Monthly Archives: December 2011

CHS Blog: Manhunt locks down area around Lowell Elementary

Capitol Hill Seattle has all the details ont the lockdown of Lowell Elementary, 1058 E. Mercer, this afternoon (Wednesday, Dec. 14).

From CHS’ report:

Seattle Police swarmed the blocks around Capitol Hill’s Lowell Elementary and locked down the school Wednesday afternoon after a parent escorting his child on a field trip recognized a wanted fugitive on the outing.

The suspect, Donald Vasser, 39, fled after police were called. SPD says he turned himself in to the King County Jail shortly before 6 p.m.. 

According to a press release from the school district:

Students were allowed to leave the school after being escorted onto buses, or if they were picked up by their parents, but the remaining students stayed at the school under lockdown until police determined the suspect was no longer in the area. At that point, after roughly 90 minutes, the lockdown on the school was lifted and students were allowed to leave.

Parent volunteers at Seattle schools are supposed to be subject to a criminal background check, but the district’s press release said that, due to a miscommunication, that wasn’t done in this case.

UPDATE: This post has been changed since it was first published to include information that Donald Vasser has turned himself in to authorities.

Eastlake police reports include several burglaries & disturbances

Seattle Police reports for Eastlake this week include several burglaries and disturbances:

  • Dec. 6: Burglary, residential, 2600 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 11:18 p.m.: This home was entered sometime between 3 and 6 p.m. Numerous items were taken. A bag containing a crowbar and wire cutters was found in the living room.
  • Dec. 6: Theft, miscellaneous, 2200 block of Eastlake E., 11:28 p.m.
  • Dec. 7: Liquor violation, 2300 block of Minor E., 2:06 a.m.
  • Dec. 7: Burglary, residential, 2000 block of Yale E., 3:05 p.m. Tools belonging to contractors were missing from a tool shed inside the building. The shed could only be accessed by key-holding residents in the building. There was no sign of forced entry.
  • Dec. 7: Auto theft, 2600 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 10:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 8: Burglary, residential, 2900 block of Fairview Ave. E., 6:59 p.m.: An unknown suspect entered a residence in the 2900 block of Fairview E. between Dec. 6 and Dec. 8 by prying open a back door. The suspect stole two computers, jewelry and alcohol. Fingerprints were taken from liquor bottles that may have been handled by the burglar.
  • Dec. 9: Disturbance, 1100 block of Fairview N., 8:57 a.m.
  • Dec. 9: Car fire, Eastlake E. and Harvard E., 5:02 p.m.
  • Dec. 10: Accident investigation, Fuhrman E. and Eastlake E., 1:18 a.m.
  • Dec. 10: Noise disturbances, 2500 block of Yale E., 3:04 a.m.
  • Dec. 10: Disturbance, Eastlake E. and E. Lynn, 11:01 p.m.
  • Dec. 11: Property damage, 2300 block of Franklin E., 12:30 a.m.
  • Dec. 11: Car prowl, 3100 block of Portage Bay Pl. E., 1:51 p.m.
  • Dec. 11: Car prowl, 2300 block of Franklin E., 5:55 p.m.
  • Dec. 11: Theft, miscellaneous, E. Louisa and Franklin E., 6:39 p.m.
  • Dec. 11: Disturbance, Eastlake E. and Portage Pl. E., 11:46 p.m.
  • Dec. 12: Disturbance, 1900 block of Eastlake E., 3:19 a.m.
  • Dec. 13: Disturbance, 2400 block of Boylston E., 3:07 a.m.
  • Dec. 13: Burglary, commercial, 1100 block of Eastlake E., 11:45 a.m.

See the map at

Police investigate human remains found in Eastlake

Investigators from the Seattle Police Department and the King County Medical Examiner are investigating human remains found in the 3100 block of Fairview Ave. E. in Eastlake.

The Seattle Police Department says that at approximately 9:55 a.m. Saturday morning, people conducting a census of the homeless found what appeared to be a decomposing human leg bone on a wooded hillside on the east side of Fairview. The site is adjacent to the I-5 Ship Canal Bridge.

The Seattle Times quotes Heroes for the Homeless founder Tricia Lapitan as saying that three volunteers from the group were checking the area when one volunteer stepped on a plastic bag that appeared to contain human remains. 

“I guess it was from the knee down, and it was pretty decomposed,” Lapitan told the Times.

The SPD reports the the King County Medical Examiner took possession of the remains. The SPD Homicide Unit is investigating the scene.

The area is marked off with police tape and investigators were seen bringing boxes of evidence down the hill and raking through leaves searching for more material. TV trucks and a police command center are set up in the area.

Eastlake residents and employees of nearby businesses were stopping by to see what was going on. 

One police officer said that investigators would probably be combing the location for evidence all night.


  • Seattle Times’ story is here.
  • KING 5 News story is here.
  • KIRO 7 has a story here.

UPDATE: This story has been updated since it was first published. New information from the Seattle Police Department has been added.

Eastlake apartment part of discrimination settlement with city is reporting that an Eastlake apartment building is among five settling with the city of Seattle in a case of discrimination charges.

Eastlake 2851 was among six apartment buildings accused in October by the city’s Office of Civil Rights of discriminating against black and disabled people. Five of the cases have been settled; the sixth has not settled.

The city tested 56 properties, with 26 of the tests focusing on race and 21 focused on disabilities. According to an October press release from the Office of Civil Rights:

Overall, 55% of the tests showed evidence of illegal discrimination. In the tests for race-based discrimination, 69% showed patterns of inconsistencies that generally favored white testers. The inconsistencies included quoting a higher rent to African American testers, not telling African American testers about move-in specials, or using different screening criteria with African American testers, including credit or criminal background checks.

According to, the five landlords who settled with the city admitted no wrongdoing. They agreed to take a series of actions, including going to fair-housing training, providing their rental policies to city regulators and posting notices about housing laws. They will also each repay the city $600 to cover testing costs.

Read more in the story here.

Eastlake police reports for the week: Burglaries, car thefts, more

Eastlake police reports for the week include burglaries, car thefts and more:

  • Nov. 30: Mischief, nuisance complaints, 1500 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 7:58 a.m.
  • Nov. 30: Liquor violation, 2200 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 1:43 p.m.
  • Nov. 30: Auto theft and recovery, E. Boston and Eastlake E., 2:25 p.m.
  • Dec. 1: Burglary, no force, residential, 2700 block of Fairview Ave. E., midnight. Entry was made to a parking garage. A garage door opener was stolen from an unlocked car and that was used to gain entry. Two of four security cameras were stolen and one was turned to the wall. No word on what, if anything, was stolen.
  • Dec. 1: Car prowl, 800 block of E. Allison, 11 a.m.
  • Dec. 1: Mischief, nuisance complaints, 3100 Fairview Ave. E., 5:52 p.m.
  • Dec. 1: Vehicle theft, E. Newton and Franklin E., 9 p.m.
  • Dec. 2: Narcotics activity, 2000 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 11:19 a.m.
  • Dec. 2: Theft, building, 1900 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 5 p.m.
  • Dec. 3: Disturbance, other, 2300 block of Yale Ave. E., 12:45 a.m.
  • Dec. 3: Auto theft, 2200 block of Franklin Ave. E., 11:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 3: Theft, 1900 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 3:12 p.m.
  • Dec. 3: Car prowl, 2000 block of Franklin Ave. E., 9:15 p.m.
  • Dec. 4: Car prowl, 2000 block of Franklin Ave. E., 3:25 p.m.
  • Dec. 3: Burglary, residential, unoccupied, 2000 block of Yale Ave. E., 4 p.m.
  • Dec. 5: Burglary, residential, unoccupied, 2000 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 7:10 p.m.
  • Dec. 4: Burglary, residential parking structure, 1500 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 2 p.m.
  • Dec. 4: Bike theft, 2200 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 10:30 p.m.: A black Marin Fairfax bicycle, 19-inch, with a red taillight attached to the seat post, was stolen between 10:30 p.m. on Dec. 4 and 7:30 a.m. on Dec. 5. The owner is offering a $250 reward for safe return of the bike. If you have information, contact the owner by going to his ad on our classified system.

See the map at

UPDATE: This post has been changed since it was first published. Details of a bicycle theft the night of Dec. 4 have been added.

Bike Stolen Last Night!!! Black Marin Fairfax.

Black Men’s Marin Fairfax hybrid with a rear taillight attached to the seat post.
Stolen last night (December 4th) between 10 PM and 7:30 AM this morning (December 5th) at 2234 Eastlake (corner of Eastlake & Lynn). Please contact me if you’ve see someone riding one of these or if you see one listed for sale.

Documentary on Eastlake treehouse resident screens Sunday

Many in Eastlake will remember the story of David “Squirrelman” Csaky, a homeless man who built an elaborate treehouse just off the north end of Eastlake Avenue.

He lived in the treehouse, which came complete with a pot belly stove, until he was forced to move by the city in April 2008 after the treehouse was torn down.

Kevin Heutink knows Csaky’s story well. Heutink worked at a nearby catering company as Csaky’s treehouse took shape. He watched the treehouse grow and eventually met and befriended Csaky. An aspiring filmmaker, Heutink decided to tell Csaky’s story in a documentary.

The film, “Out On a Limb,” is finished and will be screened at 4:15 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, at Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave. on Capitol Hill. The screening is free.

Heutink says he got the chance to meet Csaky through one of his co-workers who met Csaky when he was on a scavenging mission in the neighborhood. Csaky invited everyone at the catering company to visit his treehouse.

“I was up in his treehouse after work that very same night upon seeing his pot belly stove burning brightly overhead,” Heutink writes. “And the same story essentially played out nearly every night after that until the treehouse’s eventual demise: Get off work around 1 a.m., climb his ladder with film kit in tow and conduct fireside interviews until 2 or 3 in the morning.”

Heutink started videotaping Csaky in February 2008 and followed his story with his camera for the next two years. Also photographing Csaky at that time was Seattle P-I photojournalist Josh Trujillo, who lived with his family on a nearby houseboat.

At the same time, Heutink also began documentaries on Pete Nelson, one of the world’s foremost treehouse building experts and the author of a book on treehouses, and James French, a homeless Real Change vendor who was living in Belltown. 

“When the time came to review my footage for these various projects,” Heutink writes, “I realized that I wasn’t dealing with three separate films, but rather three characters that belonged in the same documentary because their individual journeys combined to create a big picture perspective of the times we live i; i.e., global economic meltdown and the ensuing fun to be had by all.”

With the help of film school friends from England (writer Eamonn Murphy and editor James Paul), Heutink was able to weave the three stories together.

As for David Csaky, Heutink reports that he’s living with a roommate in a Mount Vernon apartment. He does various part-time, manual labor jobs and his income is supplemented with a monthly Social Security check (he has a severely damaged spine, Heutink says).

The documentary was partly funded by grants from the Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, 4Culture and the Edward Mother Earth Foundation. Heutink hopes to take it on the film festival circuit and, eventually, see it broadcast on PBS.

CORRECTION: This story has been changed since it was first posted. An earlier version said Heutink was from England. He’s a Seattle native but attended school in England.