Another day, another battle with homeless RVs for a Seattle business

Aug 1, 2019, 3:49 PM | Updated: 4:11 pm
rv, homeless...
An RV parked in front of Harbor Island Machine Works. (Mark DeFaccio)
(Mark DeFaccio)

Harbor Island Machine Works is in a unique corner of West Seattle, right under a portion of the West Seattle Bridge. It’s a spot where quite a few homeless RV encampments have popped up in recent years.

“Obviously, along with it came the crime, as well as other activities that are not joyful for those of us around here,” owner Mark DeFaccio told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.

Seattle candidate: We’ve reached ‘compassion fatigue’ with homeless

DeFaccio said that problems began about five years ago when RVs started encampments along the wide street in front of his business — a business that was started by his grandfather in 1950. He has filed many complaints with the city, but none have done any good. He says that almost 30 RVs have camped out at one point.

KOMO News reported this week that tensions between the machine shop and RV campers have both sides blaming the city for the issue. KOMO describes one party, Gizmo, as an RV street camper and a hoarder. When parking enforcement chalks his tires, he packs up and moves across the street. But the problems posed by the RV encampments remain, according to DeFaccio. Those problems include human waste, crime, and drunk and high people roaming the street in front of his business.

DeFaccio has taken action on his own accord. He recently placed giant concrete blocks — ecology blocks — where Gizmo usually parks in front of his business. He says he’s “storing” them there.

Gizmo told KOMO that the city’s sweeps of encampments like his, and the concrete barriers, amount to hate crimes against him. He considers homeless campers a minority class.

“It’s obviously not,” DeFaccio said. “When we moved the ecology blocks to that particular area, it was to block any RV from parking there.”

DeFaccio placed the blocks in the parking space after one incident added up to the final straw. The block prevent homeless RVs from setting up camp.

“Gizmo goes back and forth, he happened to be at the location where I put the ecology blocks …” DeFaccio said. “And he had a visitor come by, a gal who was quite high, jumping and running around his place and eventually managed to get into the shop, wandered around the shop and got all the way to the back of the shop, barefoot, before we were able to escort her back to ‘camp Gizmo.’”

“We’re a machine shop, we have all kind of turnings, sharp metal chips, on the floor,” he said. “Not only was she in danger, but also my personnel. After we returned her, apparently Gizmo got tired of her, pepper sprayed her, and she ended up in our front parking lot in distress. We called 911 earlier; we called 911 again and stated she definitely needed help, some medical help. That’s when (police) did arrive.”

But DeFaccio opted to not press charges or take any further action after the woman was transported to Harborview Medical Center for help.

“We are doing many of these addicts no good by not helping them get help, by allowing them to roam free,” he said. “When the gal trespassed recently, the police came in … and asked if we wanted to press charges. I just asked the question: would it do her any good? Will she be forced to get treatment, or aggressively provided that option? The police said, ‘No. She will go before a judge and the judge will release her on her own cognizance.’ Obviously, she was not able to make good decisions then and I doubt she will make good decisions in the future.”

“The government can establish those boundaries, and they are the only one with a police force, so if they don’t do it, we need people in office who will encourage that,” DeFaccio said.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-6pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show

Jason Rantz

(Pictures of Vandalism at Kenmore's Care Net of Puget Sound)...
Frank Sumrall

Kenmore pregnancy clinic vandalized as surge continues across Washington

Some of the same messaging, in this case, "abortion isn't safe, you aren't either," was tagged alongside damages to the building.
1 day ago
(Photo courtesy of Democrat State Senator Emily Randall's Instagram)...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Amidst anti-church hate crimes, Democrat Senator celebrates pro-life vandalism

In a pre-produced Instagram video, Senator Randall giddily reports that a pro-life message was "decorated" by a pro-abortion extremist.
1 day ago
(Photo courtesy of Gov. Inslee's Twitter)...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Tyrannical Governor Jay Inslee posts embarrassing, sad art

It looks like a right-handed child used his left hand in an art project he wasn't interested in completing.
2 days ago
(The Jason Rantz Show)...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: School Board director to host 9-year-olds for classes on sexual pleasure, gender ID at sex shop

A controversial school board director is again raising eyebrows, this time for conducting a sex-education class for children as young as 9 years old at a sex shop.
3 days ago
Video still from church security cameras...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Two Seattle-area churches vandalized, one story keeps getting stranger

St. Louise Catholic Church in Bellevue wasn't the only church to be vandalized after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade. St. Anthony Parish in Renton was also targeted.
7 days ago
Seattle schools...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Seattle Public Schools budget focuses goals exclusively on black students, leaving others behind

SPS intentionally separates students by race, adopting "targeted universalism," which argues that if you treat everyone equally, it might deepen inequality.
8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Another day, another battle with homeless RVs for a Seattle business