Pistol-packing pharmacist scares away robbers

A small sign in the Bob Johnson Pharmacy window says it all: Mike Donahue does not put up with anyone trying to steal from him.

The sign lists a half-dozen people who Donahue says have tried to rob the Crown Hill pharmacy since 1988. “None of them got away with it!” the sign reads. Donahue has security cameras set up, a security system and, as he tells KING 5, he’s armed with a Glock 19 handgun under his lab coat.

This is surveillance video of Donahue chasing a would-be robber out the front door. “When someone comes in to rob my pharmacy or put my patients at risk I have something to help protect us,” he says. He’s pulled the gun on three potential thieves, most recently a few months ago.

Bob Johnson Pharmacy isn’t the only business in the area around 85th St. and 14th Ave. that’s been the target of recent crime. Crown Hill Methodist church was broken into early in the morning on Palm Sunday, and just last week, someone broke into Wild Mountain Cafe.

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

187 thoughts to “Pistol-packing pharmacist scares away robbers”

  1. I'm pretty leary of guns but I loved this video! Make my day, punk!

    Then, some loser probably thought they were robbing the Crown Hill Meth church.

    Why don't these pharmacies start boycotting the oxycontin that the druggies are after?

  2. Beautiful, would like to see more of that. should be part of there schooling. if they are ganna be carring the street drug of choice. i ran into a plumber the other day who was carring a 45 cuz all the stealing that use to go on with the copper and the meth heads. now copper is down in price they go for something else. smart business guys kinda like madoff.

  3. I live around the corner from Bob Johnson's Pharmacy, Wild Mountain Cafe and the Methodist Church. I had no idea that these things happened. Over the past few weeks we have seen increasing amounts of drug dealing and transients in Baker Park just off of 85th on Mary Ave NW. There is also a group of teenage thugs that hangs out in that area, they throw trash in our yard and sit in their crappy cars blasting music all night long. It sucks, I no longer feel safe walking my dog by myself in my own neighborhood. Hmmm…how much is a concealed weapons license in this state???

  4. isn't he just another drug-dealer waving a gun around?

    seriously though, how did he catch those six people? did they 'freeze' when he pulled out the heat or did his cameras catch their description/vehicle?

  5. @MT Girl – $55, plus you must have a squeaky-clean record. You have to go into downtown and be fingerprinted, then wait 30 days for processing. They are good for 5 years.

    However (and I say this in all seriousness, and as someone who carries) – a CPL is not the right choice for everyone. You really need to research what your rights (and more importantly) your responsibilities and liabilities are. In many cases you may feel just as safe with pepper spray, which is far less lethal and permanent.

    In addition, you need to put some time in in training to know how to react to a situation.

    There are about a gazillion other factors that you need to take into consideration. Start with the pepper spray, and then start doing the research. If you still feel like you need to take the next step, and least be prepared and informed.

  6. Great work Mike! I've been going there for years and I love having a family run pharmacy in a neighborhood full of Walgreens and Bartells.

  7. Any gun store, and any place that sells shotguns (most sporting-goods, K Marts, and Wal Marts).

    You may also be able to order pepper spray online, but do your research first.

  8. Hmmm…they must have edited out the part where the guy was tryng to rob the place. Does this mean anyone with a hoodie trying to fill a prescription will get chased out with a gun?

  9. What scares you more, a law abiding citizen defending himself and his customers, or a criminal scumbag trying to make a business owner and his customers a victim? I frankly would feel safer inside his place. I would trust the owners judgment and actions more then the criminals. But hey, that's just me.

  10. Try to take away a mans livelihood = put your life in their hands. The poor guy had to do this what five times? No one should be afraid to shop there., just robbers!

  11. By the way business owners.

    I went for a drive at 3 am this morning. Ballard Ave, Leary Way and Market street had at least one pair of prowlers working each street. Unreal to see. It was like they were window shopping, right out in the open.

    Totally empty streets, with transients paired off ,walking up and down the streets, looking at doors, into windows, and ducking behind buildings and into shadows when they saw me coming. Of course, not a single cop anywhere, so they had the run of the place. Like something out of a movie, where everyone is killed by a bio weapon, but a few Mad Max types survive and search for supplies. They could have taken anything they wanted and nobody would have seen or heard them. Not a soul on the streets, aside from meth heads and transients running downtown Ballard streets.

    I only logged on here, because I assumed there would be at least one story about a break in last night.

    Same suspects – Young, very dirty and grimey white males with hooded sweatshirts pulled up over their heads, so you could not see their faces. ages in the early 20's – late 30's. Meth looking types

  12. All true, Kokosmama. Bartell's has a great pharmacy too.
    But I think I get her point. It's a big fish vs little fish thing. The small business owners have a hard enough time staying solvent without the threat of some methed up thug robbing them.
    I worked for the housekeeping service they used for awhile. I've seen the house. Matron Bartell was a nice lady but no little fish. ;-)

  13. It's surreal like a Mad Max movie. Ballard needs a Robo Cop. Maybe a night in armor that drives a Hummer up and down Market to keep an eye on the zombies who crawl seem to crawl out of holes after midnight. In all seriousness, it's time Ballard's business owners invest in their own security officers. All other major retail shopping centers have them. U-Village has security officers all over the place. You don't see any BS happening over there. If we're not going to see North Seattle police officers on the beat, I'd at least feel a better sense of security to see Mall Cops.

  14. Me too. I'm tired of running the gauntlet of “Real Change” sellers at Bartells. From now on, I'm going to this place for all my presecription needs.

  15. Good for him! That said, people should think twice before carrying a sidearm. For starters, the numbers don't lie: odds are more likely that the gun will accidentally kill a member of your family than save them. Lots of people die from accidents whether it's forgetting the weapon is loaded or accidentally shooting a family member coming home late. There's also the risk of someone jumping you from behind and taking your sidearm and using it against you.

    It's not just enough that you know how to use a gun – you need to make sure EVERYONE in your house knows how to use it. This includes your children. I grew up in a cop family which meant we had two pistols, a shotgun and a M-16 in the house. I knew how to safely handle these weapons before I even started grade school and I also knew to never play with them. Don't assume that because a gun is locked up your kids can't get into it. Of course if it is locked up it's also going to be pretty useless for self defense! For a gun to defend you it has to be easy to get at it. Problem is that also makes it easy to get at for your kids.

    There's also the matter of learning to shoot in a self-defense situation. Shooting on a range and shooting for real are very different situations. Guys who are ace shots on the range can't hit the side of a barn in combat. There's a reason it takes thousands of rounds of ammo for every enemy soldier killed. A nice way to simulate this is to do what we did in the Army: do 25 push-ups or a 20 yard sprint and then try to shoot. This is also why the biathlon is such a hard sport – shooting while you're heart is pounding is EXTREMELY hard to to do, even at close range.

    If you insist on a gun for home defense a shotgun is a much better way to go. You're much more likely to hit your target and there's much less risk of the bullet going through a wall and accidentally killing someone in the next room or your neighbor. Downside is you can't really go walking down the streets of Seattle with a concealed shotgun!

    Pepper spray leaves much to be desired, especially if it's windy out. Too great a risk that it will diffuse or blow back in your face. A better solution is the PepperBlaster from Kimber America. This device fires a jet of liquid rather than an aerosol spray. Much more accurate, longer range, more effective and it won't blow back in your face.

  16. Mall Cop is correct –

    How come every time someone mentions the merchants hire security, there is dead silence from them? They have no problem putting up all sorts of Christmas lights each year at a huge cost and that hay stuff on poles at Thanksgving, but God forbid they hire a security gaurd to walk the business district. Just pitch in and hire a couple Ballard bar doorman who need some extra shifts. Whats so hard to figure out? You can call 911 til you're blue in the face. It's a waste of time. If the businesses support the food bank and give handouts to the transients who come in, and let them set up panhandling outside their stores, there is a price to pay so the rest of us don't have to deal with the problems the transients create. You wanna have pet transients? Pay for security to police them.

    You attract the transients, now YOU foot the bill to clean up the mess Ballard business owners.

  17. Very evocative description, MDfS! Thanks for that.

    Also, +1 to Mall Cops' idea of private security. Thanks to all the bars, you'd really only need him to patrol from midnight to 8 AM. Figure $20/hour, 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, 4 weeks a month… call it $5k/month. If presented properly, I think it'd be easy to get 5,000 people in Ballard to contribute $1/month if it meant that the neighborhood was patrolled at night. If only there was an easy mechanism to collect that fee. Maybe the Ballard Chamber could investigate? Or just put out a giant tip jar at Seafoodfest? Seems like you could collect all $60k (enough for an entire year) at such an event.

  18. Just got off the phone with Office Hage of North SPD. He's a member of our Community Police Team. I found out we can hire off-duty SPD officers. They work in pairs, so we would have to pay for two. We would hire them to start out randomly twice per month. This way, the street doesn't know which nights they will be out. We might be able to set up a mechanism to raise funds through our District Coordinator, Ron Mattson. I understand Rob is working closely with Ballard's Chamber. This could be a start. The city just doesn't have the funding to provide officers to be down walking or riding bikes on a beat at this time. This means local business owners must help fund the cause. Likewise, many individuals are willing to throw a few bucks into the public safety pot.

    Also, note if you witness drug deals going down, please record as much information as you can, and call North SPD's Anti-crime Team number, 684-0748.

    We can all make a difference if we stay on top of this. You should as well consider starting and participating in local citizen patrols, like the one currently operating in Belltown.

  19. Thanks Roy – I grew up in rural Montana and my Dad is an avid gun collector so I have experience with firearms. Dad's main gun rules are: Never point a gun at someone unless you mean to shoot them & if you do shoot someone you better make sure they are on your property!

    Having grown up in the country around guns of all types I have this advice to anyone who owns guns and has kids…As with most things, if you make the gun a big scarry no no your kids will want to see it, touch it and shoot it out of curiosity. Be responsible and teach your kids how to safely use them. Take away the mystery and the mystique. It never occured to me to sneak around to see my Dad's guns..all I had to do was ask and he would take me shooting. I know this is different because I was not in a city, but education and safety are the top priority when you own a firearm.

    As far as hiring private security and the Ballard Chamber…I work at a retail store in the Ballard area and the Chamber is useless. They only care about Seafood Fest and nothing else. They have no interest in helping with anything. We asked for their assistance in getting the City to fix all the street lights on Market and they said that was not their job and we should call the Mayor…thanks for nothing.

    Most Ballard retail stores are having a tough time right now, so dishing out more $$ for private security is a long shot. If you want merchants to hire private security I recommend that you all start/keep putting your dollars in your local shops. Then maybe we can get some security.

  20. I never said he was a thug (I can usually tell the difference).

    Yes, it's one guy. But it's one guy who is there apparently 24/7/365…or so it seems. I don't think I've walked into Bartells once in the past 3 or 4 years when there wasn't somebody there selling the paper. It's like he's a part of the shopping experience there. At least at Ballard Market, they mix it up a little – you can actually go shopping there occasionally without having to say “no thanks” on the way in and out. It's tiresome to deal with it e-v-e-r-y t-i-m-e.

    I guess I just have “homeless fatigue”. I used to buy the paper from time to time, but I'm just tired of Ballard being Homeless Central, and until the city stops dumping all the homeless here, I've decided to stop encouraging them.

  21. Doesn't scare me one bit. Then again, I don't walk into shops with my face hidden.

    Try walking into a bank with your gray hoodie pulled up so your face can't be seen…

  22. I agree 100% MSFS – why the hell aren't the businesses doing anything about this? THEY are the ones who are the primary targets (at least based on what was observed). And as you point out, they support the things that attract the bums here (food bank, etc.).

    Would it do any good to try and shame them into coming 'round? Make a list of those local busnesses that are promoting vagrancy, post it on the web, and ask locas to boycott them until they become part of the solution rather than part of the problem?

  23. Dear MT girl,
    You comment makes no sense. I thought Chambers of Commerce were membership organizations…I haven't been a member of the Ballard Chamber, but have experience elsewhere……The best way to get assistance of the Chamber is to join the Chamber……some how your retail employer is not a member? – he/she should join. The Seafood Fest is a big event that is for sure, but I doubt that is their only interest.

  24. “I grew up in a cop family which meant we had two pistols, a shotgun and a M-16 in the house. I knew how to safely handle these weapons before I even started grade school and I also knew to never play with them.”

    You learned how to safely operate an *M-16* when you were in kindergarten?!


  25. It seems that the Ballard Chamber is universally reviled as useless or worse. Anyone disagree?

    If they're really standing in the way of improving things, why not go around them, and create an alternative? Call it the Better Ballard Chamber, or the Real Ballard Chamber, or the Ballard Citizens Chamber, or whatever. If the Better Ballard Chamber can score some success, the other group becomes irrelevant….let them run the damn seafood festival and get the hell out of the way for the other 51 weeks of the year.

    What's wrong with this picture?

    And MT Girl, with regard to money being tight now and local shops being reluctant to ponying up some cash for a patrol….money is tight with all of us, and if they think business is down now, just wait until everyone decides the streets are not safe enough to bother shopping locally. Some folks here have already come to that conclusion, and if the crime wave continues unchecked, many more will, and the shops will eventually suffer a lot more. It's in the shops' best interest to curb the crime wave.

  26. Shame on Bob. I don't understand how running out onto the street brandishing a gun is making our community safer. I will *never* give him my business.

  27. Why can't the food bank pitch in for a cop? Or the churches doing these soup kitchens? These transients are only here for them, but they never ever make an effort to help solve the problem. Take the money out of the church weekly collection plate. Same goes for the businesses that feed the food bank. Have an added tax for them, that goes to security. They are using the food bank as a garbage can rather than pay trash pick up costs. All left over food is driven over, because it's cheaper than paying for trash pick up.

  28. I was at Fred Meyers at noon driving down the road on the south side by Albert Lee, and I saw a lady in a log purple coat looking in cars parked on the street. She tried the door on one car. I called the cops. This was at Noon!

  29. Ha ha Gunluver

    I know! It's become almost funny at this point. They do what they want, take what they want, attack anyone they want, and there are virtually no police ANYWHERE to stop them. They walk all around with open beers and take drugs, like they are at a huge house party. But, downtown you have teams of cops on everything from bikes to horses, inside cars, undercover, patrolling Belltown. It's become almost funny, but sad too. That is because there are WAY more voters down there for Nikels. Try walking through downtown with an open beer. See how far you get.

  30. It's kind of true, though. What was he going to do, shoot at the guy on a busy street?

    Not saying I won't give him business, just saying.

  31. Did you get a quote on what an off-duty SPD will cost? I used to work for a national retailer and every so often we'd terminate someone in one of our stores for stealing and they'd threaten our staff and we'd have to hire off duty cops just to play it safe. They were very, very expensive – far more than a private security guard. In many areas it was time and a half which often worked out to $40-60/hour. Worth the peace of mind when you have a ex-employee threaten your staff but not something most retailers can afford to do on an on-going basis.

  32. I didn't get to fire it until I was 7 but I did know how to hold it, operate the safety and most importantly learned to never EVER point it at anyone. FWIW, a M-16 is an incredibly easy weapon to fire. Quite accurate and very little recoil – far less than the shotgun, .357 revolver and .38 snubnose he wore for court appearances.

  33. “Shame”? The shame is that these POS aren't stuffed into a crab pot and left in the Ocean for a day or so. Your concern should be with the local businesses left to defend themselves with little help from the city.

  34. “As with most things, if you make the gun a big scarry no no your kids will want to see it, touch it and shoot it out of curiosity. “

    YEP!! I think that applies to a lot of things! Parents these days seem hell bent on taking every element of risk out of their kids lives. Kids can't ride their bikes to school, can't walk to school, have to wear helmets when playing soccer, can't climb trees, etc., etc. People forget that children are natural born daredevils and they WILL seek out risk, parents be damned. The more you coddle and protect your kid the more likely they are to do something bad.

  35. One other thing to consider: meth heads and transients are not the ones you need to worry about as a retailer. That's not where your shrinkage is coming from.

    I worked corporate L/P for a national retailer and of all of our stores it was the ones in the wealthier cities that had higher theft rates, not the ones in dicier 'hoods. Reality the biggest source of shrink for most retailers is their own employees, not the crack heads (that's what happens when you pay minimum wage!) If you doubt that look up any of the papers published by Dr. Richard Hollinger who is regarded as the leading authority on the subject. Also keep in mind most shoplifters are not transients or meth heads. Most shoplifters have on them at the time of apprehension the means to pay for the merchandise they're stealing. Most are bored teenagers, housewives and people who steal for the thrill of it rather than out of need. Others are part of organized retail theft rings who steal from stores and then sell the merchandise on e-Bay. You certainly do come across your share of homeless and crack head crooks but they're not the problem since they're pretty easy to spot. It's the clean cut, polite person who acts like a good customer that's going to take you $10-100k. I personally investigated cases where the crook turned out to be a doctor, lawyer, teacher, grad student, fire fighter, Navy SEAL, carpenter, and TV news anchor. The idea that you can spot a shoplifter by how they dress is simply a myth.

    Retailers cracking down on transients is sort of like when people pass assault gun bans in an effort to reduce gun violence. It's a scary looking stereotype that people are afraid of but in actuality it does little to reduce the problem.

  36. Alright, a couple of points.
    How much $$$ was spent on the stripper stings?
    How much $$$ was spent for the traffic cam on 15th and Market?
    How much $$$ was spent, and has yet to be spent, researching and implementing the gun ban in city parks? (and the inevitable court cases)
    They simply DO have the money to provide the level of police protection required, it's just NOT their priority. Raise hell!
    Beat cops aren't the only solution, but the most important one at this time.
    Meanwhile, we have folks like Mike who are doing what they can, and being successful as well.
    Until it becomes a priority for Seattle to protect Ballard, and neighboring communities, screw em', and that goes for the Mayor too.
    I'm sick and tired of trying to run a business, and doing block watches, reporting, etc., while hearing the business community in general getting blamed.
    Screw you too!
    With much love…chopper out.
    Oh, and yes, that sketchy hooded punk was going to rob the place, clearly.

  37. Not a member, I see no benefit to membership, sounds like a country club, at best. They certainly have done nothing about these issues, in fact, silent and ineffective as usual.

  38. Yeah, the Ballard Chamber has proven itself to be worse than useless. The street lighting here is a total joke. But they will do nothing.

  39. Ballard just does not have the Nikels voters downtown does. Its all about votes. Thats why the have horseback, cruisers and bike police patrolling every single blog. A numbers game.

    They can't spare two bike cops accourding to Officer Haag or a single cruiser? Sure pal, whatever you say. Why don't the police tell Belltown to hire their own off duty cops. We dont even get on duty ones, we ARE PAYING FOR with our property taxes.

    Since when is the polices job to tell the citizens to hire cops out of their own pockets, if they don't like the crime wave? This sounds like Mexico. Todd was practically beaten to death. But, they tell us to shut up, or hire cops out of our pockets if we want any protection.

    Seriously, its how its done in Mexico City

    They want us to forget, we are paying for police already. Why should we need to bribe them to come to Ballard?

  40. I understand the 'homeless fatigue' but please leave the Real Change vendors out of this. Most of these guys sell the paper so they CAN get a place to stay. I walk by without buying the paper all the time and nothing happens to me. I don't even say 'no thanks.'
    Unlike the crack heads who will yell profanity at me if I don't give them anything. It's not the Real Change vendors who are robbing pharmacies. It's those junky bozos.
    And Real Change is actually a pretty good paper. Challenging crossword, and everything.

  41. We pay more taxes than any neighborhood. But, it's so bad we need to put out a collection jar to hire off duty cops? Why don't they do what we pay them for on duty? I think it's time Ballard became it's own town again. Its the only choice.

  42. An election is coming up. Vote Mayor Knucklehead out. The three challengers I've heard coming up to bat should be questioned about how they would treat neighborhood security.
    Donaldson is the only true pro-business one so far but I haven't heard much about any of them yet.

  43. This is a tough reality of our future all across America. Those who can afford to be protected, will be protected. Gated communities will continue to thrive as well. I moved to Seattle from Atlanta over ten years ago when crime was getting bad in our near-the-city neighborhood. I see a similar trend here, but it's happening much faster. Ballard has a chance to be something special. It has clearly moved in a new direction, for better or worse. Now it sits teetering toward a bright future. The nightclub owner's need to step up to the plate, along with the Chamber, and all the big condo associations. We need the deep pockets to get a security force in place. Knowing cops are out on the street only a couple of times a month, is an easy start. It's a small start, but it sends a clear message to criminals that we're not east targets. They'll soon find out it's time to move on.

    I pledge $150.00 tonight to start the pot. If others are interested, I'll figure out a way to collect and distribute the money to North SPD. I've already spoken to them about this. They pay the off-duty cops through their normal payroll. You'll have to trust me to see that this happens. We will build momentum. I'll meet with anyone, in person, in public who wishes to donate.

    I'm not a Buddhist, but I do love a daily meditation book that I read. I'll close with a page I just flipped to. It's a wonderful quote from The 14th Dalai Lama: “When we feel responsible, concerned and committed, we begin to feel deep emotion and great courage.”

  44. If they're blasting music you can always call the cops on them for noise violations. After a couple tickets they'll move somewhere else.

  45. That's true from a loss/shrinkage point of view, but when your store's neighborhood is considered unsafe or has the appearance of being unsafe from a large meth/crackhead population you will lose customers and their business.

  46. Couldn't Donahue have just talked to the man, listen to his stories and struggles, like the Donahue on tv?

    I moved to Ballard because I thought this was a compassionate neighborhood, not the wild west : (

  47. SeaSpider,

    “more likely that the gun will accidentally kill a member of your family than save them”

    It was from this study and have been completely discredited.

    Arthur L. Kellerman, Protection or Peril?: An Analysis of Firearm-Related Deaths in the Home, 314 New Eng. J. Med. 1557-60 1986.

    Of the 43 deaths reported in this flawed study, 37 (86%) were suicides. Other deaths
    involved criminal activity between the family members (drug deals gone bad).

    Of the remaining deaths, the deceased family members include felons, drug dealers,
    violent spouses committing assault, and other criminals.

    If you live with felons, take risks or abuse drugs they are much safer then pools cars or even doctors.

    This being said, if you choose to arm yourself please seek training.

  48. err

    “If you live with felons, take risks or abuse drugs they are much safer then pools cars or even doctors.”

    should have read

    If you live with felons, take risks or abuse drugs they may increase risk but other wise they are much safer then pools cars or even doctors.

  49. The bottom line here is that the SPD has the same number of officers today that they did 30 years ago when Seattle was half the size. Seattle also runs a ratio of police to citizens that is about 1/3rd to 1/5th that of most major cities. We clearly just don't have the police force to be effective.
    Think about what running the skeleton PD means, no time to walk a beat if you're responding to calls. Spending your whole day responding to calls leaves no time to do follow ups on crimes, get to know the characters in your beat, no time to do visibility/deterrence patrols, and for a lot of these guys the knowledge that there will be little backup close by if something goes wrong.

  50. God, this site sure did become a bunch of frightened, gun toting nut jobs. It's weird and really not the neighborhood I thought I was in.

  51. and if we use photo cop we can get more cops off traffic patrol and onto foot patrol where they should be. handling the true crime, not the revenue crime.

    don't get started on traffic violations pleeeze!

  52. MDfS – you can just download that one that I linked to – it should print out just fine. Photocopy a few, and do what you like with them. Cheers.

  53. Right, because, you know, we want our thugs to feel like the neighborhood belongs to them, so they don't have to feel threatened or unwelcome while they're breaking into someone's home or car or business.

  54. Too right. Might be nice to have a mayor who understood you don't get one without the other, though. Right now, if your business isn't downtown (or Belltown) you don't get protection. Guess the folks on the cruise ships don't get up this far.
    Better mayor. More cops. Too much to ask?

  55. I don't see this as fear-mongering. A chain of crimes are now being documented in one spot. People are coming out of a fog and are seeing for the first time there's more crime happening in Ballard than they thought. No one is calling for lynch mobs. All people want are some basic laws enforced. I prefer to be able to walk into Bergen Place Park and not get aggressively accosted. When you get accosted, robbed, or attacked, it becomes personal. You can either fight back or leave.

    If you haven't been following, below is a list of major and minor ongoing crimes that have happened in the last two weeks:

    Major events:

    1. A man got brutally attacked, robbed, and left for dead in Greenwood on a week night.
    2. The following Friday night there's an armed car-jacking.
    3. The same Friday night there are three muggings on the street. The assailants claimed to have guns.

    Minor Events:

    1. Numerous cars have been stolen
    2. Numerous cars have been broken into
    3. Tagging (graffiti has proliferated)
    4. Drugs are being used out in the open in Bergen Place Park
    5. An area called “The Jungle” had to be cleared because it was a hideout for chronic drug users
    6. Homes are being broken into

    To keep up with what's happening on the local crime scene, also read the Ballard Tribune.

    The Ballard area is a great place to be. Seek ways to make a positive contribution in any way you can. The best contributions are free. For instance, smile, greet people, say hello to folks you believe are different than you. Many of us have much at stake here. We're home owners, parents, and business owners.

  56. How can you say “things were great here before you came” when you don't know me at all?

    Are you an adult?

    Would you like it if your kids (if you have them) knew your internet persona?

  57. Half of the people on this site spout accusations without any proof whatsoever. Stick around for a week. You'll see what I mean.

  58. Thank you Trix. No, it's not too much to ask.
    Since the big push as of late in the CD and Belltown, we, and other neighbors, are receiving the results.
    Time to get the focus where it belongs. imho.

  59. Weird? Ok, silence. I guess I didn't understand the meaning of the word weird.
    Gun toting? I haven't seen it, 'cept on tv.
    Nut jobs…I've seen and heard from enough of those.

  60. How about going to visit Todd in the hospital for proof? Or simply read the paper. The facts are the proof. No one individual is being accused of anything. There are many inferences being made based on generalized observations.

  61. Let's face it, Todd wasn't even in Ballard when he was attacked. Not saying that that violence couldn't spill over, but he's not exactly the best example.

  62. Mall Cops, I'd gladly match your $150 if I was sure the money would be well spent. But giving a lump sum to the North Precinct just sounds like a bad idea.

    Instead, how about you (or Choppper, or Trix, MDFS) run for a position in local government? Whether that's leader of the Chamber, or the Council, or whatever, I think it'd be good to get someone reasonable, concerned, and motivated in a position that already has a formal line in to the police's decision makers.

    I'd do it, but I run my own business and that takes up the majority of my energy.

  63. a few years ago i remember massachussates pharmacies having signs saying “NO OXYCONTIN HERE”, and some patient advocate groups got angry and brought the case to the supreme court… i don't recall the outcome or whether or not the case is still pending/appeal/whatever…

  64. I'm in the same boat dink, not much time and energy remains.
    Besides, I'm pretty damn sure that I'm allergic to politics.
    I should hold out for King ;-)

  65. I would say the video is proof of what I suspected. I saw no robbery attempt. Now I understand what the posters mean when they say they were accosted or assaulted in Ballard. They mean they saw someone who looked different than they do.

  66. But, we need the sane ones to stick around! Damn.
    I can't blame you, or anyone else that isn't hip on getting involved in the political hay, it's just broken as hell, and anybody that stood up would soon find the rug pulled from beneath them…
    I think it should be a group, five or six local folks, so that no-one could be singled out and trampled under the foot of the city council.
    Just saying, a group would be better than one for that reason alone.

  67. Actually I was referencing the CDC stats from 2006 which listed 360 firearm related deaths that were the result of “legal intervention” compared to 642 to “unintentional” deaths. Suicides were the biggest group – 16,883 (4,000+ more than homicides).

    You are right, guns are still VASTLY safer than cars. Always amazes me how many things people will freak out about when it comes to safety but then think nothing about getting behind the wheel of a car! Cars are still the number one killer of children – way ahead of pitbulls, assault rifles, stranger abductions and all the other media fueled paranoias.

  68. Rose, you didn't see that scum-bag looking for the good doctor? The moment he saw the doctor, he was headed for the door, that was before he said or showed anything. Take another look, and leave your bias at the door.

  69. A citizens arrest is legal, and expected in my book. Provided that you know what the risk is, don't fire the weapon unless necessary, etc.
    If you are afraid, sorry, stay alert, out of the way, and you'll be just fine.

  70. Where do you start? Join the chamber? I agree, it's not worth throwing money at the problem. We all know who the thugs are. When someone gets seriously hurt or killed by them in Ballard, the city may actually be forced to do something.

  71. like a traffic light, crosswalk, or stop sign. Death has to occur, sometimes more than a few, before the city feels obligated to study the issue. And I do mean study, after a while of that, they may do something…
    geez, I feel a rash, damn politics.

  72. I can't help but notice that 90% of the comments in this thread are made by the same 5 people who comment repeatedly on EVERY post involving crime. Most of you sound paranoid to me.

    Property crime is probably up because of the soaring unemployment rate (doubled in this area since one year ago). Violent crime is infrequent enough that it makes a spectacular story when it happens. Ballard has always been a little sketchy. It's part of the charm. It's still the safest neighborhood I've ever lived in.

    Belltown is MUCH worse than Ballard, so that comparison is a laugh.

  73. This isn't anyone being paranoid. The reason you seem the same people on a thread is because their having a discussion. Think of it as a virtual meeting room. We don't have each others personal contact info., and it's best it stay that way. If it bothers you, don't read it. I said this before above, wait until you or someone you know is a victim of crime, then it becomes personal. You fight or flight. The people on this blog are attempting to fight, yet nothing has really materialized. However, public officials and public safety officers do follow these threads, so we know we're being heard. The blog is a wonderful way for people to participate in an active democracy. You have nothing t fear, none of your personal liberties are being infringed on. If you're a thief and or drug user, you do have something to fear. Our community isn't going to allow you to operate in Ballard with immunity.

    If you don't think there's an issue, go to Bergen Place Park tonight after 10:00 and stay on the street to 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning.

  74. Maybe he was looking for the doctor because he wasn't up front. Maybe he was headed for the door because he had a large man with a gun chasing after him.

    He wasn't headed for the door before he saw the gun. Maybe you should watch the video again. Based on this evidence, I'd say he pulled the gun out on a guy wearing a hoodie.

  75. The ACLU could have a field day with this one. If that man could be found I smell serious law suit.

    That fool John Wayne wanna be is gonna kill someone and lose his business.

  76. and you'd be cheering? what a shame…
    I bet you'd deny that his actions have actually saved lives, not just in his store, but the thugs, thanks to him, that haven't gone on to victimize more folks.
    How is that packing going, rose?

  77. If you want to go out at 3 AM and police Ballard be my guest.

    And to be fair, anyone wearing a hoodie and out at 3AM is going to have a “thug” look to them.

  78. “If you are afraid, sorry, stay alert, out of the way, and you'll be just fine.”

    What in the hell are you talking about?

    All your posts have this “I'm noble” quality going for them, like you're out there, fighting for the greater good when you're just posting on a frickin' blog. It's sad.

  79. No need to be such a dick. She has a different viewpoint and you want her out of Ballard? Lame.

    And where, in that post, does she mention, she'd be cheering?

  80. She opened the move, by stating she was moving.
    Any comment about what my point actually was?
    Or, are we just going to call each other names…

  81. No chop I would be vert sad; that he ruined two lives, his and his victim's. His actions have saved no lives at all. AND my guess is they have lost him business. Who wants to go into a place with a loose cannon?

  82. )ver 90 percent of of defensive uses of guns do not involve firing a shot at the perp, of those I am sure that not all hit their targets and of that group a tiny number cause death.

    If you do not kill the perp did it not “save your family”?

  83. He ruined the crooks life how? but not letting him hold up the place?

    Not everyone is so afraid of good law abiding people defending themselves as you, statistic show that citizens are far less likely to hurt innocent bystanders then police with firearms and I don't fear going in there at all.

  84. It's not just this thread, it's the same people on EVERY thread. It bothers me, because most of the discussion is based on paranoid nonsense. I read it, because I live in the community and care what goes on.

    A bunch of freaks come out at night? Really? What a shock. You know, we do live in a city.

  85. Sorry Rose,
    A loose cannon is you…
    My guess, is that his business has suffered no loss, in fact, as long as he is vigilant, it won't.
    Thanks again Mike.

  86. This is a local thread, so, it will be the same folks most of the time. Sometimes, it's pro, sometimes it's con, but it's always worth the read. imho.

  87. Actually chopper I said I was wishing to move but will not unless I can find a good set up like I now have. In this market that is iffy. Ballard is a nice neighborhood but, with the exception of college, I have lived here all my life and I grow a little tired of it. I am not a hater of change and in many ways, and in many areas; Ballard is a nicer place than it was 30 years ago. I don’t have issue with the condos and miss few if any of the businesses that have closed. I would miss the ability to walk to work but that’s about it.

  88. The crime threads draw a particular subset of the community. Other topics have more diversity and not nearly as many posts. This one has the same people preaching the same message to a (small) choir over and over and over again.

  89. We are all subsets aren't we? And we have our own perspectives, I tend to be a public safety hack, so crime issues are important to me, and I'm not alone. But, calling anyone or any group a subset, is to minimize their importance in the community. imho.
    Again, read about the bird, the park, the french place, anything else, if this isn't your cup of tea. But, you can't help it, can you?

  90. 11% of police shootings kill an innocent person – about 2% of shootings by citizens kill an
    innocent person.

    Cramer C and Kopel D. “Shall issue: the new wave of concealed handgun permit laws.” Golden CO:
    Independence Institute Issue Paper. October 17, 1994

  91. It is on that video twice, when he is handing them a pre-written piece of paper, you are just ignoring it to fit your view of reality.

  92. you may want to see the eye doctor silence.kit

    On Feb. 19, Douglas walked into the Bob Johnson Pharmacy at 1407 N.W .85th St. in Seattle and presented a note to the pharmacist indicating he had a gun and demanding oxycodone. The pharmacist returned to the counter with a semi-automatic Glock pistol, which he pointed at Douglas. Douglas left the store.


  93. You can always just pull your “Ballard Sucks” hat down further over your eyes so you don't see him, which sounds like what you want to do…it doesn't take much effort for me to look him in the eyes and say, “no thanks”. He looks right back the says, “OK”.

  94. A public safety hack? Does that mean cop wannabe? I had a neighbor once who was a cop groupie. She slept with pretty much every married cop in Seattle I think. We would hear the cruisers drive up day and night.

  95. He did no such thing. He had a piece of paper which he handed to no one. Gosh maybe a prescription? That would be a pre written piece of paper right? Sometimes folks bring those into pharmacies.

  96. refer to your previous response to my self-invested statement…
    No, I don't have any desire to be a cop, or to sleep with one…
    that's a loose cannon.

  97. you should try reading the linked stories before you play Internet Perry Mason.

    His security camera recorded a hooded man earlier this year walking into the pharmacy on the same day Donohue returned from the police station to identify a suspect from an earlier robbery.

    it was Douglas and he has already pled guilty.

  98. If you're a public safety hack, I can only assume that you are alarmed by the recent sentiment on this board towards owning guns. Despite occasional sensationalistic news stories like the one about the pharmacist packing heat, statistics show overwhelmingly that guns make a neighborhood more dangerous, not less.

  99. Mahtlai69, I'm not as paranoid as a lot of the commenters on here but show me these statistics, everything I've seen shows that the prescience of guns actually has no impact on crime either way.

    “There’s no clear relationship between more guns and higher
    levels of violence.”

    Keith Krause, Project Director, Small Arms Survey project, Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva,

  100. I've seen statistics that point to an overall decrease in violent crime in regions that have the highest percent per capita of ccw permits. The exact opposite of what you believe to be true. Sorry.
    btw, nobody messes with the Swiss, because everyone is issued a firearm, yes, everyone. Care to take a guess at what their violent crime stats are? Have a nice day.

  101. Gun users are far more likely to 1) accidentally shoot someone, 2) have a family member commit suicide by gun, or 3) commit a crime themselves by illegally shooting someone in “self-defense” than they are of successfully and legally preventing a crime by using their gun.

  102. Switzerland is 8th in the world in accidental gun deaths per capita. For the most part, they obtain their guns through their military service. For enlisted men, that gun is a rifle, which is much safer than a handgun and less likely to be used in a crime.

  103. Sir what is your source of this miss information?

    1) In 1993, there were 1,334 drownings and 528 firearm-related accidental deaths from ages
    0-19. Firearms outnumber pools by a factor of over 30:1. Thus, the risk of drowning in a pool is
    nearly 100 times higher than from a firearm-related accident for everyone, and nearly 500 times
    for ages 0-5.

    National Center for Health Statistics, and the National Spa and Pool Institute

    2) Worldwide, the per capita suicide rate is fairly static (the suicide rate of the U.S. is lower than many industrial countries, including many where private gun
    ownership is banned). A certain fraction of the population will commit suicide regardless of the
    available tools.

    3) The four year violent crime arrest rate for CCW holders is 128 per 100,000. For the general population, it is 710 per 100,000. In other words, the general public is 5.5 times more likely to commit a violent crime
    than a CCW licensee.

    “An Analysis Of The Arrest Rate Of Texas Concealed Handgun License Holders As Compared To The Arrest
    Rate Of The Entire Texas Population”, William E. Sturdevant, PE, September 11, 1999

    Of the 2,500,000 annual self-defense cases using guns, more than 7.7% (192,500) are by women defending themselves against sexual abuse.

    When a woman was armed with a gun or knife, only 3% of rape attacks are completed, compared to 32% when unarmed.

    U.S. Department of Justice, Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, Rape Victimization in 26 American Cities, 1979

    The probability of serious injury from an attack is 2.5 times greater for women offering no resistance than for women resisting with a gun. Men also benefit from using a gun, but the benefits are smaller at 1.4 times more likely to receive a serious injury.

    Department of Justice's National Crime Victimization Survey

    Every year, people in the United States use a gun to defend themselves against criminals an estimated 2,500,000 times – more than 6,500 people a day, or once every 13 seconds. 112 Of these instances, 15.6% of the people using a firearm defensively stated that they “almost certainly” saved their lives by doing so.

  104. After passing their concealed carry law, Florida's homicide rate fell from 36% above the national average to 4% below, and remains below the national average (as of the last reporting period, 2005).

    Cramer C and Kopel D. Shall issue: the new wave of concealed handgun permit laws. Golden CO: Independence Institute Issue Paper. October 17, 1994

    In Texas, murder rates fell 50% faster than the national average in the year after their concealed carry law passed. Rape rates fell 93% faster in the first year after enactment, and 500% faster in the second. Assaults fell 250% faster in the second year.

    Bureau of Justice Statistics, online database, reviewing Texas and U.S. violent crime from 1995-2001.

  105. after their service, where they actually carry a machine gun around with them during the day they are actually compelled to own either a rifle or a pistol, most are privately owned.

    Pistols are also the most common firearm to be used in defense situations. In fact 80% of gun defenses, the defender used a concealable handgun.

  106. Those are some interesting statistics. Some of them are relevant to the discussion about whether we are safer or not safer owning guns. Others, such as how dangerous swimming pools are, or how likely concealed-weapon permit holders are to be arrested for a violent crimes, are not.

    I disagree with you regarding suicides. Suicides often occur when someone who is inclined towards depression has a psychological crisis. In these cases, suicide is usually an impulsive act, so access to a firearm will greatly increase the chance of them going through with it. According to the CDC, firearms accounted for 55% of all suicides in the US. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the 15 states with the highest number of gun owners had double the suicide rate of the 6 states with the lowest number of gun owners. Population sizes of the states were similar. Globally, there are other cultural factors that make a direct comparison complicated.

    I'm curious about your DOJ statistics, because they seem extremely incorrect. According to this victimization survey by the
    DOJ (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/ascii/hvfsdaft…), the average annual number of victimizations in which victims used firearms to defend themselves or their property is 82,500. This is significantly less than the 2.5 million per year that you claim (link please).

    The same survey also says that there are an average of 340,700 crimes per year in which firearms are stolen. So, according to the DOJ, a gun is more than 4x as likely to be stolen as it is to be used to thwart a crime.

    Finally, the statistics regarding rape victims are interesting, but ignore the fact that 70% of rape victims know their attacker. I would expect that firearms are far less likely to be used in cases where the victim knows the attacker, and your statistics are skewed accordingly. Your assault statistics for both men and women are similarly biased. How many of the 2.5x more likely to be seriously injured unarmed women are being assaulted by a loved one?

  107. The Swiss generally keep their machine gun after their service is completed. However, the weapon first has the automatic action disabled.


    My point is that there are more rifles than handguns in Switzerland. Rifles are inherently safer because 1) they are difficult to conceal and 2) it's easier to hit what you aim at. It also isn't legal to carry a gun around with you unless you have a specific reason to do so (like a job in security).


    Switzerland is 3rd in the world with 46 guns per 100 residents. The US is 1st, with 90 guns per 100 residents. What was chopper_74's point about violent crime statistics again?

  108. The CCW holder crime statistics were provided as a counter to your unsubstantiated claim that because people legally own a gun that they would be more likely to commit a crime with it. A wild assertion that has no bearing in reality.

    The pool statistics are given to give a comparative risk to an inanimate object. As humans we are really good at misplacing the actual risk imposed by activities or inanimate objects. Look at BHO and his fear of the homeless when most of the violent crime is committed by people who may not be high on the economic ladder but tend to have a domicile of their own. Now before he comes back with stories yes there are bad people in any group, but the majority of people are good.

    There are a lot of dangerous things in life from cars to chainsaws, haven made the effort to learn safe gun handling and by observing the four simple rules of gun safety I have personally mitigated the risk to the point where it is really statistically insignificant.

    As for the Suicide issue it is complicated, and also note that those states with high rates do tend to have less services and and high risk populations. Unfortunately there are several ways to effectively end ones life even in the heat of the moment if one makes that tragic decision.

    The DOJ statistics are from cases where there was an arrest or a conviction, something that does not happen with every defensive use.

    “More than 450,000 crimes, including 10,744 murders, are committed with guns each year. But Americans also use guns defensively about 2.5 million times a year, and 98 percent of the time merely brandishing the weapon is sufficient to stop an attack.”

    Bogus lawsuits a crime against gun-owning public, Washington Times Feb. 24, 1999.

    As for the rape victims being attacked by those they know, of course a firearm is not a magic talisman, it is a force multiplier and that is it, a tool that should be your last resort. I would assume that these statistics do include attacks by people known by the victim.

  109. OK the thread drift and small size of the responding box is getting old here so I'll let you guys co on but…

    “The major surveys completed in the past 20 years or more provides no evidence of
    any relationship between the total number of legally held firearms in society and the rate of armed crime. Nor is there a
    relationship between the severity of controls imposed in various countries or the mass of bureaucracy involved with many control systems with the apparent ease of access to firearms by criminals and terrorists”

    Colin Greenwood, “Minutes of Evidence”, Select Committee on Northern Ireland Affairs, January 29, 2003.

    Pistols are also more practical for self defense and actually our victimization rate is pretty good in this country. You are for more likely to be a victim of violent crime in England then you are here in the united states. Most of the violent crime in this country is criminal against criminal due to the silly war on drugs and the rampant amount of organized crime in this country.

    Mahtli69, if you ever want to sit and have coffee and talk about this let me know, I think we could have a productive talk even if it just cements our personal beliefs more.

  110. For the record, I am NOT a gun-control advocate. I support the 2nd Amendment, and I think that a more violent society is the price we must pay for this right.

    However, I do not like that the gun industry tells people that guns make us safer. Perhaps in the hands of a person with the right training AND temperament, with the right consideration given towards secure storage, and with some luck, it is true. But, we are human after all, and statistics and common sense show that guns, which are designed to kill, are dangerous.

    In my opinion, the pro-gun lobby spins statistics and cultivates fear far more than their opposition. I agree with you that the US is generally a safe place, and that most gun violence is fed by the insane drug war and consists of criminals killing other criminals. For me personally, I have a wife and kid in my house, and decided a long time ago that the risks of gun ownership far outweigh any potential benefit. In general, people own guns out of fear, and when I hear of someone I know buying a weapon for protection, my first thought is that they wussed out.

  111. Glock 19 handgun under his lab coat will really scare robbers away. Security cameras cannot put a bullet in their body, it's the gun. Seriously though, that sign is a work of a genius, whoever thought of the idea.

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