A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods


Manhunt at Woodland Park Zoo Friday night

November 12th, 2010 · Comments

Update 11 p.m.: According to the scanner, the K-9 unit thinks the suspects ran across Aurora, so they are calling off the K-9 search.

Update 10:55 p.m.: We just spoke with Officer Mark Jamieson, who says this all started with a suspected car prowl near 59th and Evanston. Then it appeared the suspects climbed the fence to get into the zoo.

Officer Jamieson says police are working with staff inside the zoo to search with a K-9. He says other zoo staff on night duty have most likely been told to stay inside their buildings or offices.

“Certainly if we’re doing a canine search, it’s probably best to stay put. We’re working with someone from the zoo; they’re walking with us and giving us access,” he said. “We’re not going into any animal cages.”

By the way, Fremont Universe just reported Friday on several car prowls that have happened recently in the Woodland Park area.

Earlier: If you’ve heard the sirens in south Phinney around 10 p.m. Friday night, tipster Silver tells us it’s because Seattle Police are looking for two men and a woman who may have gotten into the Woodland Park Zoo. It’s unclear why police were originally looking for the three, but SPD was beginning a K-9 search at 59th and Evanston, when zoo security reported seeing flashlights near the gorilla cages. King County’s Guardian One helicopter briefly helped in the search.

Silver is posting continual updates from the police scanner in the My Ballard forum.

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  1. Whopper says:

    Probably some of the free the elephant lunatics!

  2. Silver says:

    Whopper – I don’t know about you, but I don’t want lunatic elephants roaming the streets!

  3. JM says:

    This has been going on for years. The thieves, burglars, vandals and prowlers know how to utilize the Zoo perimeter and Woodland Park to escape.

  4. Whopper says:

    Well, with some luck and good fortune, maybe one will get eaten by a lion someday stumbling around in the dark in there.

  5. Cat-Country says:

    I posted this in MyBallard but I figured it would be useful information here:

    Yep, the Zoo perimeter is well known as the “Forbidden Zone”, like in Planet of the Apes. The police wont go there unless they’re in a pack of 5-10. Mainly this is because there have been incidents in the past where an underpowered team or even a lone officer has been jumped while in the Zoo after hours. The reason is that the Zoo (particularly in the late hours) is a haven for illegal immigrants and other folks trying to keep a low profile. During the day time, they used to do sweeps and found many make-shift shelters and kitchens in the outskirts of the Zoo. In the evening, these setups can be inhabited by as much as 20-30 people at a time. In the past, officers entering the park have been confronted by these major groups and have been pelted by bottles, rocks, etc. The unofficial rule with regards to law enforcement is basically don’t go into the Zoo after hours unless you’ve got a pack of 5-10 officers with you, weapons drawn.

  6. Whopper says:


    Sounds like animals have taken over our zoo.

  7. Fnarf says:

    Oh, for Chrissakes — “pack of 5-10 officers with weapons drawn” — what TV programs have you been watching? What a load of hooey. I walk around the zoo all the time and while I have once or twice seen someone in the bushes I sure as hell never saw “20-30 illegal immigrants”.

    Weapons drawn, my big fat ass. You are stone cold crazy.

    Better stay indoors, grandma. Might be a boogieman, with no Rockford or Matlock to protect you.