SPD nabs multiple car-theft suspects
At about 8:30 this evening a Honda was stolen from the neighborhood, with a 911 call immediately going to the police about the incident. The evening shift had just begun at the SPD's East Precinct on Capitol Hill---and ultimately ten squad cars were dispatched into Madison Park to hunt down the four car-theft suspects. The reason for the massive police response was that the suspects had crashed the stolen vehicle into a garbage can in an alley near E. Galer St. and 41st Avenue E. and then had fled in different directions on foot.
One of the suspects ran down the alley, ultimately turning and running towards Lake Washington on E. Lee Street. At that point he entered the Reed Estate, where he hid until the arrival of a police dog, which apparently was able to track him inside the compound.
Police entered a side door to the Estate and apparently were able to flush the suspect out.
He ended up across the street (42nd Avenue E.), ran though various backyards, jumping over walls and running across decks along the way. He was eventually cornered and ordered to give himself up.
That's him being hauled away to a squad car in the photo at the top of this posting. As it happens, this suspect---a young, shirtless black male---ran by the Madison Park Blogger's house right at the time the sirens began wailing, so we were on the case from the start. We understand from one of our neighbors, Bob Edmiston, that a second suspect, who was later captured near 41st and Galer, was seen using an inhaler while on the run from police.
|Scene of the Action (click to enlarge)|
All of the police activity brought dozens of neighbors from their houses to watch the chase unfold. This caused the police to request over a squad-car P.A. system that everyone move back inside since police dogs were in action and they did not want anyone to get hurt. As far as we know, no one obliged.
FRIDAY MORNING POLICE UPDATE
As it happens the initial information we received about this incident was incomplete and, to some extent, inaccurate. We got an update from the Seattle Police this morning which corrects some aspects of our reporting last night.
According the official police report, which was just made available, the police chase was initiated when two officers in a SPD vehicle sitting at E. Madison St. and McGilvra Boulevard spotted a red Honda traveling at a fast rate of speed eastbound on Madison. The police activated their lights and pulled out in order to stop the Honda for a traffic violation. The Honda, after slowing down, suddenly rapidly accelerated and the police vehicle pursued the other car as the driver headed into the neighborhood south of Madison (the area of E. Garfield and 43rd Avenue E.). At one point the car halted and officers left their vehicle, but when the car again sped away the officers decided not to pursue. This, according to SPD spokesperson Detective Mark Jamieson, is consistent with the Seattle Police policy not to endanger the suspects or the public by pursing vehicles in these circumstances.
The police car, however, remained in the area and soon came upon a "citizen" who was franticly jumping up and down, yelling to police (though the officers could not hear what he was saying), and pointing down an alley. The squad car followed that lead, headed down the alley at 41st Avenue E. and E. Galer St. and discovered the crashed Honda. At that point the driver and passengers bolted. The two officers chased the driver, described as a young black male wearing a Cincinnati Reds baseball hat, on foot. At about that point the police radio notified the officers that the car was an "unverified" stolen vehicle earlier reported by the King County Police. Although they briefly lost track of the driver while in pursuit, they eventually tracked him down and arrested him near the intersection of 43rd Avenue E. and E. Blaine Street.
As we reported, two other passengers, also teenagers, were arrested after extensive chases involving K-9 units. Although there were reports that there might have been a fourth passenger in the vehicle, the police were unable to verify this, and Jamieson reports that "extensive area checks did not turn up other suspects." While the driver was ultimately booked into the Youth Service Center and is being investigated for "eluding" and "possession of a stolen vehicle," the other two suspects were released to their mothers pending further action on possible charges of "obstructing."
So there you have it: An unlikely summer evening police drama in Madison Park.