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Cal Anderson Park violence

Seattle’s popular Cal Anderson Park saw in uptick in violent crimes in Spring 2013 as warm weather approached.

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Local News
01/15/14

Seattle U student robbed, stabbed on campus

SEATTLE — Maria, a law student at Seattle University, is often on campus at night. She says news of another attack on campus makes her feel a little less safe.

“I keep getting notifications in the mail that something happened, and I read that, and then I’m walking, and I think anything can happen,”

Police say around 1 a.m. Wednesday, a male student was walking from the neighborhood to campus.

“He noticed people following him, he got a little nervous, and as soon as he walked onto campus, he was attacked from behind,” Seattle police spokesman Mark Jamieson said.

urlAccording to police,  two people, believed to be a 15-year-old boy and a 23-year-old man, knocked him to the ground, punched and kicked him in an attempt to get his wallet. A 16-year-old female was also at the scene keeping watch, police said.

While the suspects went through the victim’s pockets, one of the suspects pulled out a knife and stabbed him in his upper chest.

Somehow the victim managed to break free during the fight and ran to a Seattle University emergency kiosk. A university security guard arrived a short time later and called 911.

“That ended up being an important turn of events,” said Tim Marion, the head of campus security, when asked if it may have saved the student’s life.

Before the victim was rushed to the hospital, where he remains in intensive care in serious condition, he was able to describe his attackers. Officers quickly found two teen suspects hiding nearby. Police said the third suspect, 23-year-old Justin Pamon, climbed a wooden wall and hid in a compost pile. A K-9 unit was able to sniff him out.

This is just the latest in a series of attacks and robberies around Seattle University in the past several months. Campus security does not believe students are specifically being targeted, but say they do have to be aware.

“In any urban environment, it is definitely wise to have a plan before you go out for an evening,” said Marion.

School  security provides escorts for students, even off campus, and also encourages everyone to walk in pairs or in groups.

SEATTLE — Mayor Mike McGinn and the Seattle Police Department announced Thursday their plan to add park rangers to curb crime at popular city parks.

park securityOn the heels of three assaults at Cal Anderson Park in recent weeks, the plan seeks to bolster security at popular parks and keep residents in the area safe.

“We heard from the community that they’re concerned about their safety in the parks and we want to address that,” McGinn said.

Interim Police Chief Jim Pugel said, “Whatever reason they go to those parks, they deserve to be safe and they deserve to enjoy themselves.”

The city will hire and train two additional park rangers to patrol Cal Anderson and Occidental Parks in Seattle. The unarmed rangers will be city ambassadors working hand-in-hand with police. The announcement made those living nearby breathe a sigh of relief.

Marion Cooper takes her dog, Hugo, to the park several times a day.

“There are always groups around in the evening and when you’re walking your dog, it’s quite intimidating so if there was a presence that would be great,” Cooper said, adding that she recently had an unnerving experience in the park.

We were just going for a walk,” she said. “It was about 9:45 at night. The police wouldn’t let us into one part of the park. Not that we wanted to go near what was going on, but that’s what goes on here.”

Some mothers said there are certain parts of Cal Anderson Park they avoid all together.

“We just don’t hang out in certain areas,” Danielle Forsythe said. “We don’t really hang out by the basketball courts or anything over there. We just try to stay in this area. There are lots of crazy people that hang out down here.”

The mayor said the park rangers would not only make the parks safer, but the entire city would benefit.

“We want to make sure our police officers are available to respond to the 911 calls and serious issues as well as providing patrol,” McGinn said.

Local News
05/23/13

Will unarmed park rangers make Cal Anderson safer?

SEATTLE — The city plans to hire two full-time park rangers to patrol Cal Anderson Park and Occidental Square in the wake of recent violent incidents that have left some park users fearing for their safety.

Mayor Mike McGinn and Interim Police Chief Jim Pugel made the announcement to hire two new workers at city hall Thursday. The unarmed parks employees will work “closely” with Seattle police in order to impose park rules and help keep the parks safe, Parks Security Supervisor Corby Christensen said.

Cap Hill“I encourage all park users to approach park rangers with any questions or concerns you have,” Christensen said. “We need the public to be actively involved in our efforts to keep our parks safe.”

The new park rangers will be hired, trained and on duty by the end of June. In the meantime, police will continue their effort to curb park crime with emphasis patrols in Cal Anderson and Occidental, and existing parks employees will work overtime to create a safer atmosphere, officials said.

The funds for the new rangers will come from the Seattle Parks and Recreation operating budget. The department will still remain under budget, McGinn said.

“By hiring new park rangers we can create a safer and more welcoming atmosphere in our parks,” McGinn said. “And we’re asking park users to be proactive as well — our officers need your help to keep our parks safe.”

Local News
05/23/13

Park rangers to mount up for Cap. Hill safety

SEATTLE — Park rangers will be permanently assigned to Capitol Hill’s Cal Anderson Park in an effort to reduce violent crime at the popular summer spot, Capitol Hill Seattle  Blog reported Thursday.

According to the blog, Seattle officials will announce Thursday that a park ranger will be assigned to Cal Anderson Park. The ranger will patrol the park for a set number of hours each day in an effort to curb violence. The program will be managed by Seattle Parks.

While rangers are not police officers and are unarmed, the hope is their presence will dissuade individuals from acting out.

Cap HillThis story will be updated once the plan is announced at Seattle City Hall Thursday.

SEATTLE — People on Capitol Hill say they are fed up.

crimerallyThey’ve had enough.

They want to take their neighborhood back from the bad guys.

Too many people have been attacked and hurt.

“We have to wake each other up, and say, cause it could have been you, it could have been me, it could have been your mother, it could have been anybody,” Capitol Hill resident Joy Armstrong said.

The problem is all too obvious, especially for those who live, work and play on the hill.

This month alone, at least three people have been attacked on the street, including an attempted sexual assault at Cal Anderson Park May 6.

The victim managed to fight off her attacker, but he remains on the loose.

Then on May 13 a man was stabbed in the stomach on the Cal Anderson basketball courts.

A suspect was arrested that same night.

East Precinct commanders are aware of the problem and interim Police Chief Jim Pugel says steps have been taken to stop the violence, including stepped-up patrols when and where they are needed.

“East Precinct Commander Ron Wilson and his Operation Lt. Matt Allen have developed an operations plan on how to address any disorder in any park, including Cal Anderson,” Pugel said.

But this group of about 60 people says police can’t always be around to protect and serve.

They want neighbors here to look out for each other.

“People have gotten away from the old-fashioned, you know, be a good neighbor, be a good citizen, so if you hear someone screaming for help, look out the window, look down the street, be a good witness,” Social Outreach Seattle spokesperson Shaun Knittel said.

Overall crime is down on Capitol Hill, but marchers say the problem is with violent crime, assaults and robberies on the street, some in broad daylight, and others at night.

Some say they don’t feel safe walking the street alone.

One demonstrator said, “There’s racism on the hill.  There’s violence on the hill by gay bashing and homeless bashing.”

So the goal is to form a new, old-fashioned neighborhood watch on the hill, supported by individual block watch groups on every street.

They are working with police on a pro-active approach to fighting crime, let the bad guys know everyone is watching and calling 911 at the first hint of trouble.

Strength in numbers for a safer neighborhood.

“This is our neighborhood and we deserve a safe place to live and go out and when you see something, you say something.  It’s your responsibility.  We take care of each other. We’re a community,” a protester said.

This group is also starting a new program called Safe Space.

Merchants will place stickers in their windows to let victims of violent street attacks know that the business is a safe place to come for help and wait for police to arrive.

They say this is just the beginning; more events are planned, including self-defense classes for those who need them.

stabbing seattle park 05-17-13SEATTLE — Shortly before 2:30 p.m. Friday, man in his 30s was seriously wounded in a stabbing near Victor Steinbrueck Park Friday afternoon. Police arrested a suspect about a half-mile from the scene.

Police arrived on the scene after receiving reports of two men fighting and throwing glass bottles at each other near Western Avenue and Virginia Street. Moments later, police received another report that one of the men had been stabbed multiple times.

When medics arrived at the scene and transported the victim to Harborview Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.

The suspect fled on foot, but officers arrested him near 2nd Avenue and Marion Street.

More information will be posted here as it becomes available.

Local News
05/17/13

Stabbing suspect on the loose

broadwaySEATTLE – A suspect remained on the loose Friday morning after a stabbing at Cal Anderson Park Thursday night.

Police responded to Broadway Avenue and East Pine Street just before 9 p.m. for a man who claimed he was stabbed in the park a short time earlier. The victim claims he got into a verbal argument with another male, that escalated into the victim getting stabbed in his left arm and back.

The victim, in his 20s, was transported to Harborview Medical Center for treatment.  His injuries are not life threatening.

The suspect fled the scene on foot, and officers were not able to locate him. Anyone with information on the stabbing should call 911.

SEATTLE — Police arrested a suspect who allegedly stabbed a man Sunday night in Cal Anderson Park.

Police responded to calls of a stabbing around 9:50 p.m. According to officers, the victim was walking through the popular Seattle park when the suspect’s unleashed dog attacked. The man kicked the dog after he was charged at least twice.

stabThe suspect, allegedly upset the man kicked the dog, approached the victim and started a fight. The victim was stabbed in the abdomen sometime during the melee and the suspect fled on foot.

When police arrived on the scene, the victim, in his 20s, provided a suspect description before he was transported to Harborview Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. Police were able to spot the suspect and arrest him without incident near the park.

Officers recovered two knives from the suspect’s person. There was no word on what happened to the dog. It is unclear if the two men knew each other prior to the attack, police said.

Local News
05/12/13

Man stabbed in abdomen at Cal Anderson Park

stabSEATTLE — A 25-year-old man was stabbed in the abdomen at Cal Anderson Park Sunday and was in serious condition, the Seattle Fire Department said.

The man was found in the basketball courts area, the department said. He was rushed to Harborview Medical Center.

No other details were immediately available.

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