Patrick Robinson
Two stabbings and a severe beating in October near Roxhill Park and Westwood Village has the surrounding community concerned. In this photo, police investigate the stabbings of one young man and a teen at Westwood Village on Oct. 10.

Violent crime near Roxhill Park puts community on edge

Over the course of four days in October there were two stabbings and a vicious beating that all occurred within a block of each other near Roxhill Park and the Westwood Shopping Village in West Seattle, and the sudden uptick in crime has many in the community wondering just what is going on.

In the first incident, the Seattle Police Gang Unit is investigating a double stabbing on Oct. 10 that sent two young victims – one 21 and the other only 15 – to Harborview Medical Center with multiple stab wounds. Friends of the victims told police they were hanging out at Westwood Village in the evening when they got into an argument with a group of males. Words led to fists and, according to witnesses, one of the males produced a knife and stabbed the victims. The suspect in still outstanding.

On Oct. 14 on the south side of Roxhill Park, a man was beaten so badly he was taken to Harborview in critical condition. A call came in that a man was down near 28th Ave. S.W. and S.W. Roxbury St. around 8:45 p.m., according to the police report. When police arrived the victim was going in and out of consciousness and bleeding from at least one ear. One witness told police she saw six male teens kicking the victim while he was down, but did not know where they went. Another said he saw a dark sedan near the beating, but it was gone by the time police arrived. No arrests have been made.

That same night (Oct. 14) two 13-year-old boys were arrested in the nearby Delridge neighborhood after a homeowner found them snooping around inside his home with flashlights. He scared them off and when police found the teens they were in possession of stolen property, marijuana, hatchets and knives, according to the police report.

“There are serious problems in this park,” West Seattle Herald Facebook fan Susan Rhodes wrote. “I’d like to see a story about why the police aren’t there more often after such continuing and serious violent crimes.”

After hearing from Rhodes, we reached out the Southwest Precinct’s Operations Lt. Pierre Davis to find out what is being done.

“We are aware of the current and lingering issues surrounding the Westwood and Roxhill area and are taking steps in deploying the most appropriate type and amount of enforcement resources possible,” Davis said in an email. “Upon hearing about, seeing and or investigating crime reports of criminal and or nuisance activity in any of our areas, we ensure that our patrol staffing is made aware of the issues. Often times police presence alone remedies the situation, but sometimes our response to a particular problem may have many moving parts involving other City resources.”

Davis said community involvement is a crucial part of the solution:

“I can’t stress enough how important it is to our precinct that our community get and stays involved in informing us on areas that raise concern. Calling 911 to report criminal activity is an important first step in curtailing criminal activity. Engaging in block watch, living room chat forums or voicing concerns through the various neighborhood councils is also a fantastic way to get the information out there as well as being able to connect with your police officers.”

The Westwood/Roxhill/Arbor Heights Community Council has already scheduled a community meeting early next month to discuss ways to improve the park through possible grant funding and government aid. They will also be discussing safety concerns in the area with Seattle Parks, Friends of Roxhill, Daystar Retirement Village, Andy Thompson (asst. general manager for Westwood Village) and Officer John Flores from the Seattle Police Department’s Community Policing Team.

That meeting is open to the public. Here are the details:

Date: 11/05/13 Location: SW Library Branch, 9010 35th Ave SW
Time: 6:15pm - 7:45 pm Meeting Type: Public Meeting