Belltown Stabbings, Robberies, Bike Thefts, And Tasers

By Jonah Spangenthal-Lee October 18, 2011

Today in Fuzz: Two men stabbed in Belltown, a scary robbery in Ravenna, SPD management changes, Tasers, and bikejacking.

1) We're hearing SPD's is beginning a management shake-up. Department sources say a no-nonsense North Precinct Lieutenant Ken Hicks is taking over the vice unit—the former vice lieutenant, Eric Sano, moved to the West Precinct several months ago—and we're hearing another lieutenant from the South Precinct is also moving elsewhere in the department. We're trying to find out more about the reason for the management shuffle, and what other moves the department might be making internally.

2)  Two men were stabbed in unrelated incidents in the last week. In the first incident on October 13, a man told police he'd been camping in Denny Park when a man walked up to him, carrying a box cutter, and stabbed him in the stomach. The suspect fled without saying a word. The victim fled the park and called police, and was taken to Harborview for treatment.

Two days later, on Oct 15th, a man called 911 around 5:30 am and reported he'd been stabbed. The man then walked into the Seattle Fire Department station on 4th and Battery. The man " would only tell officers that he'd been stabbed by "some guy" in Belltown, the report says.

3) Police are investigating a frightening attempted robbery in Ravenna. At about 7:45 am on October 14, a woman was walking westbound on 11th and NE 55th St. when a man came up behind her, put his hand over her mouth, and held something sharp—most likely a knife, according to police—against her throat and demanded her money. The man struggled with the woman, who was able to get free and scream for help. The man fled the scene. The woman wasn't injured in the attack.

4) A federal appeals court ruling earlier this week gave several SPD officers a pass for Tasering a pregnant woman in 2004, but could make it easier to bring lawsuits against police for Taser use in the future. From the LA Times:
Police used excessive force when they fired Tasers at a pregnant woman in Seattle...a federal appeals court ruled Monday in a case that could influence how police handle those resisting arrest across the West.

In the Seattle case, a seven-months pregnant Malaika Brooks was driving her son to school when she was stopped by police, ticketed for driving 12 miles over the 20-mph speed limit and blasted with a stun gun three times after refusing to sign the citation.

While deeming the use of the stun guns in Seattle...the court said the officers weren't liable in the civil suits filed against them because the law governing Taser use wasn't clearly established at the time of Brooks' 2004 arrest[.]

But the court's ruling Monday may now serve to establish that using stun guns without an imminent threat of harm is unreasonable, at least in some cases, exposing police officers to liability in future lawsuits, legal analysts said.

5) A man told police he was bike-jacked in front of Aki Kurose Middle School in South Seattle last Thursday.

The man was standing in front of the school around 5:30 pm when another man walked up to him and said "I have a weapon. Back away [from the bike]."

The suspect took the man's bike—a $900 white Diamondback covered in Sound Transit stickers—and ran southbound. The victim told police he was not wearing his glasses and did not get a good look at the suspect.
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