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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 17 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 42
Despite recent shooting on Capitol Hill, progress being made
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Despite recent shooting on Capitol Hill, progress being made

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Despite the recent shooting on Capitol Hill, SPD reports success in crime reduction in the neighborhood and worked with officers as far away as Los Angeles, California to arrest a group of teens that committed crimes here and then fled, in a stolen car, to California. In other words, Arrests have gone up and for the first time in a long time, crime has begun to go down.

But Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole says that the department isn't about to declare victory yet. 'One assault or mugging is one too many,' she said.

Teens believe to have pistol-whipped a man on Capitol Hill arrested in LA Last week, SPD reported they made multiple street-crime arrests. Chief O'Toole said they believe the arrest of a group of youths by police in Los Angeles made a big impact, but said due to an ongoing investigation she could not elaborate on why that is.

On September 30, Los Angeles police arrested the three teens in a stolen Ford Fusion. SPD believes the teens pistol-whipped a man on Capitol Hill. In addition, investigators have linked them with other robberies in the neighborhood.

Chief O'Toole 'proud of the work our detectives are doing' According to SPD, there were 84 aggravated assaults and 89 robberies on Capitol Hill between January and August this year. During the same period in 2013, there were 77 aggravated assaults and 81 robberies. And in the January-August period in 2012, there were 48 aggravated assaults and 59 robberies. There is no doubt, even according to their own data, that assaults have increased.

In response to the increase in crime, which varies in severity depending on who you talk to, O'Toole asked East Precinct Commander Captain Pierre Davis to order officers to conduct emphasis patrols focused mostly in the nightlife areas on and around East Pike Street and East Pine Street and Broadway.

'I'm really proud of the work our detectives have been doing,' O'Toole said. 'We've deployed a lot of resources out here.'

And the department says they have numbers to back up claims that the patrols have worked. Since September 5, when the patrols began, Captain Davis says street robberies have dropped 42 percent and assaults during the same period decreased 35 percent.

Chief O'Toole said the decrease is the result of extra resources the city and the Police Department have allocated to Capitol Hill. But, she said, some of the decrease is because the weather has turned chillier.

Captain Davis says police will continue their emphasis patrols.

'We're not out of the woods yet,' he cautioned.

Davis said the department has continued to make street-crime arrests.

One of the fears that many Capitol Hill business owners, residents, and community activists have is that traditionally when the weather cools, the police - as well as the criminals - seems to disappear. After a summer with crime as bad as this one, residents have now asked that this trend stop and that the department look at ways to keep the patrols on the Hill year-round to act as a deterrent to would-be criminals. And with the commerce that Capitol Hill's entertainment district now brings to the table that request shouldn't be hard to meet.

Gunfire erupts on the Hill; arrest made and gun recovered The LGBTQ community is traditionally a nonviolent community. In fact, we demand it of each other for the most part. Just look at our many Pride celebrations around the world. The only violence ever really done is either aimed at us or done by someone outside of our community during Pride weekend. We preach and practice peace. The straight community does not. The majority is sadly mired in violence. Guns, robberies, muggings, rapes and more are a sad and ridiculous common occurrence. Now that is not to say that LGBTQ people have never committed a crime or have never been convicted of committing crimes. Let's not be silly. But what nobody can deny is that we, as a whole, are far more peaceful than our straight brothers and sisters.

So incidents like gunfire erupting in the street on Capitol Hill leave a lasting impression. On Friday, at 1:30 a.m., Police and Seattle Fire units rushed to 10th Avenue, just outside of Havana Nightclub between East Pike Street and East Pine Street, amid crowds of nightlife revelers who reported seeing a suspect wearing a red hoodie running from the scene after he had shot another man.

The victim was reported by police to be a male in his 30s, shot in the forearm, and was found 'conscious and alert' at the scene.

Police were able to gather a description and name and possible whereabouts of the 24-year-old suspect from the victim. Police say the suspect is a 24-year-old who reportedly opened fire in a dispute involving a former girlfriend.

The police report confirms what most of us in the LGBTQ community already knew to be true - a straight person brought a gun to the Hill and for whatever reason (because there never really is a good reason for this stupid behavior) shot someone.

'Shortly before 2 AM an angry ex-boyfriend found his former girlfriend with another ex-beau at 11 Ave and Pike Street on Capitol Hill. The confrontation escalated to the point where the incensed ex-boyfriend pulled out a gun and fired multiple rounds, striking the victim in the arm.'

According to SPD, officers arrested the 24-year-old suspect from the early morning shooting on Capitol Hill within seven hours of the incident. Police arrested the suspect and recovered the handgun when he turned himself in to officers at the North Precinct.

The shooting was a continuation of an incident in Snohomish County, where the suspect may be facing additional charges. After interviewing him, officers booked the man into King County Jail on investigation of assault. The 24-year-old is currently held for investigation of domestic violence assault. In 2012, the suspect pleaded guilty to fourth degree assault and vehicle prowling in a case in which a Bellevue police officer said the man spit on him after he was arrested for busting a light and breaking into a vehicle at a mall. In a request to have his 60-day sentence changed to work release, the man's defense attorney wrote that his client didn't remember much of the night in the Bellevue incident and was suffering from 'intoxicated delirium' and had consumed so much alcohol that he required care at the hospital where he spit on the police officer.

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