Local

‘It was horrible to watch’: Students, parents, residents on edge after Ballard muggings

SEATTLE — Ballard High School and Whitman Middle School parents are on edge after a number of muggings, some of which turned violent. Since September 15, there have been five attacks where teen boys on their way home from school were jumped for their iPhones. Guns were used in some of the robberies.

There were two separate attacks on September 15, the first happened on Northwest 80th Street and 25th Avenue Northwest. The mom of that victim told us her son and a friend were walking west on 80th when they noticed an eastbound car make a U-turn. Four masked males in ski masks got out and demanded an iPhone. When the woman’s son didn’t hand one over she told us the suspects then attacked, pushing her son to the ground and punching him in the head. She said police then told her the group got back in their car, drove three blocks, and jumped another 14-year-old boy.

We obtained new footage of another robbery from September 19, on Northwest 67th and Dibble Avenue Northwest. In it, the two 16-year-old victims can be seen walking when a red Kia pulls up behind them. A group of males get out and pounce on the teens. One ran, but neighbors on Dibble said the group got back in the car and caught up to him only to take his iPhone. That attack happened on Amy Bryan’s block.

‘It was horrible to watch. The other thing that’s so disheartening is the kids who are perpetrating this at least in that instance behaved young so it seems like they’re young and it makes me really sad too,” said Bryan. “It makes me really angry it makes me mad.”

She has two sons who both have something in common with the victims in the five recent Ballard muggings, they’re students at BHS and Whitman Middle School.

“I know three to four of the kids who have been attacked through one degree of separation and it’s scary. I imagine it’s traumatic being attacked like that,” said Bryan

The latest attack, on October 19 hits even closer to home for her.

“The first time I heard about it was on Nextdoor in a random post and it. When we realized it was somebody we’d grown up with it’s just. It makes it that much scarier because you realize it could be any of our kids,” Bryan said.

People without kids said they’re worried about being targeted too.

“Usually you come home from work and just kind of daydreaming but now I’m going to be a lot more aware of my surroundings,” said Debbie Chin, who lives on Dibble Avenue Northwest.

Tom Watson added, “Having an adequately sized police force to begin with, the police that we know are stretched so thin, they can only really respond to so many cases.”

The Seattle Police Department did not respond to our request for comment. A parent shared that SPD will hold an online safety course on Monday. So far, no arrests have been made.