Cal Anderson homeless encampment ‘obstruction clean-up’ came during search for killer

While Seattle Police detectives were spending the overnight hours secretly watching for a suspect feared to be preying on people sleeping outside in the area’s streets and parks, city clearance crews were also being dispatched to clear encampments around Capitol Hill.

In one example, according to a SPD brief on the inclusion of their personnel to provide security for the “obstruction clean-up” operation, Seattle Parks and Recreation and SDOT led a clean-up along Nagle Place on the west edge of Cal Anderson last Friday morning out of concerns around the attacks.

“Recent incidents of stabbings and assaults in the area prompted the request for immediate intervention,” the brief reads. Continue reading

First Hill man arrested in ax murder as Seattle Police secretly searched for suspect preying on homeless — UPDATE: CHARGED

The Town Hall murder scene (Image: SPD)

Details from Chief Adrian Diaz of the arrest of a First Hill resident in the brutal ax murder of a homeless man outside 8th Ave’s Town Hall last month reveal Seattle Police were secretly tracking a possible killer preying on Seattle’s unhoused.

Liam Kryger, 25, is being held in King County Jail on $5 million bail after being arrested by SWAT and police Sunday at Spruce and Broadway near his 10th Ave First Hill apartment. Prosecutors say they expect a charging decision in the case Wednesday.

Diaz revealed details of Kryger’s arrest two weeks after the killing in a lightly attended press conference Monday night as he described the SPD detective work that led to police pursuing a suspect carrying an ax early Saturday into Freeway Park. Diaz says the suspect was able to escape but dropped the ax.

Police were able to trace the ax to a February purchase at the Lowe’s store on Rainier Ave. Kryger was identified as the purchaser after a department of corrections officer recognized him from images police obtained of the home improvement store transaction.

According to the police report and initial court documents in the case, 52-year-old Daravuth Van was murdered as he camped near First Hill’s Town Hall, suffering a crushing blow to the head. Continue reading

Police investigating new Seattle hit and run attacks after homeless man run over while sleeping on North Capitol Hill sidewalk — UPDATE

A homeless man who survived being run over while sleeping on the sidewalk along Capitol Hill’s 19th Ave E appears to have been intentionally targeted.

Seattle Police say they are investigating two similar attacks that took place within hours across Seattle early last Saturday morning that sent two people to the hospital after a driver drove onto sidewalks and struck them.

In the Capitol Hill attack, a 39-year-old man suffered lower body injuries and was rushed to Harborview after being run over while sleeping near 19th and Prospect in front of a stretch of businesses including the neighborhood’s Windermere real estate office on the block mixed with single family-style homes and a small business strip.

“The victim was asleep on the sidewalk when he was struck by a vehicle,” SPD’s brief on the February 17th, 3:50 AM incident reads. “The suspect vehicle ran over the victim’s legs and then fled the scene.” Continue reading

Homeless man found stabbed to death in 12th Ave alley identified as longtime neighborhood resident

Investigators have identified the man found murdered in a 12th Ave alley as a 68-year-old man who lived unsheltered in the neighborhood.

Medical examiners say Paul Ewell died of “multiple sharp force injuries of the head” early on Saturday, February 10th. His body was discovered later that morning in the alley near 12th and Terrace by a passerby. Continue reading

Seattle’s chances of significant snow have dried up but city and Regional Homelessness Authority ready for cold

The chances of significant snowfall in Seattle this weekend have all but melted away but the city is still in line for a cold snap. National Weather Service forecasters say a predicted storm is likely to bring heavy snowfall far south of Seattle into Oregon as temperatures here dip into the low 20s.

The City of Seattle and the King County Regional Homelessness Authority say they are prepared for the cold: Continue reading

In county’s hopes to house its homeless, the Salvation Army part of growing effort on the streets of Capitol Hill and the Central District

(Image: Salvation Army Street Level)

A red van filled with shoes, socks, and hygiene bags navigates the streets of Seattle’s core this winter across Capitol Hill and the Central District. The words “Street Level” appear on the side. They are looking for unhoused individuals who they can help find housing.

“We offer the one thing that not many outreach workers offer,” Tina Lewis director of Salvation Army Street Level ministry said. “Nine times out of 10 they’re offering hygiene kits, blankets,and tents, street level goes a bit further. We are offering you the chance to get into permanent housing. Asking people to allow us to help them eliminate those barriers that are stopping them and causing them to be out here.”

The Salvation Army has never had an outreach team before. Street Level is the first of its kind for the charity. Launched in South King County by Lewis in 2019, Salvation Army says the team has helped more than 1,200 people gain housing last year.

While Street Level is unlike any approach from Salvation Army before, it is shaped in the spirit of the organization with its official status as a religious organization.

In June, Street Level received a new $1.2 million contract with the King County Regional Homelessness Authority to expand its efforts to Central Seattle including the Central District and Capitol Hill. That team consists of five individuals; a behavioral health specialist, a resource coordinator, and three outreach workers equipped with one van. Continue reading

Cops and clearance crew move Black Lives Memorial Garden campers from Cal Anderson — UPDATE

(Image: Matt Mitgang/CHS)

Seattle Police and members of the city encampment clearance workers were at Cal Anderson Park’s south end Wednesday morning to move tents and tell campers around the Black LIves Memorial Garden to move along. A notice provided a phone number for campers to call to find out more about shelter options.

Wednesday’s efforts appeared focused on the tents and campers and did not involve the arrival of any heavy equipment like the type that was delivered by Seattle Parks to the area in late October. Continue reading

Seattle Police begin city’s crackdown on public drug use with reported arrests, 13 ‘referred to the case managers’

The Seattle Police Department says it started enforcement of the city’s new public drug use law with “enforcement operations” in two familiar crime hot spots this weekend — Little Saigon and the downtown core around 3rd and Pine.

SPD Chief Adrian Diaz said the operations were underway in the areas ave 12th Ave and South Jackson in the International District, and on 2nd 3rd near Pike and Pine downtown.

“This is not about arresting people,” Diaz said. “We want to make sure that people are taking advantage of services. Right now, we know 13 people were referred to the case managers and that’s really what’s important to us.” Continue reading

Nine questions about the future of Seattle’s parks for the District 3 candidates

A Cal Anderson movie night from above

Development, equity, and public safety — These are major issues in the 2023 race for the District 3 seat on the Seattle City Council. Turns out, you can learn a lot about the D3 candidates by asking about something else altogether — Seattle’s parks. Thanks to the Seattle Parks Foundation, we have answers to nine questions about the city’s public greenspaces from D3 candidates Joy Hollingsworth and Alex Hudson that help illustrate each candidate’s style and stances on key questions about the city’s parks system that also shine light on how each candidate would help lead the city.

For Hollingsworth, her thoughts on Seattle parks start with growing up in the Central District and her father’s long career as a Seattle Parks employee. The candidate says the biggest issue facing the city’s parks right now is public safety while she also addresses how she believes parks fit into her primary stance on social investments — “centering essential city services and expanding root cause investments for safe and thriving communities.” Other answers highlight her commitment to increasing efforts to address climate change and grow the city’s tree canopy in underserved communities as she hopes to champion growth strategies that balance preservation of existing communities. “The gentrification of my own neighborhood and displacement of Black families is a painful lesson for the City and community leaders that thoughtful planning is critical to successful urbanism,” Hollingsworth says.


Hudson’s parks perspectives offer a more forward-looking approach shaped by her time serving on the board of the Freeway Park Association. In her answers, Hudson places parks within her strategies for building a more dense, more affordable Seattle that also places a high value on greenspace and the tree canopy by dedicating more existing streetspace to become parks and mixing more multistory affordable housing into areas near parks. “We must reclaim more of our streetscape and return it to the people as greenspace. We must create more parks and protect the ones we have,” Hudson says. “High density development is necessary because the alternative is sprawl and further destruction of what little greenspace we currently have.”

Hudson also calls for more resources to be dedicated to activating and programming in the city’s most important existing parks including Cal Anderson. “Our parks are some of the places where our toughest social issues play out – homelessness, mental and behavioral health challenges, and by supporting programs like the Rangers, investing in REACH and other outreach workers, and supporting healthy activation we can ensure they are safe and welcoming for everyone,” Hudson says.

The full survey and D3 answers from the Seattle Parks Foundation are below.

1) What is your favorite Seattle park and why?

Hollingsworth: I grew up in the historic Central District neighborhood, where I still live today and rent the home that my grandmother purchased in the 1940’s with my wife, Iesha. While the neighborhood has changed immensely over the past four decades, one thing that hasn’t changed is the community building and fellowship that takes place in our parks and public spaces. My favorite Seattle Park is Garfield Playfield and Community Center. I spent every summer as a child growing up in programming at Garfield. To this day, I still stay connected with Ms. Shari Watts, the former Director of Garfield Community Center. It was Garfield where I have rich memories of my childhood, where I felt at home and in community. Garfield Playfield and Community Center was also one of the Seattle Parks that my dad, who was a career-long Seattle Parks employee, fought to ensure had the same investments and resources as parks in wealthier parts of Seattle. On City Council, I want every youth to have the opportunity that I did to access programming, enjoy safe parks and public spaces, and experience community.

Hudson: Wow, I’m not even sure I know how to pick! I’ve served on the board of the Freeway Park Association for a decade, and I love that park’s iconic architecture and innovation, especially how its lidding of a section of I-5 created this beautiful space. I helped to lead a community re-design of First Hill Park and feel an incredible appreciation for our little jewel box park that serves so many people. And I feel so lucky to live in District 3, with our abundance of Olmstead legacy park riches at Cal Anderson, Volunteer, and Interlaken parks. Continue reading

‘A threat of harm assessment’ — Seattle mayor issues executive order hoped to guide police in enforcing city’s new public drug use law

A SPD officer responds to a reported overdose near the city’s central library (Image: SPD)

With the new law opening the way for a crackdown on public drug use in the city going into effect October 1st, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell has issued his promised executive order his administration says will help ensure a more equal balance of treatment and diversion efforts as Seattle Police enforce the law by establishing “a threat of harm assessment.”

“We are committed to learning lessons from the past, holding traffickers, dealers, and those causing the most harm accountable, and helping people access treatment and care through diversion services,” Harrell said in the announcement.

CHS reported here on the passage of the new law opening the way for more arrests and prosecution of public use of drugs like meth and fentanyl while also earmarking millions in spending for diversion and treatment programs. While the crackdown could help address concerns about street disorder and overdoses, it also is expected to tax the city’s law enforcement and treatment resources while adding to the challenges already faced by those living with addiction and living homeless in the city.

The new order hinges on a so-called “threat of harm assessment.” Harrell says the executive order “provides direction to officers on how to enforce the ordinance, including examples of how public use and possession can be established and factors that will guide the threat of harm assessment.” Continue reading