SEATTLE -- Police and school officials want families to be aware that a middle-school student was robbed on his way to school Tuesday morning.
According to Seattle police, the 6th grade boy was walking in the 2100 block of SW Thistle Street around 7:30 a.m. when he was approached by two teenage boys. One of the suspects brandished a knife and demanded money from the victim. They forced him to empty the backpack, then stole his cell phone and fled.
The student ran to school and told staff that he had been robbed. Officers searched for the suspects but did not find them immediately. The Seattle police later said they had arrested two juveniles in the case.
The victim described the suspects as a white male, 15 years old, 5’7, wearing tan cargo shorts, a green hooded jacket and white shoes and a Hispanic male, also 15, 5’5, wearing a black hooded jacket and white shoes.
Administrators sent this letter home to families of Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School:
Dear Denny and Chief Sealth Scholars and Families,
This morning, one of our sixth-grade scholars reported to us that he had been robbed on his walk to school today near 20th Ave SW and SW Thistle St. He was approached by two males who were wearing hoods. At the time, he was walking alone. Our scholar did the right thing and cooperated with their demands to give them his valuables—they stole his iPhone. The two then ran east on Thistle and our scholar ran to school where he reported it right away. School staff called the police, who came to take a statement. Our scholar did a great job by reporting it right away. The Seattle Police and Seattle Public Schools staff will both be providing extra presence in that area.
As a pre-caution, we are reminding our scholars this afternoon about safety tips for walking to and from school. We would appreciate your help by having a similar conversation at home. The walking safety advice includes:
GENERAL WALKING SAFETY TIPS
Avoid walking alone.
Keep valuable items, such as expensive phones, out of sight.
Pay close attention to your surroundings, avoid "automatic pilot."
Walk with a purpose; project an assertive, business-like image.
Use common sense; plan your route to avoid uninhabited parks, parking lots, garages and alleyways.
Stick to well-lit areas.
Develop a plan before you see trouble. Crossing a street or entering a store may get you out of a potentially bad situation.
If a car follows you or beckons you while you are walking, do not approach it. Instead, turn and quickly walk the opposite direction.
Consider wearing clothing and shoes that you can move freely and quickly in, especially when walking or waiting for the bus.
Always plan your route and stay alert to your surroundings. Avoid shortcuts. Walk confidently. Scan your surroundings and make eye contact with people.
In addition, as a part of our ongoing collaboration with the Seattle Police Department Southwest Precinct, we have been encouraged to let all scholars know that they should not be hanging out unsupervised at the Southwest Athletic Complex during non-school hours (or during high school lunch times). Being a part of a PE class or a sports team using the field or being at the Southwest Community Center is fine; hanging out in the parking lot area or bleachers without supervision should be avoided. This recommendation is being made by the police, who have noticed an increase in suspicious behavior by some adults in that area. After school, our scholars should be a part of an organized after school program at school or head home.
As always, safety is our top priority. Thank you for your ongoing support.
Jeff Clark, Principal Aida Fraser-Hammer, Principal
Denny International Middle School Chief Sealth International High School