Friday, July 8, 2011

Seen or heard in the ‘hood

Guns in the lake, scammers at the door

We received this surprising report last week from an MPB reader regarding an episode she witnessed at the E. Prospect St. road end:

“[My husband] and I were out with the girls yesterday morning and witnessed something fairly upsetting.  We came down the stairs adjacent to the north side of the Seattle Tennis Club and walked down to the public beach access (that has been the center of so much criminal activity). As we were getting to the driveway access there, two police cars pulled up. There was already a black SUV parked there, and the owner of it came out of his car and greeted the officers. I asked one officer if we should avoid going down to the water and he said no, that it was fine for us to go. We followed the officers and man down to the waterfront and saw that one officer had an evidence bag in his hand. They walked over to the shore nearest the overgrowth and pulled something out of the water that was covered by some leaves. We were both surprised to see that when the officer pulled the overgrowth off of it, it was a handgun.  
We didn't stay much longer but were very sad to see that a handgun had either been left or thrown there, where so many kids, families and the general public frequent it.”

Meanwhile, this arrived the following day from another reader:

“Saturday night I was home alone and a man posing as an employee of Scoop du Jour knocked on my door and gave me a very convincing story about how he had locked himself out of the store, and was short money for the locksmith. He had a sense of urgency and kept telling me how he was afraid he was going to be fired, and kept saying "I'm just a poor gay black man" and "I promise I'll bring you back the money" and "It's good karma, you won't be sorry," and on and on. The man even offered to leave his valuables with me. Stupid me, I fell for the story and gave him $10 in cash, which of course I never saw again.

I am normally very suspicious and he really was convincing. Obviously, he's done it before. Quite the scam. I informed the owners of Scoop du Jour that someone was posing as their employee. Lesson learned for sure (although I feel like quite an idiot for having opened my door in the first place).

The guy was African American, probably late-30s to mid-40s, fairly thin and about 5' 9".”

Listen to your dog

A couple summers ago we posted a story about a Washington Park family that one night thought their two dogs were barking at raccoons, told them to be quiet, but didn’t investigate further.  The next morning they discovered that during the night thieves had cleaned out their first floor.  Last week, our neighbor Wendy Skerritt shared the following barking-dog story with us, further enforcing the notion that sometimes it pays to investigate the causes of dog alerts.

In the early evening last week, Wendy’s dog Sammy began barking a weird kind of bark that Wendy said she had never heard before. Though Sammy was clearly agitated, Wendy told her to shut up and behave herself.  About a half an hour later Wendy and her family heard the approach of sirens, an SFD aid unit soon arriving directly in front of their house, lights flashing.  Rushing out to see what was going on, the Skerritts found that an elderly man had fallen onto their parking strip and had been discovered by a passerby, who called 911. The man, named Chuck, was disoriented and had apparently suffered some kind of seizure, though seemed otherwise unhurt.  Wendy says she apologized to Sammy for not taking her alert seriously and promised to pay attention next time.

Rest your weary bones

The construction crews finished up their work last week and the re-engineered Bank of America parking lot triangle was inaugurated without any apparent fanfare (well, if there was a ceremony, we certainly weren't invited).  The new stonework base and benches, coupled with some improved landscaping, make for a pleasant stopping point for passers-by on those rare sunny days we have.

People were busily checking out the new seating arrangements over the weekend, though we shooed them off to take this shot (so less cluttered don't you think?).

Clearing up some more rumors

There was a story going around about a stabbing that allegedly occurred at an apartment building just north of E. Madison St. a couple weeks ago.  As the story went, a young male was attacked by his girlfriend, who fled the scene after the stabbing.  Supposedly the police set up a stake out in a neighborhood parking lot on the following day, just in case the woman should return to the scene of her crime. We checked out this tale with the Seattle Police's public information officer, who told us that there was no record of such an incident in the neighborhood.  Sound like something that might have happened on Capitol Hill?

There was another story that perhaps there had been a big drug bust in a vacant house in the neighborhood.  The cops figured out that a pot-growing operation was underway as a result of a huge increase in the home's electricity bill, according to the story.  This too appears not to be something that happened around here, according to one of the cops that covers our Charlie 3 beat.  Sound like something that might have happened in Madison Valley?

Another business turns out the lights

A couple of readers pointed out that though we had covered the story of Bella Dolce shutting its doors last week, we had missed the fact that another longtime Madison Valley retailer, Gentlemen's Consignment, had done the same.  Although the shop had been in business since 1989 and had weathered many economic ups and downs over that period, the current environment was apparently the final straw.  Gentlemen's Consignment, located at 2809 E. Madison St., had specialized in upper-end men's designer clothes, not more than two years old.

Seen on a bumper sticker at Madison Park Beach:

Straight is the new gay! 


  1. The poor gay black man has been around for a long time, usually calls himself patrick, always a similar story-locked out of somewhere, needs money to call locksmith. He works his way around the cd doing this. Don't even open the door for him, tell him you will call the police to help him out. Lots of stories on him at

  2. I agree with the comment above. I have seen this poor gay black man before. Sometimes he is with another man. DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR! He is creepy. Call the police when he approaches your door.

  3. .....and do not open the door for any white, straight people looking for money, either.

    Good dog, Lassie, I mean Sammy.

    Bryan, spaces that are designed and built to attract people actually look a lot better when photographed with people using them for their intended purpose. You know how when you see architectural rendings of buildings, parks, etc, they always have people drawn in them? That's why.

    I agree that B of A has done a great thing here. Not great was throwing two of the removed hedges down the path leading to the back door of the nail salon where they still sit today, and for crumbsakes, paint that building one color of dirty white, instead of six.

    Aren't street end beaches great? I think we should try to open up some more!!!!

  4. Hey Anonymous,

    Those street ends are public rights of way.

    Like I've said before, case closed.

    Unless you'd like to shut down some actual open streets because crime takes place along them as well?

  5. Cheers Benjamin! Couldn't agree with you more-- public is public.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.