Local News

Downtown businesses say violence is taking over streets of Seattle

SEATTLE — Businesses belonging to the Downtown Seattle Association complained in a letter to City Hall Wednesday that there is too much violence and asked for more police officers to patrol the streets

spdThis summer, a woman was savagely kicked and punched in middle of the day at a crowded Westlake Park.

In another attack, a man was stabbed in the neck during a fight on 3rd and Union.

In front of Pike Place Market, a group viciously attacked  someone at a crosswalk.

Just last week, a man smashed windows of cars and businesses on Pike Street.

“This is really  unacceptable,” said Downtown Seattle Association President Kate Joncas.

On Wednesday, the group sent a letter criticizing the city’s fight against crime. It listed recent violent cases to Mayor Mike McGinn, demanding more police on the streets.

“For cities our size, we are still below the median. I don’t know if there is a magic number but we know we don’t have enough,” Joncas said.

Many of the attacks happened in the Seattle Police Department’s West Precinct, which includes Westlake Park, Chinatown and the Pike-Pine corridor.

“Most of those incidents, officers made arrests right at the scene,” Seattle police Capt. Jim Dermody said.

Dermody is in charge of the West Precinct and says violent crime is down by 7% there. Overall, the mayor says, Seattle is safer.

“We are at a 30-year crime low and this year is coming in lower than last year,” McGinn said.

“I have two adult daughters who live in downtown Seattle. I would strongly urge them not to live there if I thought it was unsafe,” Police Chief Jim Pugel said.

“Areas in Philly, New York, Boston are way more dangerous. I would consider Seattle to me to be an extremely safe city,” said downtown Seattle resident Khadijih Linz.

But another resident, Kirra Steinbrueck, said, “Recently I saw someone getting beat up at 2 in the morning across the street; actually that doesn’t make me feel safe.”

With the primary election next Tuesday, and McGinn seeking re-election, Joncas was asked if the letter was politically motivated.

“The primary is not connected to this at all.  This is about our neighborhood, about something that’s been going wrong for a long time,” Joncas replied.

“If you look at the timing it raises some questions,” McGinn said. “But the fact of the matter is we receive concerns like this from every neighborhood when there is crime. We take it seriously no matter when we hear about it.”

The association said the city simply needs more officers on streets. SPD said it is in the midst of hiring eight more officers this week and hopes to have 30 more by next summer.

VIEW & ADD COMMENTS

8 Comments to “Downtown businesses say violence is taking over streets of Seattle”

    bill k said:
    July 31, 2013 at 10:08 PM

    You people allow thr state to shut down the mental hospital and then cry when the crazy people who now have to live on the streets act crazy in public? WHAT DID YOU EXPECT WOULD HAPPEN WHEN THEY KICKED OUT 8/10 OF THE WESTERN STATE POPULATION OUT ONTO THE STREETS?

    bill k said:
    July 31, 2013 at 10:11 PM

    And the last time I checked THE SEATTLE POLICE MURDER MORE PEOPLE THEN CRAZY PEOPLE AND "CRIMINALS" COMBINED. EVERY DAY ALL YOU SEE IS COPS IN THE NORTWEST KILLING PEOPLE. AND YOU WANT M O R E OF THESE GUYS OUT HERE ?

    sutin2say said:
    July 31, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    Hey billy boy, you are right the cops did hose down more people than "the crazies" from the mental ward at Western. Than most of the people that is causing crimes in that area are just violent and vicious and would rather cut your fkn heart out than to look at ya. Non of those people ever went to Western state.

    jabailo said:
    July 31, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    Overall in the Puget Sound it seems like we're in a transitional period…which is dangerous. For example, since "overall" crime is down, people might think they are safe…until that random gang bullet hits their kid walking down the street.

    We still need a Crackdown to remove the latent lowlife from this region. There are still wide swaths were it's the Wild West. Let's get these guys into warm jail cell so more of the Puget Sound can become liveable and housing can once again get affordable!

    Skip said:
    August 1, 2013 at 8:39 AM

    i don't care what the statistics say, there is more crime in Seattle and we hear about it more often via our electronic connections.

    tuffycat1 said:
    August 1, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    I CAN NOT SAY THIS LOUD ENOUGH! PLEASE! IF YOU ARE WITH THE MEDIA ???LISTEN? THEY BASE OUR CRIME RATE ON ARRESTS AND CONVICTIONS? LESS POLOCE MEANS LESS ARREST! LITTLE MONEY MEANS LESS CONVICTIONS! CRIME DOES NOT GET BETTER WHEN THE ECONOMY IS BAD! WHY DOESN'T THE MEDIA KNOW THIS!!!

    AskQuestions said:
    August 1, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    No surprise that the Police Chief says living downtown is safe for his two adult daughters.In what buildings do they live? How do they get to & from work, medical appointments, shopping? Some blocks are safer than others.

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