Seattle police officers give victim in need warm coats, groceries

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SEATTLE - Two Seattle police officers provided a victim who was punched and kicked in a strong-arm robbery with warm coats and food when they realized he had little heat or food, and no working refrigerator.

The incident report said on Dec. 7, the man was walking in the 3300 block of South Horton Street when he was hit in the head from behind.

The force of the blow knocked him to the ground. Once on the ground, the attacker began punching him with a closed fist numerous times on the cheek.  The robber also kicked him in the back and stomped on his hands.

The attacker then took the man’s bag, which contained two black sweatshirts and gloves.

The victim ran home and immediately called 911.

Two Seattle police officers went to the victim’s home.  Police called fire department medics to treat the beaten man.

Police said although the weather outside was dark and clear, the temperature was about 20 degrees outside and there was no heat in the home.   The victim explained to officers that the gloves and sweatshirts that were stolen were to keep him warm.  The man did have a small space heater in his bedroom for warmth.

The Seattle Fire Department inspected the man’s kitchen and found the refrigerator was not working and he only had one working stove burner to prepare food. The only lights that were working were in a hallway near the bedroom and one in the kitchen.

The officers asked the victim if he was hungry and he told them he had not eaten since that morning. 

Firefighters explained to the man that they would be completing paperwork to file listing him as a vulnerable adult in order for him to receive necessary services.

The two officers then contacted fellow officers who provided two warm coats to give to the man.  The two officers then went to Safeway and bought non-perishable groceries for the victim.  A victim support team  also responded with two more bags of groceries for the man.

“I know these officers personally,” said Seattle Police spokeswoman Renee Witt. “They’re good cops, but they’re also great people as well.”

The victim's neighbor Alison Greene said she and others on the block knew he was somewhat developmentally disabled, but did not realize he was having such recent trouble.  She said because of the officers the neighborhood is now rallying to make sure the victim gets the support he needs.

“We're just going to try and advocate for him, and make sure he has those basic necessities that every person is deserving of,” Greene said.

The man who robbed the victim is described black, in his late teens, with a light complexion, and 6 feet 1 inches tall.  He was wearing a black hooded jacket with lots of pockets on the front and dark pants.