Boys, ages 12 and 13, who led police on car chase given different outcomes after court appearances

Feb 20, 2024, 5:30 PM | Updated: 6:32 pm

Image: Seattle Police Department dashcam video shows officers' pursuit of two juveniles who carjack...

Seattle Police Department dashcam video shows officers' pursuit of two juveniles who carjacked a woman at gunpoint on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024. (Photo: Image courtesy of Seattle Police Department)

(Photo: Image courtesy of Seattle Police Department)

The 12- and 13-year-old brothers suspected of an armed carjacking and dangerous police chase in Seattle got two different outcomes in their court appearances Tuesday afternoon.

A King County judge ordered the younger boy released on electronic home detention, over the prosecutor’s objections and a social worker involved in the case.

“There’s just a lot going on with the family,” the social worker told the court. “I have concerns about both boys, especially (the 12-year-old) being at mom’s house. Their mom does work full time. There is not going to be someone to supervise him in the home at all times.”

The 13-year-old will remain in detention for the time being. Both boys pleaded not guilty to the charges, which include robbery and gun possession after they allegedly carjacked a woman in North Seattle and led police on a wild chase.

They were virtually silent in the courtroom, though their mother spoke on their behalf. She asked the judge for leniency.

“I think with electrical monitoring, he will be able to pull himself back together,” the mother said of the 13-year-old, who is facing more serious charges than his brother. “We will be able to figure out something with the community and get productive.”

Judge Veronica Galvan denied the request for older boy, citing his alleged gang ties and history of prior incidents with guns.

“I have two different youth and I what I want to recognize is that each one needs to be judged individually and separately, and within the context of what their actions were,” she said in her ruling.

The prosecutor, who opposed release in either case, acknowledged the 12-year-old presented slightly less risk to community safety.

“He’s younger and was not the driver. He did not fire shots into the air and appears to be engaged in some pro-social activities, including attending school and being a good student.”

The boys were accused of leading Seattle Police Department (SPD) officers on a high-speed chase after a carjacking on Tuesday.

Police said they stole a woman’s Subaru Outback Feb. 13 on North 85th Street near Aurora Avenue before fleeing from pursuing officers, ultimately crashing at the Denny Way exit.

Officers first attempted to stop the suspects near Wallingford Avenue North and North 82nd Street. But they sped away, hopping on State Route 99 in the stolen car. The vehicle pursuit came to an end at Seventh Avenue North and Thomas Street, according to SPD reported through its SPD Blotter.

In the suspect’s probable cause affidavit, a detective wrote the suspects’ mother called 911 eight minutes before the carjacking.

The detective says she reported seeing two boys walking on Aurora Avenue with a gun. She also stated she observed the person with the gun put it into his jacket pocket. SPD detectives believe the woman was reporting her two children, but she did not provide their names or indicate she knew them during the call.

Court documents also state that in addition to the vehicle, the suspects stole the carjacking victim’s keys, iPhone, fanny pack and black leather wallet with her credit cards. The suspects allowed the victim to retain her apartment key and responded, “My mom kicked me out” when asked why they were robbing her.

“The woman told police she’d just gotten home when she was approached by two suspects who tapped on her windows, pointed a gun at her and told her to get out,” SPD stated through a post on the SPD Blotter.

“One of the suspects fired a shot into the air,” SPD’s post continued.

An hour later, officers were dispatched to the Bitter Lake neighborhood, where a man reported an attempted carjacking at gunpoint had just occurred.

Shell casings were recovered at both locations of the reported crimes.

The 12-year-old was charged with robbery in the first degree, theft of a motor vehicle, attempted robbery in the first degree and unlawful possession of a firearm in the second degree.

The 13-year-old was charged with robbery in the first degree, theft of a motor vehicle, attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle, attempted robbery in the first degree  and unlawful possession of a firearm in the second degree.

Contributing: Steve Coogan, Frank Sumrall and Bill Kaczaraba, MyNorthwest

You can read more of Sam Campbell’s stories here. Follow Sam Campbell on X, formerly known as Twitter, or email him here.

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