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Seattle worker says she’s scared going to work downtown

A Dori Monson listener snapped this photo on his way to work at 7 a.m. downtown Seattle in August 2018. (Contributed photo)

Lynn* has worked in downtown Seattle since 1988 — and in her opinion, the streets have never looked as scary as they have within the last six months.

“I have never felt so unsafe in the City of Seattle until recently,” she told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson. “Last week, I witnessed a homeless person assaulting another person right in front of Nordstrom. The City of Seattle needs to do something about the working people who try to come to work to do their jobs.”

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While walking to her office at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Lynn witnessed a man on the street verbally assault a woman. She decided to walk straight ahead without giving him any attention, as she normally does in these scenarios.

For the first time, however, this tactic did not work. Lynn said that the man — whom she described as “very aggressive” — screamed at her, calling her obscene names. Then he got “nose-to-nose” with a man who was on his way to work, screaming at him. Lynn said the screaming man crossed the street with the group and followed them to the next block.

“It was very scary this morning,” she said. “And I have not felt like that in this city before.”

Lynn wrote in an email to the Dori Monson Show that when she called 911 after the terrifying incident (as several of the other victims of the verbal assault were doing), the operator seemed uninterested, and did not know where the Sixth Avenue and Olive Way intersection was.

The verbal assaults in downtown Seattle have been noticeable for the past few years, but Lynn said that they have especially increased over the past half-year. Lynn carries pepper spray every day in her purse. She also never remains downtown for any social events or shopping, hurrying out of the city at 5 p.m. to get home on the Eastside.

“It’s not safe anymore,” she said.

In Lynn’s opinion, society needs to conduct a stronger effort to take care of the mentally ill people who are living on the streets.

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“The city needs to take notice of these people, and they need to protect the citizens who are just trying to come into work, and the people who are shopping, [the] businesses,” she said. “Do something — I don’t know what the answer is, but they need to do something.”

*Last name has been left out for personal safety. 

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