Robberies, assaults and carjackings are plaguing one of Seattle’s largest neighborhoods

Laurel Duggan, DCNF

Police are investigating a possible connection of assaults and robberies between a series of violent attacks in Seattle’s University District Monday evening.

Several men allegedly kicked and punched a 23-year old and left him unconscious before fleeing around 5 p.m., according to a Seattle Police Department (SPD) blotter. Three men and a woman attacked two women nearby 45 minutes later, punching one woman in the face and using a taser on her.

There were two more attempted carjackings that night, followed by an armed robbery in which two men allegedly forced restaurant employees into a back room to empty their wallets, according to SPD.

The police have arrested two people in connection to the attacks, including a 17-year-old girl who was reported as a missing person, according to SPD. The minor was sent to a youth service center.

Seattle is struggling to deal with soaring crime rates; the city’s murder rate rose 46% in 2020 according to an annual report by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs.

The police found a man near a Seattle homeless encampment Jan. 20 with a crossbow bolt sticking out of his chest after he was shot during an altercation, according to an SPD press release.

Seattle was famously home to the 2020 Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, a “cop-free zone” formed by activists which descended into violence, open drug use and multiple shootings.

U.S. Attorney Nick Brown, Seattle’s top prosecutor and former “Survivor” contestant, has been outspoken against America’s criminal justice system and what he perceives to be an overincarceration problem.

“We penalize people far more and for longer than other countries,” he told The Seattle Times in October 2021. “We should be angry about this and feeling a fair amount of shame.”

Seattle practices what critics call a “catch and release” policy in which criminals are generally released on personal recognizance except in extreme circumstances such as capital crimes, according to My Northwest. This results in repeat offenders walking free and quickly reoffending, such as the man with 75 prior convictions who continued to roam free after assaulting a child when he told a judge he was mentally ill and needed treatment, according to KOMO News.

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