Arson suspect confesses, evidence revealed

In court Saturday afternoon, a judge set $1 million bail for Kevin Todd Swalwell. According to the statement of probable cause (.pdf), Swalwell “was captured on surveillance video at 8516 Greenwood Ave. N at the time of a fire being set to the rear of the restaurant there that was determined to be arson. Suspect admitted to detectives, after Miranda waiver, that he was solely responsible for setting the fire, along with several other arson fires.”

Previously convicted for arson, Swalwell has been homeless with a mailing address at the Ballard Food Bank. He’ll be formally charged next week.

Also on Saturday, hundreds of people packed the Greenwood Sip & Ship for the reopening of the Green Bean Coffeehouse, which was destroyed in that Oct 23rd fire. Green Bean even hung their old sign, which was virtually undamaged in the fire, outside along the sidewalk. PhinneyWood has complete coverage.

30 comments on “Arson suspect confesses, evidence revealed”

  1. Who cares if he was a parish member or shelter client of Calvary or NOT. The point is someone who admits to being part of the arsons is behind bars. I for one am happy about that.

  2. Now that they've posted a photo of his face, does anyone remember seeing him at the community meeting the other night? I bet he was there.

  3. You're kidding? I guess he passed the 'look them in the eye' test too.

    So that's 1 child rapist, 1 arsonist.

    Thanks Pastor Steve, you've done so much for the community, why don't you take a long break.

  4. This ass*ole wasn't a member of the PARISH, he was apparently a one time shelter user….those are two different things. He was in fact a user of the Ballard Food bank…

    I think all of us in Ballard/Greenwood/Phinney are fed up with importing criminals into our neighborhoods.

    And I am also happy he is behind bars. I hope he goes to jail for a loooong time… I believe the 'three strikes” law applies here.

  5. Thank you Jules for being a voice of reason.

    These creeps are rapidly destroying this neighborhood and I wish there was something, ANYTHING we could do to stop them – but it seems that there are to many people that just want to make our neighborhood a magnet for the bums (not the homeless, the BUMS), bend over backwards endlessly making excuses, and do everything possible to enable them. Shameful.

    It is so sad to watch this neighborhood turn into a dystopia.

  6. Seattle and now King county are “sanctuary cities” and ID seems to be a thing of the past. Except when renting movies, paying bills, driving, etc. To bad the “needy” can't be singled out and helped. I got a bag to fill from the Boy Scouts for a food drive and am torn, as it's for the BFB again and I'd like to make a more personal attempt at helping a family in REAL desperate times, as I'm getting by OK in these crazy days. What to do? Ideas? Is it a hammock or a safety net? A hand-up or a hand-out? I'm pro-choice here.

  7. Well as someone who uses the food bank regularly. I'll just say thank you for all the times you've donated food/items before.

  8. Please don't stop donating to the food bank.
    Punishing good people in need b/c of one bad person is ridiculous.

  9. I think we need to be clear that there are people down on their luck, the unemployed (like me, and Reba, and Nora) and the elderly, and the “working poor” and underemployed, and then there are the bums/vagrants/drug addicts/criminals, who have come to our neighborhood; not to work, not as part of our community, but imported by SHARE, and enticed here by the shelters, the free lunch program, the availabilty of services, and the “target rich environment” in downtown Ballard for panhandling. Many, if not most of the “bums” aren't from here; we've made it possible for them to be here by “enabling them.”

    I think that if we put pressure on the mayor and the City Council to pass anti-panhandling laws, like they did in Tacoma, a vast majority of the “problem vagrants” would disappear, once their source of income dried up.

    Oddly enough, in the Great Depression, when there was literally no breadwinner in one quarter of families, you did not see this kind of activity in Ballard. (according to my Mom, and other sources.) People were willing to work at just about anything. In fact a great many of our public parks were built by the “homeless” and the unemployed as part of the CCC. Do we see the “homeless” of Ballard helping out in our parks? No, we see them making our parks unfit for our families…bums sleeping in the parks, drug deals, needles, vomit, beer cans, human waste, prostitution…all of these things have come to our neighborhood, courtesy of those who would make all our residential neighborhoods a “homeless haven.”

    The time has come for the people of Ballard to band together and say “enough is enough.” We're tired of making Ballard the “Skid Road North Annex”.

  10. “Previously convicted for arson, Swalwell has been homeless…”

    Homeless? Well, problem solved for the scum Swalwell.

  11. Hey, if Pastor Steve can find a way to bring more creeps, crooks, and kooks into the neighborhood he'll do it. And his “flock” at the church seems to be okay with that.

  12. I have freinds who go to Our Redeemers, and this issue has torn the congregation apart. There are some who say “well, Jesus fed the poor and the hungry and consorted with the criminals…” OK, but why does it have to be in Ballard? There are more than 30 places downtown where the homeless can get fed, as well as the shelters.
    Oh, wait, many of these bums either don't WANT to be in shelters, because they would have to abide by the rules (no drugs, no drinking) and SHARE has made their shelters havens for sexual predators…
    What about the rights of the people who live in our community? What about the rights of the business owners who have had their stores vandalized, burgled, and now torched by the homeless? Apparently they are secondary to the rights of the indigent, and the criminals.

    It has also occured to me that if more people in Ballard attended Our Redeemers, then more of us would have a say in what Pastor Steve's agenda seems to be.

  13. He will get “3 hots and a cot” in cell for quite some time,I hope. Doesn't the “Three Strikes Rule” apply?

  14. “if more people in Ballard attended Our Redeemers, then more of us would have a say…”

    You don't really get it. Pastor Steve is doing what he wants when he wants. He's using his flock as sheep submissive to his shearing.

    If more people at the church walked out and stopped giving this fraudulent priest money he *might* be slowed down a bit, but he'd keep right on sucking the life out of Ballard.

  15. “What about the rights of the business owners who have had their stores vandalized, burgled, and now torched by the homeless? Apparently they are secondary to the rights of the indigent, and the criminals.”

    Yes, the are and it will become more and more this way across all Seattle. This is a city that shall reap what it has sowed.

  16. Where did you hear that and do we have any evidence he was a resident at the shelter?

  17. Are you the same Reba who pays membership dues to Ballard Health Club (a topic in the forum a while back )? I sure hope not, because if so, you should be paying for your own food.

  18. As much as people posting here seem to want to, I doubt that we can sort the poor into the “Mickey Rooney Boy's Town sightly down and out” and the “unsightly ne'r-do-well dirty danger bums.” Reality it is much more complicated; people fill both and neither category.

    If you hate the “bad” bums being in the area don't stop giving to the food bank; get after local law enforcement to do its job and punish law breakers until those people are gone. Screwing all of the unfortunates because some bad people use the same service strikes me as clearly un-Christian (I'm an atheist, but those who advocate this can't rightly be called Christians) and patently Orange county.

    As for the hammock/safety net argument, Mexico has neither, and I don't want to live there.

  19. 'why does it have to be in Ballard?'

    Why not in Ballard? Ballard is not special.

    It appears btw that this gent was born and raised in Ballard.

  20. Hey, to be fair, I have a lot of friends who don't drink but go out to bars to see live music or visit with friends. Sometimes it's free, sometimes you know people and don't have to pay a cover.

  21. Yes, this is true, but if it is the same Reba then I think she has some explaining to do. I for one don't understand how someone can belong to a health club and take food from a food bank. Next thing you know she'll be talking about her cable tv, her pets and the fact that she has no roommates. There is down on your luck and there is taking advantage of the system.

  22. In this case, I sure hope the three strikes rules apply. I've heard that serial arsonists tend to “up their game” continually and if he ever has the opportunity to set more fires, he's likely to eventually kill somebody. It seems like this is why we have the 3-strikes law. My husband owns a small business that is located near this guy's prime fire-starting area and every night I was afraid it wasn't going to be there in the morning.

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