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Crime and violence still plague downtown

SEATTLE — Sounders game night and tens of thousands of people make their way through downtown, Belltown, pioneer square and SODO.

Safety is not an issue for most.

“Generally I’m just more aware of my surroundings in places I’m not sure of but I’ve never felt like my life was in danger at all,” downtown visitor Lindsay Kolar said.

In spite of a drop in violent crime in the downtown core some downtown residents tell us; there is danger here… And sadly people get attacked here far more often than some realize.

“Recently I saw someone getting beat up at two in the morning across the street actually that doesn’t make me feel safe,” downtown shopper Kirra Steinbrueck said.

The latest attacked happened Saturday morning near 3rd and Yesler.

Police say a man being robbed of his backpack refused to give it up and was severely beaten by a group of men.

Fortunately his primary attacker was caught a short later.

In another attack, coast guard veteran Rory Burke, seen here in the tuxedo, was brutally beaten, robbed, and left for dead in downtown.

A lot of attacks are caught on tape.

A girl was beaten in Westlake Park.

A man was blindsided while walking through an alley in Pioneer Square.

He’s out cold and his attacker rolls him over and goes through his pockets.

“This really is unacceptable. This is about our neighborhood about something that`s been going wrong for a long time, Downtown Seattle Association president Kate Joncas said.

Joncas says solving the problem is easy; put more police officers on the street.

“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.

In response to the growing frustration and concern when it comes to downtown safety, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn recently announced more than three-and-a-half million dollars to combat crime.

Some of this money will be used to hire new officers, but some will help fund a huge new plan to give drunks, drug addicts, and the mentally ill a chance to get help instead getting jailed.

“This is a really good start and I think a good model, but more is needed.  And the encouraging thing is now we have a partnership among everybody that needs to be at the table.  If we can stick together we might be able to make continued changes,” Joncas said.

Police say the usual rules apply.

Try to walk in pairs or in a group and try to make sure to stay in well-lit areas and out of alleys.

4 comments

  • Voter

    Why do the bums and criminals hang around downtown? Most of the cheap cafes, taverns and hotels are long gone. The police need to make the area uninviting and uncomfortable for the wandering dead beats. 50 officers need to make a surprise visit to the Westlake Park and ask everyone for ID. There's probably a warrant out on most of the bums downtown.

  • John Fuller

    If SPD would have more officers to earn their pay by walking the beat in pairs, it would significantly reduce the amount of riff raff downtown. There are key areas that need foot patrols during certain hours, but if they really want to make an impact, officers on bicycles and motorcycles can be the deciding factor. Seattle can do far better than this. It's time for police to stop being a blight on the image of Seattle (with charges of racism) and start earning their pay! It's time to lay bigotry down and start doing what they are paid to do.

  • guest

    the police can't fix the problem when you make them work with their hands tied. charges of racism and excessive use of force should be addressed as which race commits the most crime in a given area and if you didn't fight or be threatening when approached by the police they wouldn't have to use force. who is really causing the problems? not the police the way I see it.

  • Brian Blackwell

    Always be aware of your surroundings when walking anywhere. Pay attention to who and what is around you. Think of safety, and possible evasive action should you be confronted with a dangerous situation. When parking your automobile, lock items of value in the trunk. Don't leave items of value on the seats of your automobile for thieves to eye and steal. -Brian Blackwell, Seattle-Investigator.com

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