‘We don’t know how much crime is going on,’ former police officer says after WSP fails to report I-5 assault

Jul 13, 2022, 7:31 PM

Rich Pruitt, a Bothell resident commuting home from Seattle, had an accident on the I-5 highway at 4:30 a.m. when debris smashed his windshield and dented his car’s hood, causing significant damage. Yet, Washington State Patrol (WSP) failed to report the incident, according to Pruitt.

“So I called 911 and I got connected with Washington State Patrol. The dispatcher told me a trooper would be in the area and contact me,” Pruitt said on the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “Within a few minutes, checking outside of the car, looking at the damage, shaking the glass off my clothes, things like that, I get a phone call. The phone call was from a trooper. He asked me if I was injured. I said no. He asked me about the damage and he said, I’ll give you my name and my badge number and if you need it for insurance purposes, just give that to them. I’m not going to do a report, because this is happening all the time. And we just don’t do reports on that.”

He described the debris as a very heavy construction cardboard box with items in it. He also stated he was covered in shards of glass after the incident.

“I am a 32-year veteran of the Seattle Police Department, and I retired a couple of years ago. I know, and I’ve been told my entire career, that if you don’t do a report, it didn’t happen,” Pruitt said. “As I got going, I got thinking about it. How do they know that this happened to use it for setting up a task force or even staffing the freeway at that hour of the day if there’s no report? And it kind of just chewed on me for a while.”

Pruitt went to Facebook to write a lengthy post to voice his frustrations.

“He stated to me that it happens all the time, so unless I’m injured, they don’t even take a report. I don’t blame him, I blame the broken system,” he wrote on Facebook. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but if there’s no report, then nothing happened! This is why politicians and those people that defunded think they did an OK job. People aren’t reporting crime or they’re not being reported because of a broken system.”

Rantz: Seattle Fire understaffed 69% of time, County Jail cuts bookings as COVID mandates ravage departments

“We talked about this a while back. We did a story a couple of weeks ago of the non-emergency number not being picked up by the Seattle Police Department,” Jason Rantz said during the interview. “So when you call and want to report a car was broken into or your home was broken into, it’s obviously not an emergency, you’re not calling 911. So you call the non-emergency number, it doesn’t get picked up, which means it might end up not being reported at all, which tells us the data is completely incorrect that we get at the end of the year.”

Pruitt described the incident as an assault, claiming someone intentionally threw the debris at the car. His car was the only vehicle on the highway at that time.

“As I was driving, I saw something laying on the side of the street and I honestly thought to myself, I should change lanes in case somebody throws something off the edge,” Pruitt said. “I checked my blind spot and before I got my turn signal on, a box was flying into my window.”

WSP has since responded to the Jason Rantz Show on why a report wasn’t taken.

“The WSP takes the incidents where vehicles are struck by debris that is thrown very seriously. Although catching the perpetrators is difficult, a report should be taken when a victim calls,” the email read. “A report should be taken in each instance that a person calls us with a report of damage, not just when it involves an injury.”

However, WSP stated it does not believe this is a staffing issue.

“It would be an unreal expectation to have a trooper in all locations that these type of incidents occur, as well as performing the other functions and responsibilities or troopers do,” the email continued.

“The problem is, if it continues, then what? How many people fell underneath this loop that I just did? So instead of maybe 10 bad cases, you had 20,” Pruitt said. “Minor crimes lead to major crimes, and if we’re not doing anything about it, now we see the violence climbing, we see these other things happening. We just don’t know how much crime is going on out there. They can’t say it’s a reduction of crime if it’s not being reported.”

Earlier today, Harrell issued a new plan to recruit more police officers to the Seattle Police Department.

Seattle Mayor Harrell commits to hiring 500 SPD officers by 2027

Officer staffing levels reached their lowest point in three decades this year, with over 400 officers departing SPD since 2019.

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

Jason Rantz...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Watch 80-year-old defend privacy rights in trans locker room controversy

An 80-year-old Port Townsend woman defended her right to privacy after encountering a biological male in a YMCA-managed shower facility. She was banned as a result.
10 hours ago
Follow @https://twitter.com/jasonrantz...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Seattle residents, business fight homelessness, upsetting activists and media

The one-ton concrete blocks prevent broken-down RVs and tents from occupying the space. They're being placed, mostly, anonymously.
5 days ago
(Photo courtesy of Bellingham Schools)...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: WA schools intentionally, dangerously lie to parents about their child’s ‘identity’

Educators will not reveal gender identity, different names, and even mental health concerns that could help parents connect them with mental health experts.
6 days ago
(Photo by ELAINE THOMPSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Asian Giant Murder Hornet name changed over ‘stigma’, racism

The ecologic impacts of the Asian Giant Murder Hornets are considerable, prompting a campaign by the Department of Agriculture to eradicate the insects.
7 days ago
(Photo courtesy of Tacoma Light Rail/Flickr)...
Frank Sumrall

Local businesses hurting as Tacoma Link extension construction drags on

"I was told lies across the board. We were told this was a worthwhile project. It's not," Steven Salamone, owner of Salamone's Pizza, said.
7 days ago
(Photo courtesy of Jonathan Choe)...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Seattle activist invites homeless to her home, immediately regrets it

Apparently, you're supposed to keep vulnerable people outside to suffer in the heat, rather than offering them access to electricity and clean water.
8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
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 […]
‘We don’t know how much crime is going on,’ former police officer says after WSP fails to report I-5 assault