I read the local news websites most days of the week for the Seattle area. I actually try to read them every day but there are days and some topics that I miss.
On 10/27/14 there was an article put up by komonews.com indicating that there had been an attempted sexual assault at Greenlake on 10/10/14 at about 6:00 p.m. in the evening. (The internet indicates that sundown that day was at about 6:30 p.m.)
I did not notice the article when it first appeared. Several weeks later, when I was working on greenlakewalking.com I went to the various local news websites and searched them for further information about Greenlake and I naturally saw the article.
I would normally assume that items reported in the news are correct. As I sometimes do, one day in January when I was making a public disclosure request, I requested the 911 information of the call that would have corresponded to this alleged attempted attack.
The SPD public disclosure unit normally has 5 business days to respond to such requests. In this case, they requested a lot more time to find the related document or documents. Even as of more than two months later, Elizabeth Mash of the SPD public disclosure unit has not provided me with an appropriate batch of information about a 911 call that seems to reflect the details described in the komonews article. This is true as of today, April 2, 2015. [Update, correcting error . . . The corresponding police report to the 911 call was emailed to me 4/1/15!] A few weeks ago, she sent me what she and her team believed was the closest match and it was of a woman hearing a male screaming for help at 2 in the morning, as best I understand the report I was sent.
Because I walk at Greenlake in good weather, I commonly check the online crime map for calls that might be related to myself. Sometimes I even check the online crime map on days that I have not walked just to see what it is like.
Absent making a public disclosure request or receiving an email from an SPD officer, I do not know if any calls logged into the online map for 911 calls are true or false or related or unrelated to me. Sometimes I make public disclosure requests to read about them. In some cases, people apparently have told 911 that I was walking nude; in one case, I checked on a 911 call and it really was a liquor violation of some teens having left some beer cans in the vicinity and it had nothing to do with me. (I was very happy to have read the actual information about that call, rather than to have been fearing it was a 9th or 10th grade girl having been concerned that I walked by on the path. . . In the case of one walk . . . yes . . . that was my fear until I read the 911 report provided to me by SPD, and the report indicated the call in related to beer cans having been left on the ground or some similar thing . . .)*
In one case last summer, there was a reported assault . . . and it turned out to be some kids of school age fighting slightly at some game . . .
Of course, such attacks of attempted draggings as described do occur at times in the Seattle area. Just a few days ago there was a report of a Hispanic man in Redmond attempting to drag a woman into the woods to have sex with her. The attempted dragging took place at 8:50 p.m. way past sunset.
In the time period after I was threatened by Robert Starcher and until the ending of my walks in 2014, there was one walk of mine in particular in October 2014 in which I was walking. A woman in a car in the parking lot at the rowing boat area on the SW part of the lake honked her horn at me. Then she rolled down her window and yelled profanity and then she said she was calling the cops.
That evening I checked the online crime map and there was no call logged in that would have matched her having called about me that day. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the date on which this happened with this woman who was irritated at me. (Of course, I naturally did not touch her!)
I don’t think that attempted draggings can be successfully done at Greenlake in evening daylight hours, or any daylight hours past 7:00 a.m.. At least, when I am walking, there is normally a variety of people one can see ahead of you and behind you. There are people who will hear yelling if there is yelling, I think.
Since writing this post, I have walked an additional day on a Sunday and then a Wednesday evening in daylight hours. Even on a weekday evening, rather than a weekend afternoon . . . or weekend evening . . . there is so much passer-by traffic that I do not believe that either a groping or a dragging away for sexual purposes could take place without being promptly observed by passer-by . . . passer-by who would promptly come to the aid of any woman in any distress.
Here is a photo I took one weekday evening at 5:43 p.m. This one shows a somewhat random selection of the persons one can see to one’s front. The photo was taken Thursday, April 16, 2015, 5:43 p.m. (At least some weekend days have even more traffic than weekdays and so I have selected a weekday for comparison.) There is sunlight, visibility and 15 adult persons and one kid in a stroller in the major visual range and an additional 6 persons in the distance. Moreover, I have cropped the photo for height and width. There is an additional person in the uncropped photo to the front and our left of the person in the left-most part of the image.
Now, a person could be attacked or assaulted at Greenlake, but at a date and time and place as where this photo was taken, any assault would be in view of passerby. In fact, a person would have had to struggle and wait and hope to find a time with no passerby in viewing distance.
During the vast majority of any walk most any time on a weekend or in evening hours of a weekday–absent rain or low temperatures–there are persons ahead of me and behind me within 30 feet . . . during the vast majority of any walk in daylight, evening hours, there are also persons passing by unpredictably on bicycles who were, 90 seconds previously, perhaps beyond a curve, bend, building, trees or some slight hill.
On nice weekend afternoons, one may pass or be passed by (counting both directions and people walking as well as on bicycles) 600 or so people in less than an hour of walking. I’ve walked on some days with so much traffic at Greenlake that I have had to wait briefly at the little bridge over the stream near the wading pool till there were fewer people on the bridge and I could cross.
On a weekday, we could suppose that there might be half the number of people one would pass. Would you suppose that there was always someone in sight in front or back? I did not know, as of the time of first writing this post. Since then, after several more walks, I believe that during evening daylight hours, on a day and time without rain, there were will persons either ahead or behind a person, within 30 or 40 feet, at all or nearly all times.
There was the recent report of the woman who made a gang rape allegation at UVA. After checking the details, it turns out that a number of details in the original news report don’t match the facts and don’t match witness reports including those of the woman’s friends. Something might have happened to her, but what it was, we do not know. Details were changed, distorted or altered for unknown reasons. Moreover, some of the UVA account seemed inherently implausible.
Most people in our society have and use a cell phone. A person like me however does not always carry my cell phone with me. (I believe that radiation from cell phones can be damaging and I don’t particularly want to carry a cell phone around, except when I know it or believe it necessary . . . In this respect, I am unlike much of the rest of the public.) The woman of the 10/10/14 alleged dragging or attack indicates that she was attempted to be dragged away or she was attacked and fought off or escaped from her attacker. She had no description of him, and she first met SPD patrol at a nearby gas station, per the report.
I am not sure the woman’s response matches very well the reported attack, given the severity of the alleged attack and the apparent lack of an immediate meeting at Greenlake. A woman who was groped, touched or felt up might confront the guy immediately or she might ignore things briefly and/or call later, if she desired. At least, there were a dozen or so women groped by the Westlake groper who did not report the groping until it came up in the news . . . (Last fall, a Westlake repeat groper had a woman confront him, take his photo, and then report it by walking over to a police station.) I kind of think that the normal response to an attempted dragging for attempted rape would result in immediate cries for help and/or an immediate call to 911.
There have been a few times in which I reported a crime a few hours or a few days after it took place. The reason for the late report was that it was more convenient to report at that time . . . and the crime seemed to be of less serious nature than an attempted violent felony such as attempted dragging for the purpose of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault.
An immediate call to 911 reporting attempted rape would perhaps have resulted in one to several patrol cars being sent to Greenlake and arriving in less than 10 minutes. “Rapist walking at Greenlake; please come!” Police have come to Greenlake on some days just to be present at Greenlake when I have been walking and/or apparently to be available for people to talk with them, it appears. Police have come on one or more days at Greenlake, apparently related to my having taken a photo of someone sunbathing at the East Greenlake beach, though I think that that day they also rode around the whole lake on bicycles.
If there were a rapist walking at Greenlake, they might easily have the bike fellows ride around the lake, but I guess I don’t know how busy they are at 6:00 p.m. at night in daylight. I do know that the SPD bike fellows have either been present at the lake to observe me on some days or to see that I was wearing undies on some days . . . so they do arrive on some days . . .
Some days SPD patrol vehicles are busy; some days they don’t come or they come to Greenlake much later.
So far the SPD public disclosure people do not seem to have found a related 911 call. [Update . . . the correct police report corresponding to the call was sent to me on April 1, 2015.] Perhaps the woman called from a different location than Greenlake and that is why. Perhaps the attempt at dragging took place on a different day and that is why.
The most comparable situation seems to be an attempted attack on a woman at Greenlake at 6:25 in the morning approximately, which was 45 minutes before sunrise, 2/13/13. The reason that I note the time of sunrise and sunset is that greater light means that passerby are more likely to see what is happening and to come to the aid of a person in distress.
In this case, a lot of people in our society do not get up (and/or out of the house) before 7 a.m. This attack in near-darkness before dawn was interrupted by a passing bicyclist who came to the aid of the woman in distress . . .
The question I wonder about is, given that one woman was irritated at me during one of my many walks in October . . . after 10/4/14 . . . was this a woman who choose to alter details to provoke public scrutiny or increased police presence at the lake?
I don’t know.
*On the day with the “liquor violation-minor” 911 call, I was walking past the rowing area and there were several dozen girls of what appear to be teenage years . . . and the “liquor violation” call was logged about the same time that I was walking past . . .
I guess that some persons will eventually benefit from some self-defense or martial arts classes . . . or perhaps having less need to make up things . . .