Around 6 pm on Friday, November 24th, 2017, a friend of mine was walking on South Park Bridge, which spans the Duwamish River between Seattle, Tukwila, and South Park, Washington. He noticed a woman on a bicycle, but didn’t really think much of it at first. It’s hard to go anywhere around here without seeing someone on a bicycle. It’s what happens next that I can’t get out of my mind, and it’s keeping my friend up at night.
She was riding north on the east sidewalk, when a man in an old Ford pickup truck slowed down and said something to her. She turned around and headed south, all the while looking over her shoulder in fear. The truck then turned off his lights, did a U-turn and sped back to her location at the top of the bridge.
Why would he turn off his lights? What was he trying to hide? My friend took pictures, below. Unfortunately he didn’t get a good shot of the license plate.
Meanwhile the woman turned around again. The truck did another U-turn and blocked the sidewalk on the northeast corner. The man got out of the truck and ran toward the woman, who was screaming. My friend dialed 911. The truck took off north. The woman and her bike were nowhere to be seen.
Scary, huh? Oh, but it gets a whole lot worse.
The police never called my friend back and they didn’t send a cruiser out to talk to him. The next morning he called the King County Sheriff’s line and was transferred twice to other agencies.
This happens quite a lot when a crime occurs on that bridge. North of the bridge, it’s Seattle to the left and Tukwila to the right. South of it, it’s South Park. Personally, I’ve called 911 on a few occasions, when I’ve seen someone attempt suicide or act erratically, and a lot of time gets wasted while the various cities pass the buck back and forth. “Not our problem. Your problem.” In cases such as this, King County should immediately respond. It doesn’t happen, though. By the time someone decides to take responsibility, often the person is long gone, one way or another. This, in a high crime area full of drugs and gangs. Tukwila, in fact, is ranked the second most dangerous city in the United States for 2017. The year before it had been ranked number one.
So know this: South Park Bridge is like the Wild, Wild West. When the sh** goes down there, you are on your own, ladies.
Anyway, they finally told my friend that “it appears that” an unmarked Seattle police vehicle had been dispatched and that they drove around looking for the truck at 6:28 pm. My friend told them, once again, that he had pictures of the vehicle, and once again he was not given the option to send them to anyone. You know what they said?
They said they would call my friend if they got a report of a missing person in that area, and he could send the pictures then.
Okay, I get that there’s a chain of evidence issue, but seriously? Don’t you think someone might be mildly interested to check out these photos? Anybody? A detective, maybe, since someone was clearly taken against her will?
And if the victim was related to the abductor, who is going to report her missing? The abductor? Seriously? This could be a battered wife or child who is getting the crap beaten out of her in some basement somewhere even as we speak. Is that not worthy of investigation?
Several friends of mine passed it off as a “simple domestic dispute.” Yeah, maybe. But not so simple if you’re on the receiving end. Are you saying she was asking for it? And if so, does that mean she is not worthy of help? She was screaming. Are women chattel around here? Can they be treated any kind of way as long as it’s domestic?
And here’s another possibility. If she lives alone like I do, depending on when the abduction takes place, it could be, literally, 3 days before anyone knows she’s gone. And by then they might not connect it with a 3 day old report. Gee whiz, that inspires confidence. That makes me feel safe as all get out!
Something needs to change around here. First of all, the jurisdiction on South Park Bridge needs to be worked out with all the agencies involved IN ADVANCE so there can be a clear cut, rapid response. Second, someone needs to track down that damned truck and start asking questions. Third, in a case where someone is taken screaming, and a truck with perfectly functional lights turns them off, it’s safe to say that there’s foul play, for future freakin’ reference. DO SOMETHING.
Clearly the citizenry is on its own in this situation. So, here’s the photos my friend took, below. He says the woman was 30ish, white, had brown hair in a pony tail and dark clothing. She was riding on a bike that didn’t have gears, so she probably was local to that area. My friend thought the man was in his late 40’s slim, around 5’8”, wearing dark clothes, short hair, and a dark cap. If you know this truck or these descriptions sound familiar at all to you, please call the police. For all the good it will do this poor woman at this point.
How can we feel safe in this area if a woman can be plucked screaming off the sidewalk and nothing, absolutely nothing, is done about it? Way to go, law enforcement!
Please spread the word about this, on Facebook, on Reddit, wherever. Warn your friends. Complain to the police. This should not just be swept under the rug.