Teens arrested in possible connection with Roxhill Park robberies; gun recovered

Roxhill Park, just south of Westwood Village in West Seattle, was home to a spat of illegal activity from Jan. 20 through 25 as nine middle schoolers were robbed at gunpoint, and eight teens were later arrested, possibly in connection with those crimes.

It started at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 20 when two suspects walked up to a group of four students from nearby Denny International Middle School near the park, pulled out a shotgun and forced the victims to turn over their wallets and cell phones. Adding injury to insult, one of the suspects used the butt of the shotgun to strike two of their victims in the head, causing bruises and cuts.

The suspects fled into Roxhill Park.

Two days later, on the 22nd, five Denny middle schoolers were socializing in the park after school (around 3 p.m.) when two suspects wearing red bandanas over their faces approached the group, pulled out handguns and forced their victims to the ground. The suspects stole cash and cell phones and fled.

Seattle robbery detectives began investigating, Southwest Precinct officers upped their patrols in and around the park, and Denny Principal Jeff Clark sent a letter to parents that said, in part, “As a result of Denny International Middle School students being the victims of recent crimes in the Roxhill Park area, we are contacting all families to remind them of safety-related recommendations for walking to and from school. Recommendations include walking with other students and heading directly home.”

Around 4 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 25, patrol officers spotted a group of 12 teenagers congregated near where the robberies occurred earlier in the week. Police approached and the group scattered before officers rounded up eight teens between 14 and 18 years old.

An 18-year-old was booked into King County Jail after police found a handgun and box of bullets in his car. The other seven teens were released at the scene, but just might hear back from the authorities as detectives are looking into connections between members of the group and recent muggings.

“Police also seized two cars from the park and are obtaining warrants to search the vehicles,” Johah Spangenthal-Lee with Seattle Police wrote about the incident. “At least one of the cars may be associated with a recent robbery case.”

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