Solutions sought for Steinbrueck Park crime

by: KIRO 7 STAFF Updated:

Victor Steinbrueck Park, which is right next to Pike Place Market, is a popular tourist destination and has a view of the sound. Public safety is now a concern after there were two stabbings last month, a man was choked last weekend and on Thursday night, a 911 call came in to report a man menacing people with a whip.

Problems have continued for years at Victor Steinbrueck Park, and police increased patrols with the busy summer tourist season.

No other Seattle park has a higher concentration of tourists and police activity.

Earlier this week, a man menacing people with a whip brought officers to the park, the city-maintained space next to Pike Place Market. Also this week, prosecutors charged another man with robbery after they say he choked a man unconscious and later ripped his wallet away.

A husband and wife dining at nearby Cutters restaurant gave witness statements.

Last October, police arrested a man for strangling a hawk in the park. On May 17, police investigated a stabbing, and were back the following Friday for another non-fatal stabbing.

Victor Steinbrueck Park was named for the Seattle architect and University of Washington professor who led the 1970s effort to keep the market from being demolished. Solutions for how to solve the problems there are unclear.

At the park Friday, a church choir of fifth- and sixth-graders from Idaho came to sing. Leaders have been bringing them there for 10 years to share their message with people they believe need to hear it.

But seven years ago, the group stopped coming in the evenings after a fight broke out while they were performing.

"They actually tried to rip the guitar out of the guitarist's hand and we restrained him," Marcus LeBaron with the Nazarene Church group said. "That time of night here, we quickly learned it is not a good time to bring younger kids here. The morning time like this, a lot of the guys who are having problems are still sleeping it off."