Seattle Crime 2017: From the Gross to the Grotesque

The crime stories that shook Seattle.

Check out the rest of our 2017 Year in Review package.

Two people were arrested at a Sammamish Papa John’s Pizza store (and three others elsewhere) during “Operation Extra Olives” (who says cops don’t have a sense of humor?) in June. The six-month-long King County Sheriff’s Office undercover investigation followed a tip that some employees were delivering coke (not the fizzy beverage) in pizza boxes.

Alexander Treanor’s luck ran out when he was arrested after being identified in camera footage, aired on Washington’s Most Wanted, as he snatched an entire lotto scratch ticket dispenser from a convenience store in Renton.  

Garnering little media attention—and nary a march—in June, 20-year-old Vietnamese-American student Tommy Le was shot to death after King County deputies mistook his pen for a gun. 

In a remarkably similar—and icky—tale of two cities: In June, a Seattle Police Department (SPD) prostitution investigation (launched with a sleazy back-page ad) netted 140 arrests at a phony massage parlor on Aurora Avenue. And, in August, a Bellevue prostitution sting (a continuation of a 2016 investigation into online sex trafficking) resulted in 110 arrests. (Among the nabbed: KJR-AM personality Mitch Levy. Radio anonymity does have its limits.)

A tragic day: Responding to a call about a break-in at a Magnuson Park apartment on June 18, two Seattle police officers, alleging their lives were in danger, fatally shot the caller, Charleena Lyles, a 30-year-old pregnant black woman, in front of two of her young children. In September, the Lyles family filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the officers, and as of press time, the SPD investigation continued.

Bellevue, Kirkland and Issaquah police busted suspected members of a purse-snatching ring thought to have caused an estimated $100,000 in losses in Bellevue alone.

Senseless acts: Two homeless men were killed at homeless encampments in West Seattle and Seattle’s SoDo district, and in June, another homeless man was charged in the stabbing death of 26-year-old Andrew Pimentel as he exited Dick’s Drive-In restaurant on Lower Queen Anne. 

Horror in our midst: Three elderly brothers—Charles, Thomas and Edwin Emery (ages 82, 80 and 78, respectively)—were charged in August with possession of child pornography, and are suspected serial child molesters, possibly tied to multiple unsolvedmissing-children cases.

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