Pike Place Market shop owner takes down attempted robbery suspect

SEATTLE — Police say a serious repeat offender tried to rob a small business at Pike Place Market, but the owner of Sosio’s Fruit and Produce stand defended his shop and chased the suspect down.

Shop owners say incidents like these only make already tough times tougher.

“This is my business. I’ve worked hard for it, my staff has worked hard for it, we have a lot of pride in it.”

Mike Osborn, owner of Sosio’s Fruit and Produce, opens up shop every morning at 4am.

“We have a lot of pride in it,” Osborn said. “I’ve been in the Market for 48 years.”

Last Wednesday morning around 4:30 a.m., Osborn said he left the office to run a quick errand.

“It’s usually a three-minute thing,” he said.

When he returned, Osborn said he saw a man leaning over his safe – which he had left unlocked for the few minutes he was gone.

“He stood up and I just told him, ‘I am not getting robbed again. I’ve been robbed, I’ve been cheated. That’s not going to happen again,’” Osborn said.

Osborn is 61 years old. He said right there by the safe, he and the suspect started fighting over the cash bags that held about $8,000.

“He had everything out of my safe,” Osborn said. “I got a couple of punches in, he swung at me, he got past me,” he said.

Osborn chased the suspect and says he managed to catch up and grab the suspect by the back of his coat.

“Just flattened him right there, just dropped him right there on the ground,” Osborne said. He said he sat on the suspect until security arrived less than a minute later. Then, the suspect was arrested by Seattle Police.

“He picked the wrong old guy to mess with,” Osborn said.

King County prosecutors identified the suspect as 56-year-old Cedell Steven Scott – someone with a lengthy criminal history.

Court documents say Scott “has been booked into the King County jail 76 times since 1986.”

Jail records show Scott was arrested three times in 2020 alone, on booking charges of theft, burglary and misdemeanor assault. The King County Prosecutor’s office said Scott’s last felony case was in 2016 where Scott was convicted for assaulting a nurse.

There was already warrant out for Scott’s arrest when this latest crime happened.

Another shop owner at the Market who didn’t want to be identified also said homelessness and theft at the Market have become a more serious problem since the pandemic started.

Osborn says the market needs more visitors and help – especially on weekdays.

“It’s been tough. We’re kind of bewildered by the lack of support during the mid-week,” he said.

Shoppers at the Market on Tuesday said they were surprised to see so few people.

“Completely different, it’s empty,” said Thomas Martinez, a Seattle resident who said he was last at Pike Place Market about a year ago.

“I’ve been here once before, so I was very shocked,” said Alina Pagan, a tourist from the Bay area.

She said hearing of the other challenges, like recent vandalism and this latest case, has her feeling for the small businesses.

“As if it wasn’t hard enough already. That’s so sad, that’s really heartbreaking,” Pagan said.

Sosio’s Produce said they know they’ll get through this tough time.

“This is just me defending my stand, my product, my livelihood. And I would do it again in a heartbeat,” Osborn said.

Scott is currently in the King County Jail on a $20,000 bond. He’s being charged with attempted second-degree robbery.