RBCA Spring Community Meeting on May 5 (LIVE COVERAGE)

IMG_6178.JPGTonight, Tuesday, May 5, the Ravenna Bryant Community Association will hold their spring community meeting. The meeting is being held at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center (6535 Ravenna Avenue NE) from 7-9 PM.

These expanded-from-their-usual-board-meeting events tend to feature more widely-relevant speakers and a round of board member elections, and that’s just what’s on the agenda for tonight (from the RBCA website):

Guest Speakers:

Seattle Police Assistant Chief Steve Wilske
Commander of Patrol Operations

Capt. Dick Reed & Lt. George Bray
Seattle Police Department’s 9-1-1 Call Center

Followed by:
Election of 2015-16 RBCA Board Members
Community Announcements

 

We’ll be there, providing live coverage below.

UPDATE (7:11 PM): Agenda and nominees for the 2015-2016 board:

  

Here they come to snuff the Rooster (crane)

Aww yeah*.

One of the two large cranes gracing the downtown Roosevelt skyline is moving on.

Rooster_crane

The Roosevelt Neighborhood Association has received word from the developer of the Rooster Apartments (902 NE 65th Street) that their contractor’s large construction crane is coming down on Saturday, February 28th. “NE 65th street will be shut down in front of the Rooster from 6am to 6pm. Traffic control will be on site detouring traffic around the site.”

Occupancy of the approximately 195-unit apartment building is still scheduled for the first week of August, says the developer (Lake Union Partners), with one of the first floor tenants, a fourth Portage Bay Cafe, opening this summer as well.

____________________

*Headline and first sentence by Alice in Chains, of course. Probably the last time we’ll use it. Probably.

Bank robbery suspect IN CUSTODY after Monday attempt

First there were reports of two SPD patrol cars heading east on NE 75th Street at 20th Avenue NE, then a sighting of four patrol cars “lined up” in the area of Top Pot Doughnuts (near NE 70 Street and 35th Avenue NE).

The next bit of information I’m usually looking for after a Wedgwood bank robbery is a notice from Seattle Public Schools that a shelter-in-place is occurring while officers search for the suspect.

Instead, the Seattle Police Department twitter feed shared this bit of happy news:

More info when we get it.

UPDATE (12:48 PM): News chopper spotted hovering in the area.

Another bank branch robbed, local schools shelter in place (UPDATES)

Just before noon on Thursday, October 30, a resident on NE 75th Street spotted three SPD vehicles high-tailing it east towards Wedgwood.

They were heading toward a bank robbery on the 7300 block of 35th Avenue NE.

Police are looking for a white male in his 50s, 5-feet, 4-inches tall, 135 pounds, wearing a black coat with a grey hoodie, jeans, and a cap (reads “Grizzly” in white stitching). The suspect is possibly armed.

Picture taken of the suspect inside the bank, via Seattle Police.

Picture taken of the suspect inside the bank, via Seattle Police.

If you see anyone matching this description, call 911 immediately.

UPDATE (12:13 PM): Schools in the vicinity of the bank robbery are sheltering in place (no one outside the buildings, outside doors locked, inside business as usual). These schools are: Eckstein Middle, Thornton Creek Elementary, View Ridge Elementary, Bryant Elementary, and Wedgwood Elementary (reported by Principal Doug Ouellette on twitter).

UPDATE (12:25 PM): Lockdowns at the previously mentioned schools was lifted at 12:15 PM.

UPDATE (12:32 PM): The previous bank robbery on 35th Avenue NE happened almost exactly two weeks ago, one block up the street from today’s. The descriptions of both suspects appear to be the same, but we have no confirmation from Seattle Police that this was the same individual in both cases.

UPDATE (2:36 PM): Seattle Schools has corrected their earlier list of schools that had sheltered in place this afternoon: View Ridge Elementary was not affected and did not shelter-in-place.

Bank robbery near NE 75th Street and 35th Avenue NE (UPDATES)

Just before noon on Thursday, neighbors reported seeing multiple Seattle Police Department patrol cars in the vicinity of NE 75 Street and 35th Avenue NE.

We have since learned that Seattle Police were responding to a bank robbery in the area.

Via the SPD Twitter feed:

Police searching for bank robber near
7500 blk 35th Ave NE. Susp is white male, 50s, 5’3, denim jacket/jeans, black hat, may be armed.

Seattle Public Schools had local schools in shelter-in-place mode around the same time as police arrived on the scene. The list of schools includes Eckstein, Bryant, Thornton Creek, View Ridge, and Wedgwood.

UPDATE (12:35 PM): Unconfirmed as of yet by SPD, but attention seems to be on the coin store Chase Bank on 35th Avenue NE just north of NE 75th Street.

Here is an image from KIRO’s Chopper 7 which could be heard hovering over our area earlier:

Also, the shelter-in-place was lifted at local schools moments ago.

UPDATE (2:18 PM): The Seattle Police Department Blotter has a post up now about the robbery. Unfortunately, it does not contain the words “in custody.”

If you have any information on today’s bank robbery (in the 7500 block of 35th Avenue NE), please call the police at 625-5011.

UPDATE (2:31 PM): University Prep (8000 25th Ave NE) was in “modified lockdown” from 12:15-12:35 PM.

Power outage in south Ravenna as tree downs power lines (PHOTOS; UPDATES)

52nd_Ravenna_fire1

Some wild weather this Saturday morning took a toll on the local electricity infrastructure.


View Downed tree causes brush fire, power outage in a larger map

Just before 10 AM, just after some heavy rains had fallen over the area, a tree on a hillside near NE 50th Street and Ravenna Avenue NE became unstable. The tree, or part of it, fell against some power lines and ignited a fire that was first reported as a house fire, but was downgraded later to a brush fire. Downed lines could be seen in the trees on the hillside as well as in the road below it.

52nd_Ravenna_fire4

The affected hillside is just to the south of the Raven View Apartments (5001 25th Avenue NE). This section of Ravenna Avenue NE is a dead end, and residents south of the downed lines were unable to use the road until the scene was deemed safe by Seattle City Light crews.

52nd_Ravenna_fire5

As a Seattle City Light crew worked to move the lines from the road, the downed lines on the hillside ignited another small brush fire.

52nd_Ravenna_fire3

52nd_Ravenna_outage

The ensuing outage affected about 2,000 customers. The estimated time of restoration is 2:41 PM, but some residents of the area have reported lights coming back on already.

UPDATE (1:21 PM): Seattle City Light reporting that power is coming back for another round of residents:

UPDATE (2:08 PM): Seattle City Light has updated the estimated power restoration time to 5:45 PM, over three hours later than the original estimate.

52nd_Ravenna_fire_6

Here is a picture of what Seattle City Light crews are up against as they make repairs at the incident site (picture taken from Ravenna Avenue NE looking southwest toward where the tree or tree limb downed some of the lines). The conditions at the scene are anything but ideal for SCL crews: Lots of tall, wild greenery and trees on a hillside, with the lines on the uphill slope.

UPDATE (5:22 PM): Seattle City Light says, “[c]rews have restored about 1,000 customers from the NE Seattle outage. About 850 homes and businesses remain out. Crews still working.”

UPDATE (5:43 PM): All but 57 Seattle City Light customers have power restored. Estimated restoration time for the remaining residents and businesses is 10 PM as remaining fixes require the replacement of the downed lines.

Roosevelt house fire being investigated as arson (PHOTOS)

Roosevelt_arson4

An early morning house fire in the Roosevelt neighborhood is being investigated as an arson.

From the Seattle Fire Department’s Fire Line:

[SFD crews were] dispatched at 2:09 am to a house near 8 Avenue NE and NE 72 Street for a report of a porch fire that extended to the roof. Firefighters quickly extinguished the visible flames but worked for about an hour aggressively digging out the hidden fire located in the attic void spaces. The home owner discovered the fire and was out of the building by the time firefighters arrived.

After the home was extinguished, fire investigators determined that the fire was intentionally set on the front porch, and the case was turned over to the Seattle Police Department’s Arson/Bomb Unit.

Roosevelt_arson2

Investigators also estimated $100,000 in damage to the house and its contents, with an additional $5,000 damage to the home next door where the siding had begun to melt.

Roosevelt_arson1

If you have any information which could aid detectives in their investigation, please call the SPD Arson/Bomb Unit at (206) 684-8980.

Todd Byers, in yellow, talks with neighbors as they  survey the damage to his home on the morning after the fire.

Todd Byers, in yellow, talks with neighbors as they survey the damage to his home on the morning after the fire.

Vehicle theft leads to hit and run, and ends with foot chase (UPDATES)

At approximately 12:40 PM on Tuesday, June 24, Seattle Police and Fire staff responded to a motor vehicle accident (MVA) call at 12th Avenue NE and NE 65th Street, next to the Roosevelt Light Rail Station construction site.

20140624-132801-48481476.jpg

What was unusual for this particular MVA was the large number of police vehicles near the collision site (at least nine, by our quick count). Turns out that this incident was a hit-and-run by a stolen vehicle, Seattle Police told us via twitter. A witness to the incident said that after the collision, the suspect fled south.

South of the collision area, on the east side of 12th Avenue NE (pictured above) medics were treating an adult male while officers looked on.

We’ll post more details below when we get them.

UPDATE (1:49 PM): We have confirmation by the SPD that the “suspect was detained by Seattle residents while officers arrived.”

UPDATE (Wednesday morning): Q13FOX had a story on the incident during their 11 PM newscast. You can read the summary and/or watch the video here.

UPDATE (Thursday morning): On the afternoon of the incident, we reached out on twitter on the off chance of contacting someone involved in the subduing of the suspect after he fled the stolen vehicle. A man named Shawn (last name withheld by request) replied, not only with his narrative of the events but a very thoughtful setting of his role that afternoon.

We have yet to see an official narrative of the incident from the Seattle Police Department, but the description of the event that Shawn has shared with us matches what other witnesses at the scene observed.

Here is the account, in Shawn’s words, from two separate emails received on Wednesday:

If you’d just like my recollection of events, I was overlooking the intersection there, on the NE corner of 2nd level of the Whole Foods shopping plaza.  I was on break from work at the time, when I heard a loud screech followed by a massive crunch of metal.

I hurried down the stairs located on the NE corner there and looked over to my left to see a car pretty much flipped into incoming traffic.  I began running toward the car to check on the victims when I realized that people were yelling STOP HIM at someone.

I looked over across the street and saw a young guy in a red T shirt and baggy jeans running down the opposite sidewalk.  I shouted, Hey you, stop, and he didn’t acknowledge me or the other people shouting similar things.

It was at that point I shouted at him again, Hey, you, stop right now, and started chasing after him.  I ran across the street and onto the opposite curb; he wasnt a great runner and I caught up to him near the SE corner of the Whole Foods on the opposite side of the street.  He actually tripped himself up mostly, and kind of ditched it into the bushes there along with his bag… I slid him off the bush and onto the ground and tried to get control of his arms.

At that point the level of rational thought I had put into this move was literally zero, and it was about then that he started getting really squirrelly with his left arm, trying to pull it away and use it as leverage or reach for something.  He actually did pull it completely out of my grasp at one point and it was all I could do to keep it pinned underneath him, afraid what he might try to pull out.

Fortunately that was the moment that the driver and another Good Samaritan ran up and helped get better control over him; I kept shouting at onlookers to call the cops not sure if any of them actually had or not.  I was very concerned about the well-being of the driver, who probably should not have been running after this guy after such a serious crash; he was being treated after I finished giving the cops a statement and I was glad to hear he ended up being pretty much ok.

It only took about 5 minutes or so for the cops to show up, by which time we were all wrapped up pretty good with the guy, who was resisting and shouting the whole time.  The cops knew who to go for right away (a small relief) and they pulled us apart and took him into custody.

That was about the point I realized I was probably going to be late back into work, and asked the cop after giving my contact info if he could write me a note for my supervisor.  He gave me his card, and said just give them this, if they have any problems at all, call me.

That was pretty much it.  Tbh I didn’t think about it at all, if I had, I probably would have done nothing.  But I was worried he might try to carjack someone or worse and it just kind of happened. :3

I didn’t even realize it was a stolen car at the time, I just saw him running from an accident that he caused and no one moving in the victims car.

[…]and I just don’t really want any undue attention for such a minor incident.

Ultimately, the only thing I’ve really taken away from this and other similar events is that sometimes we are at the right time and the right place, in life, to affect change or do the right thing.  And in those rare moments, it’s better to go with your gut reaction and act rather than forever wonder ‘what if’.  Being trapped in a box alone with that question can be a deadly curse.

I would just add that we each have far more power than we think, and I truly believe we are all responsible for making the world we live in into the world we’d imagine for ourselves and our loved ones.

On Tuesday afternoon, one man was booked into King County Jail for vehicle theft. We are watching for more documentation on the case (in King County District Court) and will continue to add updates here.

Eckstein student hucks a Luger, sends his school into lockdown

Around 9:30 AM this morning, Eckstein Middle School was briefly in “shelter-in-place” mode as a report of a student with a weapon was investigated by Seattle police officers. From the Seattle Police Department Blotter:

A 13-year old boy has been arrested after he stole a gun from his grandmother’s house sending a nearby school into “lockdown”.  Around 9:30 am on Wednesday May 7th a woman called to report that her 13-year old grandson had stolen a loaded antique German Luger and left the house.

Numerous officers responded to the area and quickly began searching for the teen in addition to putting Eckstein Middle School in “lockdown” out of an abundance of caution. Officers located the teen in a few minutes later and he was arrested. All school activity returned to normal. A witness helped officers locate the gun having seen the teen hide it in some bushes nearby.

The teen was booked into the King County Youth Service Center for Investigation of Theft.

An email by Eckstein Middle School Principal Sherri Kokx was sent to students’ parents and guardians around 2 PM explaining the events of the morning.

Car strikes local convenience store; driver injured

Just after 1:30 PM on Wednesday, April 16, Seattle Fire and Police units responded to a car-into-building call at the Wedgwood Mart (6236 35th Ave NE).

car_into_Wedgwood_Mart1

A man in a silver Lexus had a seizure (per Seattle Fire PIO Sue Stangl), and ended up driving up over the sidewalk along 35th Ave NE and into the convenience store’s parking lot, coming to rest on the front sidewalk of the store and against a brick pillar.

car_into_Wedgwood_Mart2

A witness who called 911 on the convenience store’s phone told us that the car struck a small tree in the parking strip before it struck the building. She also said that the shopkeeper was standing just to the left of the car’s final position and was nearly hit as well.

car_into_Wedgwood_Mart3

The witness also said that first responders broke a window of the vehicle to gain access to the driver. The adult male driver was later removed from the vehicle, conscious and alert from our vantage point, and was taken to a nearby hospital in an AMR ambulance.

car_into_Wedgwood_Mart4

Above, an officer stands nearby the vehicle as it is prepared to be towed out of the parking lot. Traffic nearby was impacted only briefly as the tow truck entered and exited the lot.

car_into_Wedgwood_Mart6

After the damaged car was removed, it appeared as though very little damage was done to the convenience store.