Briefs: Thunder, mystery noise, Subway bike robbery, Captain America and more…

THUNDER: Did you hear all the thunder last night? A lightning strike was detected in Wallingford near the QFC, but no damage was reported. There were no strikes detected in the Ballard area.

MYSTERY NOISE: My Ballard reader Noreen sent us a note asking about all the noise near 65th and 24th in the morning hours. “It sounds like a leaf blower, only louder,” she says. Adds Gabrielle on Twitter, “(It) sounds *exactly* like the opening of Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song.” Any ideas?

SUBWAY BIKE ROBBERY: Police responded to the 4500 block of 9th Ave. NW on Tuesday night for a report of a robbery. According to the scanner, the Subway was robbed at gunpoint, and the suspect was seen escaping on… one of those green rental bikes. (Thanks Silver for the tip.)

CAPTAIN AMERICA: Speaking of bizarre crimes, a suspected package thief caught on camera in Phinney Ridge was carrying a Captain America shield. “Most superheroes you don’t think of stealing people’s mail,” the victim told KIRO TV.

MISSING LINK: There was a big turnout for last night’s Missing Link get-together at Peddler Brewery, featuring councilmember Mike O’Brien, the Cascade Bicycle Club and others supporting opening (closing?) the Missing Link in 2018. (Here’s our earlier story.)

PHINNEY APARTMENTS: The city has approved a rezone for the Phinney property at 7009 Greenwood Ave. N., boosting the high limit up to 65 feet. An apartment complex is planned.

FREMONT OFFICE: That prominent Fremont corner where Stone, 34th and Northlake come together — right next to the Burke Gilman trail — will become the site of a new office development. It will feature a pass-through for pedestrian and cyclists and a rooftop deck.

EL CAMION TRUCK: It took us awhile, but we noticed the El Camion burrito truck has moved across the street and down a bit, next to the drive-through Starbucks on 15th.

(Photo from the Seattle office of the National Weather Service).

Burglaries at Ballard stores and secured parking garage last week

Burglars broke into a secured parking garage on Shilshole Ave. near Market St. last Tuesday night, and it wasn’t the only Ballard-area burglary over a busy few days for investigators.

“On Wednesday morning we found multiple cars had windows smashed with multiple items stolen such as bikes and computers,” wrote My Ballard reader Celeste in an email. “Our motorcycle sadly was also stolen.”

She said the burglars threw pieces of clothing over some of the security cameras — but missed the one above — and escaped in an old white pickup truck with a big red stripe painted on the hood. She asks if anyone has seen the truck, to please call police.

A night later on Wednesday (1/10), a burglar broke into the Shell convenience store at 8th and Market, stealing “about $5,000” in cigarettes, according to a police report. On the same night, a burglar threw a rock through a window in a business in the 8500 block of 15th Ave. NW in Crown Hill — which is likely the Walgreens — and stole some items out of a display case. There was also a non-residential burglary reported in the 2400 block of Market St.

A night later on Thursday (1/11), there was a report of a burglary in a business in the 6300 block of 15th Ave. NW.

Of course burglaries are not a new phenomenon in our neighborhood, but Seattle PD crime statistics show they’re on a slow, steady rise in Ballard. According to the latest available numbers, Ballard experienced 486 burglaries through November of last year compared to 476 in 2016, 464 in 2015 and 438 in 2014.

It’s all a good reminder to call police if you see any suspicious activity.

Police investigating report of sexual assault in Salmon Bay Park

A photo of a “crime alert” flyer posted at Salmon Bay Park has been shared on the My Ballard Facebook Group — and emailed to us here — and we called Seattle Police for the details.

SPD Detective Mark Jamieson says they received a report on January 10th about a sexual assault that occurred in the park on the night of January 5th. The case has been assigned to a detective in the sexual assault unit, but it’s too early in the investigation for police to confirm what happened.

The anonymous flyer, which was not posted by the police, says a 16 year-old girl was walking through Salmon Bay Park at approximately 10:30 p.m. on January 5th when she was “grabbed by four men and sexually assaulted.” It asks that neighbors call police if they have any information or security camera video.

The flyer lists the East Precinct phone number, but Jamieson said the correct contact is the SPD sexual assault unit at 206-684-5575. The incident number in the case is #18-11435.

Jamieson said that police will update the neighborhood if they believe there’s a public safety threat. Salmon Bay Park is located in Loyal Heights between 19th and 21st Ave. NW at 70th St.

We’ll keep you updated, and thanks to everyone who sent us a tip.

Stabbing on Market St. sparked over a cigarette

Several readers asked us for details about last Sunday afternoon’s stabbing on a busy sidewalk in the 2200 block of Market St. We now have the police report, and it explains the stabbing originated over an argument about a cigarette.

Bicycle officers were flagged down by eyewitnesses who saw two men fighting near Market St. Shoes and Pie Bar. “Officers immediately crossed the street and discovered the victim was bleeding heavily from several stab wounds,” the report stated. “The assailant, who was standing nearby and appeared calm, was holding a small folding knife in his right hand. The knife blade was closed.”

The suspect told police that he was waiting for the bus when the victim approached him — someone he said he didn’t know — and asked for a cigarette. When he told the suspect no, he said the victim began to punch him. That’s when the suspect stabbed him, the police report said. The victim refused to answer officers’ questions, and he was taken to the hospital.

A witness told police it looked like a “slow motion pushing match on the sidewalk which led the witness to believe both were intoxicated.”

The suspect was arrested for investigation of assault. There’s no word on the victim’s condition, although his stab wounds did not appear to be life-threatening.

Fire attack survivor making steady progress in recovery, suspect still sought

The man who barely survived a vicious attack last November is enduring a difficult recovery, and doctors told him he’s fortunate to have lived through it.

Kasey Busch was doused with gasoline and lit on fire at 4500 Leary Way on the night of November 7th. He talked to KOMO TV last night, his first interview since the attack.

“He said, ‘what’s up,’ threw a Big Gulp cup of gasoline on me and, I’m like standing there thinking, ‘what the (*expletive*) is going on?” said Busch.

Seattle Police have identified the suspect as 31-year-old Christopher Burrus (pictured), a man who is known to frequent the Ballard area. Busch told KOMO TV he had a heated argument over stolen tools with Burrus’ ex-girlfriend.

Doctors told Busch that he flat-lined in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, and his burns were so severe, only 5% of patients typically survive them.

Burrus is still at large. If you happen to see him in the neighborhood, call 911. If you have information about the case, contact the Seattle Police Homicide Hotline at 206-233-5000.

Briefs: Market St. assault, Bitter Lake real estate, KBFG, Ballard Locks and more

A few quick stories and links from around the neighborhood…

STABBING ON MARKET: Police and medics rushed to 2220 Market St. just after 3 p.m. Sunday for an assault with weapon call. “Two men had a skirmish, and one stabbed the other. The injured man was treated and the stabber was arrested,” explains My Ballard reader Andrea who was there.

BITTER LAKE HOMES: Redfin compiled a list of the top 25 most competitive real estate neighborhoods in the US, and while Ballard wasn’t on the list, Lower Queen Anne was #13, Wallingford was #22 and Bitter Lake was listed at #18. Bitter Lake homes are selling for an average of 105% of list in 7 days time.

KBFG IN THE NYT: Did you see community radio station KBFG and Ballard High School in the New York Times over the weekend?!

BALLARD LOCKS: Tomorrow (Tuesday) a city council committee will hear a presentation on the “Economic Impact of the Ballard Locks.” As we’ve reported, the Locks are in need of federal funds. The presentation is scheduled for 10:25-55 a.m. in the Council Chambers City Hall, 600 4th Avenue. (Thanks West Seattle Blog for the tip!)

VETERANS SERVICES: The Ballard Library helped 70 veterans who needed housing and other resources last year, and its next drop-in event for veterans in need is this Tuesday from 10 a.m. to noon. Another drop-in is scheduled for the same time on Jan. 23rd.

36TH DISTRICT: We did not attend Saturday’s 36th District town hall on Queen Anne, but the Queen Anne News was there and posted this report.

Man points gun at driver at 15th and Market

A woman and her daughter were driving through the intersection at 15th and Market on Tuesday night when a man in a ski mask pointed a gun at them, according to a police report.

Police responded just after 9 p.m., but were unable to find the suspect. No one was injured.

The man was on foot walking eastbound in the crosswalk against the light when he “raised his right hand which was holding a pistol and deliberately pointed it” at the victims, the report said.

The woman told police she feared for her life. Her daughter gave police the same account. They told officers the man had a thin build, wore a black ski mask, “did not appear to be a homeless person” and was not carrying any bags or backpacks.

16 home burglaries in greater Ballard in a week

Updated: It’s that time of year when thieves are on the prowl for holiday gifts, cash and other loot — either inside or outside your home.

Scanning the Seattle Police crime maps, we counted 16 residential burglaries in Ballard, Phinney and parts of Greenwood and Fremont in a little less than a week, from Dec. 2-8. (This counts police reports that were filed, not 911 calls.)

We also counted 26 car prowls and 15 theft cases in the same area. While package theft isn’t categorized in the Seattle Police maps, it’s a safe bet it makes up many of those theft cases.


(A screenshot of a Seattle PD map showing all burglaries, thefts and car prowls)

We can’t compare these statistics with other times of the year on a week-to-week basis, but Seattle PD does provide aggregate monthly data here (which runs about a month behind). Historically, Ballard averages about 47 burglaries a month, and the numbers spike in December and January.

This certainly serves as a good reminder to be careful this holiday season. Seattle Police has compiled tips to prevent burglaries, car prowls and package thefts right here.

You can also see the latest police calls (and links to those maps and Seattle Fire calls) on our Ballard crime page.

(Thanks James for your help!)

1 dead, 1 injured in Interbay shooting

Update: Just after 7 this morning, police and fire rushed to the 3000 block of 14th Ave. W, right across from the Interbay Golf Course.

One person was discovered dead, another wounded in a shooting, according to KOMO News. A fire chief told KOMO the shooting was isolated to the two people discovered at the scene, which indicates a likely attempted murder-suicide.

Police have not released any other details. Traffic on 15th Ave. does not seem to be impacted.

Man in critical after being set on fire, passerby extinguishes flames

Update: Police have released a name and a photo of the suspect: 31-year-old Christopher Burrus.

Detectives believe Burrus doused the 39-year-old male victim with a flammable liquid and set him on fire.

Police say if you know where to find Burrus, call 911 immediately and do not approach him.

Earlier: Police say a man was set on fire just after 7 last night in the 4500 block of Leary Way in Ballard, across the street from the BevMo.

A passerby extinguished the flames and called 911. Medics arrived and took him to Harborview Medical Center, where he’s in critical condition.

Detectives are looking for a male suspect and his girlfriend in the case. There’s no word on possible motive or if the suspect and victim knew each other.

If you have any information regarding this case, detectives would like to talk with you: call the homicide/assault tip line at (206) 233-5000.

Earlier this year, a woman was killed in a stabbing in an RV parked a couple blocks north of this location on Leary Way.