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Dori: Ballard stabbing a tragic sign that vigilantism is starting in Seattle

(Matt Pitman, KIRO Radio)

I told you last week that vigilantism was going to get worse and worse in Seattle — not because I’m encouraging vigilantism, but because it’s the reality of our region. Last week, we told you about the Ravenna guy who hunted down a homeless drug vagrant in Ballard — who allegedly broke a window at his home — and fatally shot him.

I said at the time that, obviously, this is not the solution; however, the reality is, the more crime we have, the more drug vagrants we bring to Seattle, and the more de-policing we have in this city, the more these elements will make a volatile, dangerous combination. When we have more crime than ever and don’t have the kind of cop response that people expect, citizens are going to feel like they have to become vigilantes to take care of their own world — their property, their home, their families, and their own lives.

Here’s an “I-Told-You-So.” A 34-year-old husband in Ballard is in the hospital with serious injuries after being stabbed Friday night at Sixth Avenue and 45th Street Northwest, near the Fred Meyer. Two guys were allegedly walking down the street slashing tires for no apparent reason. This 34-year-old guy saw that and decided to confront them. They stabbed him and ran off. He is now at Harborview fighting for his life.

Here’s the problem — if you call Seattle police and tell them that guys are slashing tires, you are not likely going to get a response. If you do, it will take several hours because of the de-policing in Seattle. I talked to a Seattle cop at the Seahawks game this weekend who told me that I am absolutely right about the de-policing. He said that the officers would love to be taking care of business on the street, but they are overwhelmed and have no support from command, from the city council, or from the mayor’s office. The cops who are trying to make a difference are frustrated.

Unless we make some serious changes in how we treat crime in Seattle, we are going to see more and more scenarios where Good Samaritans trying to stop their neighbors’ and friends’ tires from being slashed end up in the hospital with stab wounds.

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