Gay Bashing and Guns on Capitol Hill
The New Year on Capitol Hill started out with the violent murder of Shannon Harps, and things have only gotten worse. While Harps's death has become a defining moment for the neighborhood, it's only one in a series of attacks—both gay bashings and random assaults—that have made it clear that violence has come to Capitol Hill.
Last weekend, two men became the latest victims in a yearlong string of seemingly random, violent incidents on Capitol Hill.
•February 3, just before 2:00 a.m., Thomas Colonna and Brad Crelia were attacked near Olive Way and Howell Street when three men jumped out of a car and beat them. Witnesses gave SPD the car's license-plate number, but so far police say no arrests have been made.
•January 26, Maurice Alan was shot and killed outside of the Baltic Room nightclub. SPD's gang unit is investigating.
•December 31, Shannon Harps was fatally stabbed outside of her Capitol Hill condominium, allegedly by a felon with a history of mental problems. Seattle police say the attack was random.
•November 19, 21-year-old Michael Anthony Bassett allegedly fired shots inside of the Sugar nightclub, wounding three. Within a day of the shooting, Sugar's owners decided to close up shop.
•September 3, Andrew Geske was attacked and called a "faggot" by a motorist. A passenger inside the car grabbed Geske's arm as they sped off, dragging him for several blocks.
•August 12, Cerril Turner hurled antigay epithets and attacked Christopher Petty at the Shell gas station on Broadway. Petty was wearing a shirt that said "Queer." Turner was sentenced to 60 days in jail.
•July 25, one man was shot and wounded outside of the Satellite Lounge, around the corner from the Seattle Police Department's East Precinct.
•June 20, two gay men were threatened in the parking lot of a restaurant on Broadway and Denny Way. Two men in their early 20s are awaiting trial for the incident.
•June 10, Jason Mancillas was beaten by as many as six men after he left a gay bar with his boyfriend.
•March 10, shots were fired outside the Sugar nightclub, wounding one man.
•February 2007, Seattle police cite "ongoing" problems with the now-defunct Club Lagoon. Many Capitol Hill residents and employees of nearby businesses claimed they had been targeted and harassed by homophobic patrons.
In the last year, Capitol Hill has been abuzz over a cultural shift. Community leaders speculate that the broadening popularity of the Pike/Pine corridor has brought a "bridge and tunnel"/Belltown crowd up the hill. Some Capitol Hill club owners believe that a crackdown on nightlife in other areas of town has pushed problems to the relatively underpoliced Capitol Hill.
While the King County Prosecutor's Office has seen a spike in the number of hate crimes committed on Capitol Hill, a recent report from the Seattle Police Department and Mayor Greg Nickels's office says crime in Seattle is at a 40-year low.