Saturday, September 13, 2008

Serial armed robber roaming south King County


FEDERAL WAY, Wash. – A one man crime spree has hit more than a dozen convenience stores in south King County and has gotten away with thousands of dollars in cash.

The armed robber usually strikes between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. He’s hit 13 stores in three weeks in Auburn, Des Moines, Federal Way, Kent and Renton.

He’s been caught at least twice on surveillance video.

"He said 'I have gun, give me the money,'" said Kevin Nam. He was working behind the counter at a smoke shop when the robber struck.
"I said 'I have camera inside and outside. I know you. You are my customer.'"

Witnesses describe the robber as a white man, about 20-to-30-years-old, about 6 feet tall with short blond hair. In some cases the robber wears sunglasses but he also disguises himself with a mask and actually shows a weapon. He has a large tattoo on his left arm and drives an older, light blue sedan. He also appears to wear the same white sneakers with blue stripes.

No one has been hurt yet, but police fear his brazen robberies could get violent. If you know him, police want to hear from you.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fewer arrests in summer DUI crackdown


Law enforcement officers across the state busted nearly 1,800 drivers for drunken driving during a summer-long crackdown.

Thursday, the state's Traffic Safety Commission released the results of the Drive Hammered, Get Nailed crackdown, which began Aug. 15 and ended Sept. 1. Statewide, 268 law enforcement agencies participated in the effort, the agency reported.
Of the 1,797 motorists arrested for driving under the influence during the period, 351 were in King County. Pierce County had the next highest number of arrests with 254.

Drugs and alcohol use are the primary factor in traffic deaths. Last year, 517 people died in traffic crashes in the state. Of those deaths, 263 involved an impaired driver.

Officials said the extra patrols that are part of the crackdown have helped reduce traffic deaths.

As of Sept. 2, there have been 319 traffic deaths statewide. In the same time period last year, there were 364 deaths.
Over the Labor Day weekend, of the four fatalities that took place on state highways, none involved alcohol or drugs.

"It has been six years since a Labor Day holiday was free from a traffic death due to alcohol," said Lowell Porter, director of the traffic safety commission.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Federal Judge Sentences Farmers Linked to E. coli Outbreak to No Time, No Fine, No Probation

Tacoma, Washington -- September 5, 2008. Dairy farmers Michael Puckett and Anita Puckett, owners of Dee Creek Farm in Woodland, were sentenced in Federal Court Friday on charges stemming from an E. coli outbreak in 2005, but received only a $25 mandatory court assessment fee.

United States Magistrate Judge Strombom disregarded the recommendation of the Probation Office when she ruled against the proposed $250 fine and one-year probation for each defendant.

"I frankly don't see what benefit anybody gets from putting these people on probation," Strombom told the court. "I realize everybody here has come to this court agreeing to that, but I don't agree with it."

Both defense and prosecuting attorneys had argued for one year probation, and the probation office requested a $250 fine. The maximum sentence for the misdemeanor charge is one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

"The fact that they pled guilty to this Class A misdemeanor is sufficient punishment for these two individuals," Strombom said.

Though she gave the couple six months to pay the mandatory assessment fee, they paid it before they left the courthouse.

Anita Puckett said, "We are humbled by Judge Strombom's decision. We're very happy to move past this, and are looking forward to the future."

She added, "We couldn't have made it through these last three years without all the help we were given from family, friends and supporters all over the country. We are so thankful for them."

More than 20 friends and family members attended the hearing in support of the Pucketts, and several of them began to cry as the judge pronounced the sentence.

The Pucketts pled guilty June 8 to misdemeanor charges of distributing adulterated food. The charges stemmed from cow-share participants crossing into Oregon with milk prepared under conditions where it may have contributed to injury, the plea agreement stated.

According to figures released by the Clark County Health Department, 18 people were sickened in December 2005 with a strain of E. coli that a Washington State Department of Agriculture investigation later linked to Dee Creek Farm. Five were hospitalized, and all have since fully recovered.

Dee Creek is a small, family-run farm, practicing organic methods and diversity, with offerings such as produce, grass-based meats, eggs and dairy products. The farm collectively holds several licenses through Washington State Department of Agriculture, including poultry processing and commercial kitchen for further food processing. Although the farm was licensed in May 2007 as a Grade A raw goat milk dairy, the only dairy products it now sells are raw aged and pasteurized cheeses, yogurt and other processed items.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A convicted felon sues over bad food in jail.


A 10-time felon is suing King County alleging a crime against good taste -- serving moldy snacks to inmates.

In court documents filed earlier this month, Moses Wiggins III, 41, said he bought and ate moldy Keefe Snack Legends Dunkin' Sticks while jailed at the Norm Maleng Justice Center.

Wiggins didn't notice the green growth until he became violently ill halfway through a bag of the cookies. He claims staff at the Kent jail ignored his pleas for medical help as he spent several days vomiting while suffering from diarrhea and stomach cramps.

Representing himself in the suit, Wiggins has asked that he be compensated for his "pain, suffering, mental and emotional distress" by King County and snack stick manufacturer Keefe Group. No response has been filed in King County Superior Court.

Currently serving a 3 ½ year sentence at Stafford Creek Corrections Center near Aberdeen, Wiggins has been in trouble with the law since he was convicted at age 17 of attempted burglary. He pleaded guilty to first-degree theft in 2007 for his role in a Kent robbery during which a man was shot.

Two teens arrested in North Seattle robberies

Seattle police have arrested two teenagers in connection with a string of robberies Monday night in North Seattle.

By Sonia Krishnan
Seattle Times staff reporter

Seattle police have arrested two teenagers in connection with a string of robberies Monday night in North Seattle.

The boys, 17 and 16, were arrested around 10 p.m. Monday by detectives using "good, old-fashioned police work," said department spokeswoman ReneƩ Witt.

According to police, around 8:20 p.m., a person who had been robbed on the street on the 2000 block of Northeast 73rd Street called authorities to report the incident, said department spokesman Mark Jamieson.

The robbers were described as two black men in their early 20s wearing black hoodies and black shorts and armed with a handgun, Jamieson said.

Thirty minutes later, police got word of a similar robbery on the 300 block of North 46th Street, near Woodland Park Zoo, "involving possibly the same two" men, he said.

Ten minutes after that, police got reports of gunfire in the 300 block of North 103rd Street. The shots came from a dark-colored car headed to Aurora Avenue, Jamieson said. Officers were unable to track the car down but got a partial license plate.

Then another report of a street robbery came in 20 minutes later in the 8700 block of Phinney Avenue North. The victim gave the same description of the robbers and provided information about their license plate and car — a black Chrysler, Witt said.

Officers working the case recognized the car and traced the registration to a house in Seattle, she said. They showed up and arrested one of the suspects. The other boy was found in Renton.

Witnesses were able to identify the teens and they were booked into the King County Youth Services Center, she said.

Sonia Krishnan: 206-515-5546 or

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Violence erupts near Seattle Center


SEATTLE - It was violent night at Seattle Center on Saturday as gunshots were fired toward police officers and at least one person was badly beaten.

There were at least two, possibly three violent incidents around Seattle Center Sunday night involving gunshots and assaults in the hours after a high school football game and hip hop party let out.

Police, including Seattle gang units, swarmed the area around Seattle Center beginning around 1:30 a.m.

Policed said the first incident involved someone who had approached police and asked for an escort to their car because they were afraid they would be attacked.

As officers were walking with that person, someone fired shots in their direction, but no one was hurt.

Another incident happened a few blocks away where there were shots fired near 2nd and Roy. Again no one was hurt.

In a third incident at about 2:20 a.m., a man was badly beaten.

All this was going on as the crowd lingered after the Garfield - Franklin High football game and as a long running, upscale urban dance party was taking place.

The promoter of that event doesn't believe anyone from his "Virgo 2008" party was involved. Chukundi Salisbury said he's sick of events like his getting a bad reputation because of other members of the community.

"This is indicative of a larger problem in Seattle and in Washington and across the country. So yeah, I'm upset. I'm upset that I even have to come here and talk about it, quite frankly because I got in the phone this morning with people who went to the even and they had no idea that anything had happened," said Salisbury.

Police say at least one person was arrested overnight. That person is believed to have been involved in the shots fired toward police.

SPD had no more information to release about the incident.