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


SPD: Woman stabbed at Aurora Avenue motel yesterday

October 5th, 2016 by Doree

From the SPD Blotter:

A 22-year-old female is recovering at the hospital after she was stabbed several times by a female acquaintance last night at a North Seattle motel. The suspect fled the scene but investigators know her identity.

On Tuesday, October 4th at about 6:30 pm officers responded to a report of a stabbing at a motel in the 8800 block of Aurora Avenue North. Officers found a 22-year-old woman inside one of the rooms bleeding from stab wounds to her upper arms and thigh. Officers provided first aid until the Seattle Fire Department arrived and transported the victim to the hospital. Prior to being transported, the victim told officers the name of the person who stabbed her.

Officers interviewed a number of witnesses and searched the area, but did not locate the suspect. Witnesses stated that prior to the stabbing, the two women were arguing over something in the parking lot. It was unclear what the argument was about.

Detectives will be handling the follow up investigation.

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Cab driver slashed by female passenger with knife near zoo

October 4th, 2016 by Doree

Seattle Police arrested a woman early this morning after she pulled a knife on a cab driver in a gas station parking lot just south of Woodland Park Zoo.

From the SPD Blotter:

A 35-year-old male cab driver received minor wounds early this morning after a woman pulled a knife on him after refusing to pay her fare. Police quickly arrested the woman following the incident.

Police responded to a gas station at North 46th Street and Fremont Avenue North around 2:30 AM after the cab driver called 911. He told officer he had picked up two intoxicated women in Belltown, and had driven them to North Seattle. One of the women got out at the stop and the other woman remained in the cab. The driver informed her that she would be responsible for the remainder of the cab fare, about $30. She agreed and asked to be driven back to Belltown. The woman attempted to get into the front seat and then refused to pay the fare when the driver pulled into the gas station parking lot. The woman pulled a knife and stabbed at the driver, cutting his finger. The woman then ran from the cab and into the gas station store. Officers arrived and arrested her without incident. The 29-year-old woman was later booked into the King County Jail for investigation of robbery. The driver declined medical treatment for his injured finger.

Robbery detectives will handle the follow up investigation.

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Suspect in jail for allegedly stabbing a man in Woodland Park Thursday night

September 30th, 2016 by Doree

From the SPD Blotter:

A 55-year-old man is recovering today at the hospital after he was stabbed by another man while in Woodland Park Thursday night. The suspect showed up hours later at the King County Jail (KCJ) to turn himself in and was arrested.

On September 29th, at about 9:30 pm, North Precinct officers responded to a disturbance inside Woodland Park. The initial 911 call stated that a man had been stabbed inside the park, but the caller had difficulty relaying the exact location to 911 operators. A number of officers responded to the park and began searching. Officers located the victim with a stab wound to his abdomen and Seattle Fire treated and later transported the victim to Harborview Medical Center.

Friends of the victim were able to describe the suspect to officers and pointed out a car in the parking lot as belonging to the suspect. Officers searched the park along with a K9 team, but did not locate the suspect. Witnesses told officers that the suspect had been assaulting a female inside a tent earlier and that the victim tried to intervene when he was stabbed. After the victim was stabbed, the suspect fled the area and the witness was able to call 911.

Evidence was collected at the scene and the suspect’s car was impounded pending a search warrant.
At approximately 1:40 am police were notified by King County Jail staff that the suspect was at the jail wanting to turn himself in. Officers responded to KCJ and took the 42-year-old suspect into custody and booked him into jail. Detectives will be handling the follow up investigation.

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SPD: 2 men wounded in Aurora Avenue motel shooting

March 9th, 2016 by Doree

From the SPD Blotter:

Detectives are investigating after two men were wounded Wednesday morning in a shooting at an Aurora Motel.

Several witnesses called 911 around 2:30 AM and reported a hearing gunfire near the Georgian Motel in the 8800 block of Aurora Avenue North.

Officers arrived, learned a vehicle had sped away from the scene, and found shell casings outside the motel. They were unable to find any victims.

About 10 minutes later, police received another call from the two victims of the shooting, who directed officers to a parking lot at 4th Avenue and Virginia Street.

There, officers found the victims with a green Buick, which had clearly been struck several times by gunfire.

Police found man sitting in the passenger seat of the Buick suffering from gunshot wounds to his arm and neck. Officers provided the man with medical assistance until Seattle Fire Department medics arrived and transported him to Harborview Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. A second victim in the incident also sustained minor grazing gunshot wounds, and did not require transport to the hospital.

Gang Unit detectives are investigating the shooting.

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Greenwood business owners, residents, ask SPD about recent surge in burglaries

February 5th, 2016 by Doree

About 40 Greenwood business owners and residents filled the back of Couth Buzzard Books Thursday night to hear Seattle Police representatives talk about the recent surge in burglaries. Couth Buzzard owner Theo Dzielak organized the meeting after his store was broken into for the second time in two months.

“Besides the expense, it’s emotional,” he said. “Some of us here tonight are business owners, some of us are residents, so we can share stories and ask questions.”

SPD Crime Prevention Coordinator Terrie Johnston listens as Greenwood residents talk about being burglarized.

SPD Crime Prevention Coordinator Terrie Johnston listens as Greenwood residents talk about being burglarized.

Seattle Police Crime Prevention Coordinator Terrie Johnston acknowledged the spike in Greenwood burglaries this year and especially in December, which had 10 of the year’s 59 non-residential burglaries. Johnston used to be the Crime Prevention Coordinator for the North Precinct, but was transferred downtown. The North Precinct finally has a new CPC, Mary Amberg, who was just hired and is still in training. (She attended the meeting but didn’t speak.)

In trying to describe the numerous burglaries and reasons for them, Johnston said there isn’t any one root cause, but many, including drugs and construction in the area. She said there’s enough variety in the modus operandi of the burglars – time of day, items taken, how brazen — that police don’t believe it’s just one or two people. And very little evidence has been left behind.

“There’s a lot of construction going on. It’s not unusual for crime to go up when there’s a lot of construction in the neighborhood,” she said, explaining that burglars may have easy access to tools left out and can use them to pry open a door, window or skylight; or ladders or scaffolding to climb onto a roof; or even chunks of concrete that can be thrown through a window, which is what happened at Couth Buzzard in November. She also said construction workers may accidentally leave a door unlocked at the end of the day, giving thieves an easy way in. And sometimes the mere presence of a lot of construction workers around a certain building means neighbors don’t pay as much attention to other people they don’t recognize at different hours.

Rachael Coyle, owner of Coyle’s Bakeshop just a few doors south of Couth Buzzard, said someone used a pickaxe to break through her back door in December. Now she’s boarded up the back door to be unusable and doesn’t anticipate ever opening it back up.

Johnston said one of the problems is that many of the mom-and-pop businesses in the neighborhood don’t have good enough locks or lighting or alarm systems. She called many businesses’ locks “vintage” and said one business that was hit even kept money in a shoe box. (Although keeping cash in a safe is not a sure deterrent, as Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe owner Chris Maykut discovered when surveillance video from a neighboring business showed thieves spending two hours struggling to get his 300-pound safe out of the business and into a car.) She also said many neighborhood businesses hit by thieves either didn’t have alarms or cameras or they weren’t working at the time of the burglaries.

Mary Harris, owner of The Fiber Gallery, talks about the recent burglary of her store.

Mary Harris, owner of The Fiber Gallery, talks about the recent burglary of her store.

Any business or resident can call SPD for a safety check of their building or home. “We’d rather work with you on the front end to prevent it than come in on the back end after,” she said.

One man said the alley behind his home near 85th and Greenwood is like an open-air drug market. “I walk in on it. There’s a line of guys selling heroin,” he said. “There’s no shame there.” Johnston said to call 911 report narcotic activity, even if it will be over by the time an officer arrives, because they could prevent future drug deals. “We need evidence and we need good witnesses and 911 calls when it’s happening,” she said. And take a hard look at the alley and see why it’s attractive to criminals – could lighting be installed or cameras or something done to open up the view to passersby.

Johnston said SPD is severely understaffed, although they are in the process of hiring 100 new officers. She said Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole was shocked when she first arrived from Boston because the cities are a similar size but Seattle had 1,000 fewer officers than Boston.

One man said his car has been prowled several times and packages stolen off his porch, but every time he calls the police “I’ve been met with apathy. It doesn’t seem like the city is doing anything, it doesn’t seem like the city is responding to this problem.”

Johnston said, “If you get bad service, there’s so many ways to follow up on a bad call taker, on officers, we have so many ways you can bring that to somebody’s attention and get that called out. We don’t want an apathetic call taker.”

Johnston said residents and businesses need to let SPD know exactly what the neighborhood needs, whether that’s increased patrols at certain hours, bike patrols, foot patrols, etc. She said Capt. Sean O’Donnell of the North Precinct is responsible for that kind of staffing. She also said she’d rather people call 911 than the non-emergency line or using online reports if there is any question that a crime is currently being committed or was recently committed.

As far as what businesses can do to try to prevent break-ins:

  • Heavy-duty locks, preferably double cylinder deadbolts.
  • Better door hardware, especially very long screws.
  • Stronger windows.
  • Better lighting, especially in dark alleys.
  • Have your address prominently displayed on the alley side as well as the front, which makes it easier for police to get to the right building.
  • Have an audible alarm; thieves are more likely to run if a loud alarm goes off.
  • Clear out any debris in alley that could be used to break a window or door, or used as a ladder to the roof, such as pallets.
  • Re-key all doors after an employee leaves your employ, even on good terms.
  • Don’t leave any business keys out where someone can grab them easily, and don’t label them so thieves know exactly which door they go to.
  • Keep a minimum amount of cash on hand; keep the cash register open with no cash in it at night, and be sure to prominently place a sign that says limited cash kept on premises.
  • Don’t have too many signs and other clutter in your windows; keep a clean line of sight for passersby to see in and notice something amiss.
  • Install a chime or bell on your doors to alert you when someone comes in.
  • Keep the number for 911 by the phone, especially if you have to dial 9 to get an outside line. “You’d be surprised how many people forget the number for 911 when there’s an emergency,” Johnston said.
  • Get to know neighboring businesses and their hours of operation so you’ll notice someone who isn’t supposed to be there.

“We still believe in block watch. Watchful neighbors are still your best protection,” Johnston said. “I want Greenwood to be tight and educated and empowered.”

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SPD: Phinney resident injures burglar by hitting him in the head with fists and garden shears

February 4th, 2016 by Doree

From the SPD Blotter:

A 30-year-old burglar was injured Sunday after a Phinney Ridge man caught him breaking into his home and proceeded to beat him about the head with his fists and a pair of garden shears.

The resident called 911 around 3:30 PM after he saw the burglar pull up on his street in the 6200 block of 4th Ave NW in a Toyota, force his way into the victim’s garage, and then make a beeline for his home.

As the victim was on the phone with 911 dispatchers he heard the suspect knocking on his front door, followed by the sound of glass breaking.

The resident stayed on the phone with dispatchers as he went to his front door and walked outside to look for the suspect. When he didn’t find him, he turned back around, walked into his home, and found the suspect in his kitchen, holding a pair of garden shears.

The victim leapt at the suspect, snatched the shears from his hands, and began beating the burglar over the head with the tool and his fists as he chased him out the back door of the home.

As the homeowner rushed after the burglar, the suspect jumped on the victim’s girlfriend’s bike, which he had removed from the garage.

The suspect ignored the victim’s orders to get off the bike, and instead rode away down the street.
Officers caught up to the suspect four blocks away and took him into custody.

The victim told police he believed he had injured his hand during the incident–presumably from striking the suspect in the head–but did not require treatment at the scene.

The suspect complained of head injuries and was treated at the scene by medics before officers booked him into the King County Jail for investigation of burglary.

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SPD seeking suspect in sandwich store and coffee stand robberies

May 7th, 2015 by Doree

Seattle Police are searching for leads on an armed robber who has been targeting coffee stands and sandwich shops in several North Seattle neighborhoods, including the Subway at 10406 Greenwood Ave. N. on April 20.

From the SPD Blotter:

Detectives are looking for leads that could help identify an armed robber, who’s been targeting restaurants and coffee shops in Queen Anne, Wedgwood, Ravenna, Maple Leaf, and Greenwood over the last three months.

The masked suspect has walked into seven different businesses—sometimes just as staff are closing up shop—and demanded money from employees while holding them at gunpoint.

Detectives believe the suspect is a white male, 18-25 years old, between 5’8 and 6’0.

Witnesses have reported seeing the man arrive at or flee from the scene of several robberies in a noticeably dirty dark green minivan. equipped with a rooftop luggage rack.

If you recognize the suspect or have any information about the case, please contact detectives at (206) 684-5535.

Here’s video of the suspect robbing the Greenwood Subway:

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SPD arrest Greenwood-Broadview woman on suspicion of heroin/meth dealing

April 20th, 2015 by Doree

Last week, Seattle Police arrested a Greenwood-Broadview woman on suspicion of dealing heroin and meth after numerous neighbors complained of possible criminal activity.

From the SPD Blotter:

Neighbors’ concerns that a Greenwood apartment had become a hub for crime led Seattle police to arrest a suspected heroin and meth dealer and seize a police-grade ballistic vest Wednesday night.

SPD Narcotics detectives began investigating the 49-year-old woman earlier this year after receiving complaints about people constantly coming and going from her apartment in the 11700 block of Greenwood Ave North. Neighbors told police they believed the woman was involved in drug dealing and trafficking stolen property, and detectives soon learned she has also been the cause of numerous 911 calls and police responses in the Greenwood area.

Detectives were able to buy methamphetamine and heroin from the woman on separate occasions and, on April 15th, obtained a warrant to search her home for other signs of drug dealing.

North Precinct officers served a warrant at the home around 10:30 PM and arrested the 49-year-old woman. Officers found a bulletproof vest and 4.6 grams of heroin inside the residence, along with three digital scales, a crack pipe, and baggies. Officers also found it suspicious that the woman was keeping several disassembled bicycles in the balcony of her small, cluttered apartment, and informed the woman they would be checking the bike’s serial numbers to see if they were stolen.

Officers booked the woman into the King County Jail for delivery of narcotics and possession with intent to deliver.

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SPD: Pot shop burglar caught after neighborhood chase

April 2nd, 2015 by Doree

Seattle Police say they caught a man trying to burglarize a Greenwood marijuana shop just after midnight Wednesday.

From the SPD Blotter:

After failing to break in to a Crown Hill marijuana shop this morning, a 19-year-old burglar ditched his shirt and led police on a lengthy chase through the neighborhood.

A group of neighbors called police around 12:30 AM after they heard a repetitive hammering sound coming from the pot shop at NW 85th Street and 3rd Avenue NW.

The hammering sound turned out to be a masked man, who was trying to pry out the window of the store with a crowbar. When he noticed neighbors watching him, he took off running.

Police arrived and began searching for the man, and Officer Enoch Lee quickly spotted the suspect—now unmasked—standing near a van on 87th and 17th NW. When the suspect saw Officer Lee, he took off running into the neighborhood.

Over the next 90 minutes, the man hopped fences and hid in yards as police—joined by K9s Ziva and Jaeger, and their handlers Officers Mark Wong and Rory Smith—pursued him.

Finally, the suspect—now shirtless—emerged near NW 83rd Street and 12th Avenue NW, where he was arrested by Officer Brandon Craig.

Police booked the 19-year-old man into the King County Jail for investigation of burglary, and seized his van, which had tow hitch, and rope attached, which he may have used to rip down the pot shop’s back gate.

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