (Image: CHS)

Chief Kathleen O'Toole announced the murder arrest Monday evening. (Image: CHS)

Chief Kathleen O’Toole announced the murder arrest Monday evening. (Image: CHS)

Seattle Police have arrested a 37-year-old man for homicide in connection with body parts that were found in a Central District sicycling bin Saturday afternoon. John Robert Charlton of Snohomish County was arrested Monday morning and booked into the King County Jail.

Although SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole declined to identify the victim, she said evidence was clear that the remains belonged to a woman who was reported missing in Renton that evening. Ingrid Lyne, a Swedish Medical Center nurse and mother of three, was reported missing after going on a date that included attending a Mariners game on Friday, according to friends who have posted about the 40-year-old woman’s disappearance on social media.

“We have no reason to believe that there is any question as to the vicim’s identity,” O’Toole said. “We’re very confident the victim is the one that has been identified in the media.”

UPDATE (4/13): King County Medical Examiners positively identified Lyne as the victim in the case on Wednesday.

UPDATE (4/12): Charlton made his first court appearance Tuesday afternoon, where King County prosecutors said they believe he murdered Lyne in her Renton home and transferred her body in her car to Seattle. Bits of human flesh were found in Lyne’s bathtub along with a pruning saw, according to probable cause documents filed in court by SPD Tuesday.

The judge found probable cause to keep Charlton in jail and set bail at $2 million. Charlton stood still and remained silent during the brief hearing.

According to the probable cause documents, the Central District homeowner discovered the body parts after emptying his bin which he thought was unusually heavy. After he called 911, investigators found a human head, an arm, part of a leg, and a foot. Since the face was intact, investigators were able to match it with Lyne’s photograph. The garbage bags used to wrap the remains matched an emptied box of bags at Lyne’s home, according to detectives.

A neighbor later told investigators that Lyne had been dating a man named John and that she was going to the Mariners game with him on Friday. Police found a ticket to the game on her computer.

The documents also shed light on what transpired in the day after Lyne’s disappearance. On Saturday, Lyne’s ex-husband arrived at Lyne’s house with their three daughters — ages 12, 10, and 7 — and found Lyne’s wallet and keys, but not Lyne. He called Lyne’s mother, who came to the house where she found Charlton’s number on Lyne’s phone and began texting him to ask about her daughter’s whereabouts. Charlton acknowledged the two were dating, but stopped responding after this text:

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 4.38.34 PM

After his arrest, Charlton told police he and Lyne returned to her house but that he was too drunk to remember what happened afterwards. He said Lyne likely drove him back to Seattle, where he slept on a sidewalk. Detectives observed abrasions to his face and scratches to his hand and chest.

Charlton’s criminal history stretching back to 1998 includes violent crimes committed in multiple states.

Ingrid Lyne (Image via Facebook)

Ingrid Lyne (Image via Facebook)

King County Medical Examiners will make the final determination on the victim’s identity.

Investigators used forensic evidence, including a photograph, call records, and cell tower information to connect to the missing woman in Renton to the body parts found in the Central District, according to SPD. Police converged on Lyne’s Renton home early Sunday, the Seattle Times reported.

SPD did not provide any details on where the alleged homicide may have taken place. Assistant Chief Robert Merner said the recycling bin appeared to be a “dumping location” for the remains and that there were no other known connections to the Central District.  Continue reading

Blotter | Man tries to boost police cruiser a block from East Precinct station

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

  • Brazen cruiser boost: It was so bizarre, the Seattle Police dispatcher had to ask the officer to repeat it. Early Thursday morning a man locked himself inside a SPD patrol car at 11th and Pine and started driving it away, according to SPD radio traffic. The brazen joy ride, which happened just down the street from the East Precinct station, only lasted a few seconds before the officer caught up with the suspect and took him into custody. SPD tells CHS an investigation is ongoing.
  • Front door robbery: Seattle Police responded Loretta Pl and Summit Ave E early Thursday morning after a resident there reported being robbed at gunpoint at his front door. No shots were fired and no injuries were reported, according to SPD radio traffic. After the robbery, the victim told police he received several anonymous calls telling him the suspect was at a Motel 6 in SeaTac.
  • Boylston street robbery: A man called 911 early Wednesday morning after he was robbed at knife point near Boylston and E Union, according to SPD reports. The victim told police through a translator that the suspect fled the scene before officers arrived.