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May 13, 2013 at 11:43 AM
Seattle police are investigating a shooting early Saturday outside a South Seattle nightclub that left two people wounded.
The victims, a man and a woman, are being treated at Harborview Medical Center.
The shooting was reported just after 2 a.m. outside Dahlak at 2007 South State Street.
Police said responding officers found a woman on the ground outside the nightclub with a bullet wound to the leg. The second victim was located inside Dahlak, also with a bullet wound to the leg.
Police said it appears the victims outside of Dahlak when they were struck by gunfire.
May 10, 2013 at 2:39 PM
A 32-year-old former teacher at a Seattle private school was charged this week with four counts of first-degree child molestation, accused of sexually touching two of his young students during classes when other children were present, according to King County prosecutors.
Jordan Eareckson Murray — who went by the honorary title of “Rabbi” at the Torah Day School in Columbia City — was arrested May 3 and spent less than 48 hours in the King County Jail before posting a $100,000 bond, according to jail and court records.
Murray, a married father of three, does not have a criminal history, said Dan Donohoe, spokesman for King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg.
Formal charges were filed Tuesday, accusing Murray of touching the girls under their clothes numerous times since the middle of the school year. Other students in Murray’s first- and second-grade classes were apparently unaware of the behavior because Murray’s desk blocked their view, charging papers say.
The two girls and at least four other students in Murray’s classes, all ages 6 and 7, routinely complained of anxiety, headaches and stomach aches, but the girls’ parents said the children were fine and acted normally after being sent home early, the papers say.
The two girls, a 6- and 7-year-old, were playing together at the younger girl’s house and told the girl’s 12-year-old sister — who is also a student at the school — that “Rabbi Murray puts his hands in their pants,” charging papers say. The girls were scared and confused and didn’t know why it was happening, the papers say. The sister brought the girls to her mother, and they disclosed the alleged abuse, according to the charges.
The 12-year-old had baby-sat Murray’s children in the past, the papers say.
Another 6-year-old also described sitting on Murray’s lap or standing between his legs, and said other girls in her class also sat on his lap, according to the charging papers. The girl said Murray often hugged her from behind and touched her over her clothing, the papers say.
The Seattle Police Department received two referrals from Child Protective Services on April 23 and launched an investigation, the papers say. Murray, who has since lost his job at the school, declined to provide a statement to police, charging papers say.
“The defendant is a clear danger to children given the circumstances of this crime where he abused his position of trust as a first and second grade teacher, secretly molesting these girls in class in front of others,” Senior Deputy Prosecutor Carol Spoor wrote in the charging documents.
Murray is scheduled to be arraigned May 20.
May 8, 2013 at 6:09 PM
Seattle is on the verge of a possible buying spree, to acquire cleaner lift trucks, parking-enforcement scooters, and other vehicles that emit less carbon.
Using shiny white vehicles as a backdrop, Mayor Mike McGinn on Wednesday announced a “Million Gallon Challenge” to avoid burning that amount of petroleum fuels between now and 2020. This would equate to a 42 percent reduction from what McGinn said is already America’s cleanest city fleet. Carbon dioxide is a cause of global warming that threatens to raise ocean levels 1 to 3 feet by 2100.
The city government’s output, and even that of 7 million Washingtonians, is a drop in the bucket globally. McGinn said he hopes Seattle’s actions will set an example for local businesses and for other cities. Mayors like to compete for such distinctions as “Number 1 green fleet,” he said.
- Seattle already has 14 new-generation lift trucks, for electric-line crews and traffic-signal installers. They use diesel only to drive then use conserved battery power from regenerative braking (like a hybrid car) to operate the lifts. Old-style trucks idle on diesel all day while crews work overhead.
- The city bought the first two “Firefly” brand electric vehicles for parking enforcers, and two others. Besides clean fuel, they include a bike-rack space so a second officer can ride along, then pedal through the target neighborhood writing citations.
- Software and tracking devices will be used to plan routes and track speeds of vehicles, to reduce fuel demand.
- More biodiesel, made of 20 percent waste vegetable oil, will be used.
As for jump-starting a market, King County Metro famously led the way by moving toward an all-hybrid fleet, placing a 500-bus order in 2007 with General Motors, Allison Transmission and New Flyer that helped to stimulate new manufacturing lines. And in Seattle, a city-funded natural-gas fueling station near South Park made it possible for garbage contractors to convert in 2009 from diesel to compressed natural-gas vehicles.
A big question mark is cost: Will taxpayers take a hit, or would fuel savings pencil out by offsetting the upfront price of cleaner rigs? Chris Wiley, city green fleet manager, said breaking even is a goal. The new-generation lift trucks can cost $300,000 — $50,000 more than standard ones, he said. The total initial cost for McGinn’s program hasn’t been established yet. The mayor would likely provide dollar figures in September in the preliminary 2014 budget, said Julie Moore, a city finance spokeswoman.
May 3, 2013 at 3:58 PM
UPDATE AT 5:18 P.M.: Fire department medics responded to the victim’s location and transported him to Harborview Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.
UPDATE AT 5:04 P.M.: Police have impounded a possible suspect vehicle, a white Volvo sedan, which was recovered in the 5100 block of South Avon Street. The shooter remains at large.
UPDATE AT 4:33 P.M.: Police responded to a 911 call of a shooting in the 9400 block of 50th Avenue South just before 4 p.m. Preliminary investigation indicates that the shooting took place near 55th Avenue South and South Prentice Street, police said.
The victim, a 20-year-old man, was driving a Dodge Charger when he was struck in the head by a gunshot, police said. The victim then drove to the 9400 block of 50th Avenue South, where family members called 911.
No one else was in the victim’s vehicle at the time of the shooting, police said.
The shooter is believed to have been in another vehicle.
UPDATE AT 4:22 P.M.: The Seattle Fire Department says the victim is in his 20s and has a gunshot wound to the head. Still no word on suspect(s).
ORIGINAL POST: Seattle police are investigating a shooting near Renton Avenue South and 51st Avenue South.
Police say the victim, a man, was struck in the eyebrow/forehead by a bullet, but was able to drive to his home, where police found him.
Police say the victim is conscious and alert. He’s being taken to Harborview Medical Center.
It’s the second reported shooting in Seattle today.
This morning, police arrested a suspect in connection with a shooting in the 5200 block of 39th Avenue South. In that shooting, witnesses said the gunman may have been firing at the occupants of a black Mercedes-Benz around 10:40 a.m. No one was injured.
We’ll update this post as soon as we have more details.
May 3, 2013 at 11:01 AM
Seattle police have arrested a suspect in connection with a shooting this morning in the 5200 block of 39th Avenue South. Officers also recovered a handgun.
There are no reports of victims or property damage.
Witnesses tell police the shooter may have been firing at the occupants of a black Mercedes-Benz around 10:40 a.m. The gunman then ran off, sparking a police search.
April 30, 2013 at 1:38 PM
The Seattle police officers’ union has reached a tentative agreement on a new four-year contract with the city, the union head announced this afternoon.
Sgt. Rich O’Neill, 54, who has been president of the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild (SPOG) since 2006, made the announcement during an invitation-only news conference at union headquarters. The guild represents about 1,250 members, including officers and sergeants.
The agreement is still subject to a vote by SPOG members and City Council ratification. The tentative contract covers the period from 2011 through 2014.
The agreement provides for a cost-of-living increase, which O’Neill declined to disclose until he meets with SPOG members. However, O’Neill did say the increase will maintain Seattle officers’ position as the top-paid cops in the state.
The agreement also includes a provision to “reopen” the contract so the city and guild can negotiate changes in officers’ working conditions — specifically changes in regards to discipline — that arise as reforms to the police department move forward, O’Neill said.
SPOG has been working without a contract since the previous one expired in 2010.
In a statement on the tentative agreement, Mayor Mike McGinn said,“We have reached an important milestone in our work to form a new contract with the Seattle Police Officers Guild. My priorities during this work were to ensure that a new contract would support public safety in Seattle, recognize city budget realities and support our work to fully implement the reforms enshrined in our settlement agreement with the Department of Justice. I am pleased that our tentative agreement has achieved all three of these basic priorities.”
The question of who pays the guild president’s salary is also a topic that can be reopened at a later date, O’Neill said. Contract negotiations between the city and SPOG had reportedly splintered over a proposal that the city no longer pay the salary and benefits of the O’Neill. Currently, the city pays O’Neill $125,000 in salary and benefits under the terms of a 2008 contract while he serves full time as the union’s leader. Under previous contracts, the union paid the president’s salary, according to O’Neill.
No other union head representing city employees receives a full-time city salary.
“While the agreement does not immediately resolve the President’s salary issue, it provides a clear path to settle this issue in the near term while preserving the value of reaching closure on the overall contract,” said Aaron Pickus, McGinn’s spokesman.
SPOG members will be voting on the contract over the next two weeks and the ballots will be counted on May 22.
Under the agreement, O’Neill said SPOG agrees to drop a lawsuit, filed along with the Seattle Police Management Association in March, seeking protection of their collective bargaining rights in response to police reforms mandated by a court-imposed agreement with the Department of Justice.
The agreement lays out specific steps to address excessive use of force, biased policing and other practices in the police department.
O’Neill and Lt. Eric Sano, president of the management association, said the court action sought to clarify the bargaining rights of the two labor groups. Sano said today his union will also drop its suit.
April 30, 2013 at 9:43 AM
Dan Schulte, whose wife and newborn son were severely injured in a March 25 crash in Seattle’s Wedgwood neighborhood, said this morning that both face a “long road ahead,” but he’s hopeful about their recovery. Karina Ulriksen-Schulte and their son, Elias, suffered traumatic brain injuries in the crash that claimed the lives of Dan Schulte’s parents.
Addressing the media for the first time since the crash, Schulte said his wife and son continue to show improvement despite their devastating injuries. Schulte was joined at a news conference at Seattle Children’s hospital by his sister, Marilyn Schulte, and physicians who have treated Ulricksen-Schulte and Elias.
Schulte said his wife has “a pretty long road ahead of her.”
One of her team of physicians, Saman Arbabi, said Ulriksen-Schulte, 34, suffered a stroke shortly after the accident and sustained damage to the left side of her brain. She has since stabilized to the point where she has been moved from Harborview Medical Center to a skilled nursing and rehabilitative facility, but the communication center of her brain was permanently damaged and it is unknown how completely she will recover.
Arbabi said that while the damage sustained cannot be undone, it’s possible that other areas of her brain will develop new pathways and take over the work of the injured areas.
Only time will tell, Arbabi said.
Elias is now being treated at Seattle Children’s hospital, he said. He has learned to feed again, and a shunt was inserted into his brain to drain fluid that had built up following the accident. There are still unknowns about his recovery, but “he’s come a long ways,” Schulte said.
One of the most pressing questions is whether his sight has been damaged and, if so, to what extent, said one of the infant’s team of doctors, Francois P. Aspesberro. He said Elias, who was 10 days old at the time of the crash, is resilient and has remained in motion through his recovery. His prognosis is aided by the fact that a newborn’s brain still has potential for development and growth, he said.
“I’ve definitely had moments of despair. I have a new life, and I have to deal with it,” Schulte said, but “I definitely have hope for the future.”
Schulte’s parents, Dennis and Judy Schulte, had just moved to Seattle from Indiana to be near Schulte, his wife and newborn son.
Dennis, 66, and Judy Schulte, 68, were on a walk with Ulriksen-Schulte and Elias on March 25 when they were struck by a pickup as they crossed Northeast 75th Street.
The driver of the pickup, Mark W. Mullan, was charged with two counts of vehicular homicide and two counts of vehicular assault and is being held on $2.5 million bail. Prosecutors say after the fatal collision, Mullan’s blood-alcohol level was measured at .22 — or about three times the legal limit for driving.
According to court documents, Mullan, 50, has been arrested at least five times in Washington for driving under the influence. Three were in the early 1990s — two in Puyallup in 1990 and 1991, and one in 1994 in King County. In the past six months, he was arrested on suspicion of DUI twice.
According to prosecutors, Mullan was driving with a suspended driver’s license at the time of the fatal crash. He also did not have an ignition interlock device on his pickup, which he had been ordered to install.
While Schulte this morning declined to discuss his feelings about Mullan, he said he hopes his family’s tragedy “can result in some positive outcomes.”
The crash was entirely preventable, he said, and drunk driving laws need to be “tougher.”
One week after the Schultes died, a 58-year-old Seattle woman was killed in a crash with a wrong-way driver on Highway 520 near the University of Washington. Michael A. Robertson, 25, has been charged with vehicular homicide and ordered held on $1 million bail. Police and prosecutors say Robertson was driving under the influence when he crashed head-on into a car driven by Morgan Williams.
In the wake of the three deaths, Washington lawmakers plan to overhaul the state’s DUI laws.
April 25, 2013 at 2:25 PM
A 34-year-old homeless man accused of stabbing his mother in the face has been charged with first-degree assault-domestic violence, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
Kevin D. Ross, 34, was arrested Wednesday after Seattle police were alerted that he was sleeping in Peppis Park at 32nd Avenue and East Spruce Street.
Police say Ross showed up at his mother’s apartment near 18th Avenue and East Madison Street at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday and began stabbing her when she opened the door. He ran off when his mother’s boyfriend came to see what the commotion was about. The boyfriend chased Ross, but eventually lost sight of him.
Medics treated the victim at the scene and then took her to Harborview Medical Center. Police said she suffered three deep stab wounds to her face.
According to other family members, Ross is homeless, suffers from mental illness and abuses drugs, police said. Charging papers allege the attack was unprovoked.
Ross, who has a prior conviction for second-degree assault, is being held in jail in lieu of $500,000 bail, the Prosecutor’s Office said in a news release. He is scheduled to be arraigned on May 7.
If convicted, he faces a minimum of about 13 years in prison.
April 16, 2013 at 10:24 AM
The streets around Third Avenue and Yesler Way have been reopened after Seattle police determined an unattended backpack did not contain explosives.
The area was closed to vehicular traffic after a police officer and bomb-sniffing K-9 spotted the backpack around 10 a.m. Police spokeswoman Renee Witt said the officer and dog were on a patrol that was ordered in the wake of Monday’s explosions at the end of the Boston Marathon.
“After yesterday, we have to act with an abundance of caution,” said Witt.
Police bomb/arson personnel used a bomb robot to examine the backpack, which was determined to be safe. The backpack contained a hair dryer and electronics, police said.
April 8, 2013 at 11:26 AM
A former Los Angeles resident was sentenced today to 17 years in prison in connection with the July 2011 plot to attack a military installation in Seattle, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Walli Mujahidh, 34, pleaded guilty in December 2011 to charges of conspiracy to kill officers of the United States, conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Federal prosecutors said Mujahidh and Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif plotted to kill U.S. military recruits in a machine-gun and grenade attack on the day after Fourth of July 2011 in hopes of inspiring like-minded radical Muslims in the U.S. to carry out terrorist attacks. Their target, according to federal prosecutors, was the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) on East Marginal Way South.
Abdul-Latif, 35, was sentenced last month to 18 years in prison. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction and to murder U.S. officers.
Police learned of the plot through a paid informant, who secretly recorded conversations with the men, according to an indictment.
According to the FBI, the informant recorded conversations with the men in which Abdul-Latif said he hoped the attack would inspire other young Muslims to rise up against the West.
According to court documents and law-enforcement sources, Abdul-Latif had initially chosen Joint Base Lewis-McChord as a target at least partly because Stryker soldiers there are being court-martialed for allegedly murdering Afghan civilians. The target was changed later to the MEPS because the base was considered to be too large and hard to penetrate.
The two men were arrested in June 2011 after Abdul-Latif allegedly paid the informant for rifles and grenades that had been secretly disabled by federal agents.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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