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“Closing time  … You don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here.” Last call caused a bit of a ruckus in the Belltown neighborhood early Sunday morning, when 1,000 people flooded the streets as the bars closed.

The Seattle Times reported the Belltown news: “Sunday morning at bar-closing time, Seattle police had to disperse 1,000 people flooding Belltown, but there were no arrests and no injuries.”

Bars announced last call at 1:30 or 1:45 a.m. on Sunday morning, and thousands of people started leaving the bars, flooding the sidewalks and spilling into the streets. About 20 Seattle police officers on bicycles, in cars, or on foot tried to disperse the crowd, and as part of their efforts they closed off 1st Avenue between Blanchard and Bell streets until the crowd thinned, which took about an hour.

In a KPLU report, SPD spokesman Mark Jamieson said, “We shut down the street just to accommodate the sheer volume of people that were down there.”

There were no arrests or injuries, but hundreds of drunk people in the streets did cause a handful of fist fights. “When you’ve got drunk people, for whatever reason, they like to fight one another,” he said.

The Belltown bar overflow on Sunday morning has sparked more debate about extending bar closing times. On one side, extended hours would bring the state more tax revenue and decrease the instances of people flooding the streets at 2 a.m. But groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving are concerned that longer drinking hours would result in more instances of drunk driving.

According to Jamieson, Sunday morning’s Belltown bar overflow “was the busiest we’ve seen it all year.”

Maybe it’s time to revisit the City’s proposal to the State Liquor Control Board in 2011, asking to extend and stagger bar closing times. That proposal was rejected, due to research that showed decreased public safety and increased need for nighttime police patrols with extended hours.

Featured photo from KomoNews.com.

Early in the morning last Saturday, June 22nd, a group of about a dozen men attacked several drivers, pulling them from their cars before beating them. This is the latest incident in Belltown crime.

The incident began when a white Lexus and a black truck were approaching the intersection of Lenora Street on 2nd Avenue. It was about 12:45 a.m. on Saturday morning. The two vehicles had a green light, but a group of about a dozen men was taking their time crossing the street in front of the cars.

Once the truck and the Lexus got into the intersection, the pedestrian men began kicking and hitting the Lexus. The driver and passenger of the Lexus opened their doors to confront the men, and were immediately dragged from their car.

One of the victims was dragged to an alcove nearby, where his assailants repeatedly kicked, punched, and stomped on him. One of his fingers was broken in the attack. The other victim was scraped and got a bloody nose after he was punched and kicked near the passenger side of the Lexus.

In an attempt to help the victims of the Lexus, the driver of the black truck stopped his car and got out to help. He was punched several times in the head, while other attackers continued kicking his truck.

At the sound of tires screeching and strange driving behavior from the black truck, SPD officers stopped to investigate. They learned that the truck was attempting to get away from the men attacking him and his truck. After they stopped, the officers saw what was going on and turned on their emergency lights, which disbursed the crowd.

The officers interviewed the occupants of the Lexus and the truck, who corroborated the story. They were unable to make any arrests, and the victims could not give detailed descriptions of any of the attackers, but they did know the license plate number of an SUV that some of the suspects may have fled in.

Featured photo from KomoNews.com, from another SPD crime incident.

The SPD West Precinct Blotter was relatively light on Belltown crime incidents over the last month, which seems to suggest we’ve had a safer month in our neighborhood. Keep reading for a brief summary of the criminal activity we did experience from mid-May till now.

  • Knife and Club Fight: Officers responded to the 1900 block of Western Avenue near Victor Steinbrueck Park at about 5 p.m. on May 24th. There had been a report of two men fighting, one with a knife and the other with a club. SPD arrived on the scene and are investigating the incident. Both of the men had non-life-threatening injuries from the altercation, and were treated by fire department medics at the scene. This remains an open investigation.
  • Drug Dispute Turns Violent: Around 2 p.m. on May 27th, SPD responded to a reported stabbing disturbance at 1999 Western Avenue. When they arrived on the scene, they found a man with a deep cut on his right hand, which he said had been caused by a suspect that was not present. He explained that he and the suspect had disputed over a transaction for marijuana, when the suspect – described as a light skinned black male, about 50 to 60 years of age, thin, with waist-length graying dreadlocks – stabbed him. SPD recognized the description of the suspect as a man they are familiar with. As the SFD and officers were loading the victim into a gurney to transport him to the hospital for the wound to his hand, they noticed a tear in his jacket and underneath, a large stab wound to the chest. Paramedics were immediately called and the victim was transported to Harborview. SPD was unable to locate a crime scene in Victor Steinbrueck Park and the surrounding areas, but they located and arrested the suspect. He was booked into King County Jail and is being investigated for assault.
  • Child Kidnapping Thwarted During Race for The Cure: On June 2nd, as the Susan G. Komen Puget Sound Race for the Cure was taking place around the Seattle Center, a child was nearly abducted. The incident took place at about 9:30 a.m. near 4th Avenue and Cedar Street, as a family was participating in the race. A 35-year-old man approached the family and snatched a four-year-old boy as he held his grandmother’s hand. The boy’s aunt stopped the man and told him to let the child go, and he did before running away. Another family approached the family and said the same man had attempted to kidnap another child earlier. The father and uncle of the boy followed the suspect to 4th and Cedar, where they saw an SPD officer doing traffic control. After alerting him to the event, the suspect was arrested and booked for investigation into kidnapping. SPD was unable to locate the earlier victim, family, or other witnesses to the first event. Luckily, the 4-year-old was not injured in the incident.

Stay safe, Belltown!

Featured photo from q13fox.com.

Of all of the neighborhoods we report for, Belltown is generally the setting of the most violent crimes. It’s unfortunate that our neighborhood is caught in the middle of so much harmful criminal activity, but we hope that this monthly Belltown crime recap helps to keep you safe and informed.

Read on for what happened in our neighborhood in the last month:

  • SPD Stops Burglar in His Tracks: After receiving a 9-1-1 call from a witness that reported hearing breaking glass and then seeing a man climb through a broken window into a Belltown building, police responded to the scene. The incident occurred at about 2:30 a.m. on April 24th. The witness said the man had been carrying a backpack and wore a white T-shirt. SPD surrounded the building – the New Horizons Ministries – and arrested the suspect when he exited the building by way of the alley door. He had wrapped a white T-shirt around his hand, since he had cut himself – assumedly from climbing through the broken window. The 23-year-old male suspect was arrested and is under investigation for burglary. Click here to see the Kiro TV report.
  • Help ID May Day Rioters: SPD Detectives are looking for help identifying several suspects from May Day 2013 riot damage. They are wanted for assault, property damage and rioting. Click here to look through the gallery of images and a few videos of the incidents. Please contact mayday2013@seattle.gov or call 206-233-2666 if you recognize any of these suspects.
  • Stabbing Near the Sculpture Park: Just before 2:30 p.m. on May 17th, police received a report of two men throwing glass bottles at each other in an altercation near Victor Steinbruck Park. Shortly thereafter, they heard that one of the men had sustained multiple stab wounds. Medics arrived and took the victim to Harborview with serious and life-threatening injuries. The suspect had fled, but SPD officers located and arrested him without incident several blocks away, near the intersection of Marion Street and 2nd Avenue Downtown.
  • Shooting Inside a Car Near Belltown: SPD responded to a report of a fight and shots fired near 2nd Avenue and Pike Street at about 2 a.m. on May 18th. Upon arriving on the scene, they couldn’t find any related evidence. Later that morning, Harborview notified SPD that a gunshot victim had arrived at the hospital, and officers and Gang Unit Detectives responded. Their investigation revealed that the victim (a woman) had been sitting in the front seat of a car when the suspect (a 23-year-old woman) had drawn a pistol from her seat in the rear of the same car and discharged it into the front passenger seat. The victim claimed the suspect had shot her in the butt, however Harborview doctors were unable to find a gunshot wound. SPD recovered the pistol and shell casing from the vehicle, and apprehended the suspect for arrest. The suspect is already a convicted felon, and was booked into the King County Jail since she was a felon in possession of a firearm. This incident remains an open investigation under the Gang Unit of SPD.
  • SPD Rolls Out Crime Forecasting: Hopefully Belltown will experience less criminal activity, now that SPD has rolled out their new crime-forecasting program. Beginning Sunday, May 19th, officers at all five Seattle precincts received maps of their areas, showing red boxes around areas where criminal activity is more likely or anticipated. The maps are created from a software program called PredPol, which analyzes crime patterns derived from 911 calls. Click here to get more info about the program.

Stay safe, Belltown!

Featured photo from KIROTV.com

Last month saw several violent crimes in our neighborhood, as this summary will show. Please let us know if you hear of any other incidents of Belltown crime in the future – after you’ve communicated with police, of course.

And if you’re interested in what the crime condition is like for our city as a whole, check out the SPD Quarterly Report recently released.

Here’s what happened with crime in Belltown last month:

  • Police Hunt for iPhone Robbery Trio: SPD is looking for three men who are suspected to have collaborated to steal an iPhone on March 18th at 6th Avenue and Pine Street. Please contact SPD detectives with any information by calling: 206-684-5535. Watch the video of the robbery below:

  • Avoid the Pregnant Lady with the Stun Gun: At around 11:15 a.m. on March 22nd, a bike messenger crossed 5th Avenue in the crosswalk in front of a gray coupe. The driver stopped suddenly in front of the crosswalk and honked, then the bike messenger shouted at the driver and kicked the wheel of the car before finishing his crossing. A woman (described as being pregnant) got out of the passenger side of the car, began yelling at the messenger, and pulled a stun gun out of her bra before chasing the messenger and striking him twice in the face. Then the driver of the car also got out, swinging his own stun gun at the messenger before the stun gun wielding couple got back in their car and fled the scene. The bike messenger was not seriously injured, but this remains an open investigation.
  • Serious Car Accident on 4th Avenue: Just after 2 p.m. on March 24th, a Toyota SUV was hit and overturned onto a parked car in the 1900 block of 4th Avenue when the SUV was hit by a VW Jetta. The Seattle Fire Department rescued the driver and passenger of the Toyota and transported them to Harborview for serious injuries. The driver of the Jetta was screened for signs of impairment, but was not detained. This remains an open investigation.
  • Stabbing in Front of McDonald’s: While monitoring activity near 3rd Avenue and Pine Street on April 1st at about 4:25 p.m., two officers sitting in a marked police car noticed two men yelling at one another – they seemed about to fight. The officers used the loudspeakers to tell the men to stop and move on, which they did. Only moments later, a person ran up to the police car to tell the officers that someone was just stabbed in front of McDonald’s. Arriving at the scene, the officers found one of the two men from earlier bleeding from his arm. He was transported to Harborview with life-threatening injuries. The suspect got away and remained at large until being apprehended and arrested in the High Point neighborhood on April 2nd.
  • Fight Turns Violent on Stewart: Two men were verbally arguing inside a pizza restaurant on the 900 block of Stewart Street at about 1 a.m. on April 3rd. The altercation moved outside, where the two men began fighting on the ground and one of the men slashed the other in the neck. Bystanders separated the two men and called 911. Officers arrived on the scene and had the victim transported to Harborview, while the suspect was taken to King County Jail. He had an unknown and unseen head injury, so he was taken to Harborview as well and put under police guard. The box cutter was recovered for evidence.
  • The Escalated Cat Fight: Two women got into a violent altercation on the morning of April 9th. According to reports, one of the women approached the other as she sat at a bus stop, and began hitting her with a crutch. The second woman then pulled out a knife and stabbed her attacker several times in the hands. Officers arrived on the scene and had both women treated for non-life-threatening injuries before having them transported to Harborview. Both women were uncooperative with police in their attempts to investigate.
  • Woman Saved from Attempted Robbery: Just before 10 p.m. on April 10th, a woman was walking south on 2nd Avenue when she noticed a man following her. He then asked for the time, which she told him before he walked away. Minutes later, he returned and grabbed her purse straps, but she wouldn’t let it go and kicked him to defend herself. The suspect then punched her in the head. Two passersby saw what was happening and held the suspect while the woman found police – an off-duty State Patrol trooper who detained the suspect until SPD arrived on the scene. The man was arrested.

Stay safe, Belltown!

Featured photo from solarnet.tv