I’ve always been really impressed with the stories posted on this site, but I am a little surprised that there has been no mention of the huge fight that happened in StarBucks on Saturday 1/29 has gotten no mention. I would think that a large group of teenagers running into the store, throwing each other around (and into me and my baby) hitting each other with a golf club and pepper spraying the entire (crowded )place would have warranted a mention by now.
My tone isnt meant to sound snarky either, I was looking to see people’s take on the event. The store was crowded with people, my husband and I felt lucky that we got a table to sit at and play cards. We had been there maybe twenty minutes…maybe when the large group rushed in. One girl attacked another not three feet from where I was sitting holding my three month old son. While my husband stood to block them I got him out of the store, luckily right before a couple of them decided to pepper spray the entire place. Since I ran out ahead of time my son and I were fine but I missed alot of what happened inside.
My husband was ill from the pepper spray, I feel very lucky that I had decided to get outside before the spray happened, but I was also really worried for the other people inside. Ages from teens to elderly were present. The police came very quickly, though I still dont know if any arrests were made.
I’m sorry that happened to you and your family. I’m nervous about entering any business around the 23rd & Jackson intersection in general. We really need to do something about this neighborhood. I hear about something like this practically every week.
Thanks for your post and I’m sorry this happened to you and your family. I wanted to respond to the note about our coverage of this event.
We gather crime news information in a variety of ways. Sometimes, we get information from the police scanner that we either go in person to the scene or check with SPD to confirm. More often, an official police report is posted (days after the event) with details of an incident. And most often, we get a note from somebody in the neighborhood who saw something or was a victim. That’s how it’s always been on CDNews — and our dependence on your eyes and ears will never change. Nobody knows more about what is happening in the community than the people who live and work here.
This incident does have one important reminder to me as a newsgatherer. I was out at the scene of a car vs. pedestrian collision Saturday night just after the brawl incident. I heard a bit about it via the scanner but as I was at the scene of the accident, I couldn’t get all the details. I asked one of the senior officers at the scene about the brawl at 23rd and Jackson. In his judgment, it wasn’t a big deal, he said. He mentioned that there had been a fight with a couple kids and pepper spray had been used. I was looking into it today when our cohort at SeattleCrime posted the full story. Given resources and time to gather information, I was happy to see Jonah had the story for us to share.
Hope this helps you understand how CDNews works and how you can help out. Thanks for being part of the site.
Wow, sounds like a crazy experience. I am sorry to hear about your husband. I combined your account with the report from Seattle Crime: http://www.centraldistrictnews.com/2011/01/31/brawl-at-23rd-
The staff at the 23rd and Jackson Starbucks said they had to clean the place to get rid of the pepper spray residue, some staffers were ill from the pepper spray, the brawlers threw coffee machines and other for sale merchandise around the store, and left a butcher knife on the floor when they cleared out. Sounds like a nasty time. I’m in that Starbucks every morning and some afternoons, and have never seen anything like THAT. There is a lot of crazy behavior and crime at the bus stop there, and in the parking lot. TristenW, sorry this happened to you and your family.
I’m glad you decided to post your account. Waiting for others to do so, on a community news site is somewhat odd.
I’m sorry that you & your family were affected by the violent incident, but to complain that someone else didn’t report it seems odd to me.
I hope your husband is well, I am sorry that the city continues to use this area as a” Quote un quote” containment zone. It seams to be because of past history in the area(that has been funneled by the city), that city and government entities do won’t not these events to accrue any place else. There are so many good, compassionate people in this neighborhood don’t give up
That kind of stuff happened a little too often for me. Not to mention the homicides and cop killing.
I moved my family to Mercer Island. Say what you want but people here just don’t to these types of things. We don’t see this behavior here thank God. And I’m not afraid to send my kids to the public schools.
Its a shame. It could be such a great area. Why do these things happen so often in the CD? No easy explanation.
Nah… on Mercer Island you just get serial killers, kids tagging swastikas rather than gang signs and teens who kill themselves because they didn’t get the right expensive car as a graduation present…. People who move to the burbs because they think it is somehow safer make me laugh… the drugs are still there, its just easier to hide it when you have enough money that you don’t have to resort to petty crime and the problems are still all there, they just manifest themselves in different ways.
reality check: Tell yourself that if it makes you feel better living in the CD. However, Mercer Island doesn’t have houses which, for generation upon generation, house felons – like the 5 houses on my block. Every 15 years the next child has a child, and they grow up to be a juvenile, then an adult, felon. In my lifetime I have seen 4 generations of this in the same houses. Grandma is only 45 years old. Her daughter is 30, her grandchild is 15, with a pregnant gf. Each and everyone – grandma, daughter, grandchild – all felons. You absolutely do not see that on M.I., while on my block (25th and Jackson) that’s the norm in 5 houses on the block! I envy people who can afford to move to M.I. I grew up in the CD, and I only wish I had the money to flee to M.I. with my kids.
I grew up on Mercer Island and wouldn’t live there if you paid me! In fact my mom has tried to give us her house and we turned it down and chose to keep our home in the CD. I don’t want to raise my children in a bland environment where keeping up with the Jones’ is the #1 priority. As for the schools my parents spent 33% of their annual income sending us to private school in Seattle because the MI school system wasn’t cutting it.
That being said, it sounds like you live on a bad street. I love my neighbors…..lots of families, lots of diversity, and all together a great community. There are some houses like you describe a few blocks away. Perhaps you should look around other parts of the CD and move onto a better block….either that or you can rent on Mercer Island and try it out firsthand. Perhaps you will figure out that life on MI is not without some serious issues.
you white people never cared a bit about the central distric until you(white people) start moving in! when it was all black, you people never gave a damn!
Hi whoKares–You’re right that white people didn’t care as much about the CD when it was all black. It’s true that this neighborhood has had a hard time getting positive attention from city government, and it’s true that the mostly African-American community has been badly treated by banks, insurance companies, and others.
Still, do you think anyone, white, black, or otherwise, should just turn a blind eye to fights or shootings in the Starbucks parking lot? Do you think black people should accept this kind of violence, just because they’ve been living here for longer than some white people? I doubt it.
I sometimes hear the argument that the CD was always like this, so white people should just mind their own business–after all, they should know what it was like when they bought or rented that house. Well, that’s partly true: people should definitely learn about a place before they move there. But it’s also crap: violence, shootings, drug sales, and prostitution, aren’t okay for any neighborhood, no matter who’s living there. I have a hard time believing that black Grandma, who’s lived here for 40 years, wants shootings at the park. And she doesn’t like junkies on the corner, either–black or white.
So is the problem that white people give a damn? I doubt it. Black people give a damn, too, and have for a long time.
No i don’t…WE don’t want all the violence(which use to be worst by the way)all I’m saying is before all the white people moved in you NEVER! saw a police presence like you do now! you were lucky to get a car sent out to your house if God forbid you did need one! my point is, all the white people living there now didn’t give a SHIT about all the crime in the area until they start moving in…”let the blacks hurt/kill the blacks!”…now that your here its a “problem” now you see police everywhere now the city s money into fixing up parks and so forth…. its very upsetting that NO ONE(spd, ect) gave a shit until the white people start moving in…and the ones living there now could care less before they came from wherever it is they did!
I lived in South King County for a long time and knew very little about the Central Area until 21 years ago when I needed to move to Seattle and found that the CD was the only place I could afford. I spent a lot of time here and decided that I wanted to live here, problems and all. The house I bought was a long-unoccupied rundown rental owned by white absentee landlords, so I felt I was not part of whatever gentrifying pattern there was.
I am happy here, and I do what I can to participate with others to make things better economically and in terms of safety and attractiveness. I have been a crime victim several times, but I have wonderful neighbors (black, white, Hispanic, and Asian); some of them have lived here through several generations. One of my family members has moved in a few blocks away, and he also did not displace any black residents.
You have to know about something or someplace to care about it, and most of us know most about the place we live and/or work or spend time in for some other reason. Often our time is spread pretty thin in terms of family, work and/or school, our own community, and other existing connections, so there’s not much energy left for reaching out. And sometimes attempts to be involved with other communities are met with “mind your own business!”
I’m glad I live here, and I hope I’m helping a little bit to make things better and not creating problems.
I can’t say that I gave Seattle a thought one way or the other before I moved here, and I certainly didn’t know anything about specific neighborhoods within the city. When we decided to move away from Minnesota, we read about different neighborhoods, looked at crime maps, looked at bus routes, and looked at where businesses were located. The level of crime is so much lower in Seattle than it was in Minneapolis that we ended up not needing to use that as a deciding factor; the central district was the obvious choice for us.
Obviously we’d all like to have less violence in our neighborhood (who wouldn’t?!). I actually think there continues to be an appalling lack of police presence in the CD. Maybe we just saw the cops a lot more near our old house because there was so much more crime… but I think it’s more than that. Here, I feel like the only time I see them is when they’re responding to an incident. I think it’s terrible that the city has (apparently) decided that the CD “deserves” less policing than other parts of the city (or that Seattle only has foot patrols in downtown??), and it’s sad that the current level represents an improvement for the neighborhood.
All that said, isn’t it good that there are improvements (more police, money for parks, whatever)?
Re “Hi whoKares–You’re right that white people didn’t care as much about the CD when it was all black.”
Newsflash: The CD was never all black. I’m 48 years old, grew up in the CD and am white. My neighbor to the left, 87, living in the house he bought from his parents, and he’s white. My neighbor to the left, Japanese, living in the house she grew up in, owned by her family since the 1920’s. Do your homework, newbies. We folks in the CD, white and black, those of us who aren’t criminals, cared about the crime always. SPD just didn’t care about it. And frankly, compared to their response time in say, Madison Park, they still don’t care!
Columbo, you said “I grew up on Mercer Island…my mom has tried to give us her house and we turned it down!” And “As for the schools my parents spent 33% of their annual income sending us to private school in Seattle because the MI school system wasn’t cutting it.”
Wow, it must be nice to be you, Columbo Gates, who can turn down a gifted house in Mercer Island, and who enjoyed the extremely luxury of private schools that outshined MI schools. Most of us do not breathe the rarified air of which you speak. You speak from a position of great luxury, stating that you choose to live where you live. Lucky you. Glad you didn’t have to go to Meany and Garfield when the were stabbing teachers or when gangs came inside Garfield to shoot students. But then, being as wealthy as you apparently were and are, I don’t imagine you’d understand what it’s like NOT to have choices for your children. Crikey.
Yup, you’re right. That was too much of a simplification. As I was writing it, I was thinking of the church down my block that’s an old synagogue, with commemorative stones marking the contributions of Jewish residents of the CD.
We shouldn’t forget that there’s a long and complex history here that includes people from all over, in communities that have grown or ebbed because of economic, political, and a variety of (yes, sometimes) unjust forces. My mistake to leave that out.
Why are you trying to reason with WhoKares? Racism and discrimination should not be tolerated from any side. WhoKares argument is laughable because they are perpetuating the very behavior they are complaining about. I have lived in the CD for almost a decade, and have repeatedly run into this attitude. I have been called a white cracker, and yelled at to get my white ass out of the neighborhood for years. I can only shug because, I am not white, actually Mexican, and I don’t condone racism. On any side. WhoKares, you are speaking in ways beneath a (presumably) adult. Build something up instead of tearing it down.
So you have bad neighbors…. like I said being in a rich neighborhood doesn’t necessarily make it any better – just different… I love where I live. I have nice neighbors of all sorts – black, white, asian, young, old, gay, straight, single, married, kids, no kids, new here, been here all their lives. I am relatively new here – since 97. Is it perfect, no, but just because you can hide your imperfections better in the burbs doesn’t mean they aren’t there. We may have had some (white) drug dealers living next door for for a while, but I never had my house broken into and vandalized by bored teenagers (like our friends in Redmond did)…..
I love the fact that there’s so much diversity here. I love that I don’t have to get into a car and drive if I need something or want to go somewhere. I love that there are 5 public libraries, the entire downtown, Broadway within walking distance. I love that there are 6 bus lines that run within three blocks of my front door. I wouldn’t move to Mercer Island if you offered to buy me a house…
all black no…majority, yes
All black, no…majority, YES
Lola, You CLEARLY missed the point! and not to seem rude but maybe your only being here a “decade” is the reason you missed it