Before you get read this posting let me state without reservation that I have a lot of respect for what the law enforcement community and the people who risk their lives for our safety. However there are those moments when they fail at their mission…and this is one of those stories.
Not long ago I posted a blog about citizens just standing by not doing anything while a crime is happening. But what about when a crime is happening in front of Security Guards or even when you ask the police for protection. Read the story below and consider what may happen to you in the mall and the mall cops don’t do anything, or in your company parking lot and the company security guards don’t do anything, or your on the city streets.
According to the story the gist of it is this.. A 15-year-old girl is violently beaten up by other teens right in front of three security guards at the Westlake transit tunnel in Seattle Washington … but these guards never jumped in, never stopped it. She’s on the ground being kicked in the head but according to their contract, they’re not supposed to get involved. Really? In other details of the incident the 15-year-old victim said she pleaded with Seattle police officers to help her get away from a group of people who eventually attacked and robbed her, according to the court documents. So not only were it just the security guards but the people who receive tax payer money to PROTECT and Served failed to do so. Just who is responsible for your security anyway?
In addition to being beaten, prosecutors claim she was robbed; her purse, book bag, cell phone and iPod were stolen.
As surveillance cameras rolled, three unarmed security guards stood by during the Jan. 28 assault. The guards, who are trained not to get involved in physical confrontations, stood by as the girl was beaten, kicked and robbed. King County Metro chief Kevin Desmond said the yellow-vested Olympic Security staff seen on the surveillance tape have strict contract language forbidding them from getting physically involved in crimes, but what he saw on the surveillance tape was unacceptable.
Could this have been prevented, now given that hind site is 20/20, but let review the incident as it happened?
Describing the incident to Washington State King County sheriff’s detectives, the 15-year-old girl who was attacked said her assailants confronted her in Macy’s Department Store, according to reports. Egged on by a suspect named Whitaker and others, the female suspect in the attack threatened the girl repeatedly, the victim told detectives. Seattle police officers interceded, forcing both the girl and the group that had confronted her outside the store. Out of site, out of mind right? I thought police were trained in criminal psychology.
Anyway.. The girl told detectives she was instantly confronted by the female suspect after stepping onto Third Avenue outside the downtown Macy’s. She rushed back into the store, she said, where she again encountered the Seattle officers who’d ejected her moments before.
”I asked them to take me to the tunnel and they said they couldn’t because they didn’t have time for kids who started trouble,” the girl told sheriff’s detectives. Makes you feel safe just to have them around doesn’t it.
The officers eventually led the other group away, and the girl went to the transit tunnel to wait for her bus home. While she waited, her assailants returned, she said, and the other girl attacked her.
The 15-year-old girl who was with the large group attacked the victim from behind on the station platform. The victim was shoved into the right of way, then knocked to the ground and kicked in the head.
Security officers saw the assault, but didn’t stop it. The suspects fled by the time Seattle police officers responded.
The Sheriff’s Office gave this explanation for the guards’ inaction:
“They did not intercede as they are unarmed, civilian employees of Olympic Security Services. They are trained to not become involved in violent confrontations or fights, but are directed to call 911, which they did via the tunnel communications center.
”In addition, they were significantly outnumbered by the group.” This looks like a great situation where just even having pepper spray could have gone a long way.
Speaking with detectives, the girl said she’d expected the guards to come to her aid.
”I thought the security guards would defend me if (the 15-year-old) tried anything,” the girl said, according to court documents. Following the attack, the girl said the same Seattle police officers who’d contacted her previously refused to take action.
Admittedly agitated, the girl said she tried to tell the officers she’d been assaulted, according to court documents. When they did not assist her, she called her mother.
Her mother arrived at the scene, the girl told detectives, and contacted the officers on her daughter’s behalf.
”They told my mom that they were tired of all these kids downtown causing trouble,” the girl told police.
”It seemed like (one) officer put us all in one category,” the girl continued. “We were fed up with Seattle police but we wanted to press charges. It didn’t seem like the officers were (ever) interested in hearing my side of what happened.”
The incident has prompted King County Executive Dow Constantine to order a review of Metro security.
”Public safety is our top priority,” Constantine said. “I am appalled by the sight of uniformed guards standing by while a person was kicked and beaten. … People have an expectation of safety when riding public transit, and we must take every measure we can to assure that.”
The 15-year-old girl who delivered the beating was arrested over the weekend and was booked into juvenile detention, according to the Sheriff’s Office statement. In addition to the four suspects charged Wednesday, a 17-year-old male suspect is still at large.
During the incidents leading to the attack, the 15-year-old defendant claimed to be a member of the Deuce 8 street gang based in the Central District, according to court documents.
“The facts of this case are of great concern given the gang mentality of all the defendants involved in which a female member of their group is sent in to attack the victim and the rest of the defendants swarm in and grab the victim’s belongings,” Port told the court.
Four youths have been charged with robbery as Metro Transit Police continue to investigate the beating of a 15-year-old girl in the transit tunnel at Westlake Center.
Do you have a plan if something like this were to possibly happen to you or your teenage or young adult children?
Get Prepared – Get a Plan – Rehearse the Plan – Be ready when the time comes.
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