The Week in Review
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 16 The week kicks off with a saga of Law & Order–worthy twistiness set right here in Seattle, where today Dr. Michael Mockovak—the 51-year-old cofounder of the laser-eye-surgery centers Clearly Lasik—was charged with two counts of solicitation to commit first-degree murder after allegedly plotting to have his business partner and a former colleague killed. Details come from charging papers filed today in King County Superior Court, in which prosecutors allege Mockovak was so distraught over work-related problems—including his longtime partner's decision to break up the company and a lawsuit from a former employee—that he attempted to hire the Russian mob to "eliminate" the offending parties. The Seattle Times identifies Mockovak's would-be victims as Clearly Lasik cofounder Dr. Joseph King (who allegedly had a $5 million life-insurance policy listing either Mockovak or Clearly Lasik as beneficiaries) and former company president Brad Klock (instigator of the aforementioned lawsuit). Prosecutors allege Mockovak was ready to pay the Russian mob $100,000 to "eliminate" the men, but he was foiled by his own hilarious stupidity. According to charging papers, Mockovak hoped to contact the Russian mob through a Russian Clearly Lasik employee, who listened to Mockovak's would-be murder-for-hire pitch and promptly reported the whole thing to the FBI. The Feds set up a sting, and earlier this month, Mockovak met the informant in Tukwila, where he allegedly gave him $10,000 cash and a poster-sized photo of King. Which brings us to today, when Mockovak was charged with two counts of solicitation to commit first-degree murder, for which he's being held on $2 million bail. On Wednesday, Mockovak will plead not guilty to all charges.
••Also: This evening in Belltown, an intoxicated 25-year-old man attempted to jump over a five-foot fence and became impaled on a metal spike. Following the screams, police found the man stuck on the fence with a metal spike jutting out from his butt. "The man was bleeding profusely," reports the Seattle Times. "Questioned at the hospital, the man told police he believed he was a ninja."
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 17 Hot on the heels of last month's judgment in France, where the Church of Scientology was fined 600,000 euros after being found guilty of cheating members out of their life savings, comes a fresh batch of Scientology-scented drama. Today's setting: the Australian Senate, where Senator Nick Xenophon called for an inquiry into the Church of Scientology following accusations made by seven former church members painting the church as a cesspool of physical violence, intimidation, and blackmail. Details come from the UK Times, which reports the allegations range from the awful (heavy pressure on female church staffers to get abortions, enforced ostracization from non-Scientology family members) to the criminal (torture, blackmail, intricate child-molestation cover-ups). "Scientology is not a religious organization—it is a criminal organization that hides behind its so-called religious beliefs," said Senator Xenophon. "These victims of Scientology claim it is an abusive, manipulative, violent, and criminal organization, and that criminality is condoned at the highest levels." The Church of Scientology has dismissed the allegations as "outrageous."
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18 The week continues with a hideously depressing story from Rainier Valley, where this morning, staff arrived at the Rainier Valley Food Bank to find it had been robbed. As the Seattle Times reports, the looted goods included 30 crates of canned fruit, soup, chips, peanut butter, and vegetables collected by volunteers during last weekend's Safeway food drives, along with several hundred pounds of potatoes and onions, with the loss totaling $1,500 to $2,000. "I'm scrambling to replace all of it, because it was intended to be distributed [for] Thanksgiving," said the food bank's executive director Sam Osborne to the Times. Silver lining: Only a storage container was looted, with the food bank's back-room stash left untouched until it was distributed among the 409 visitors to the food bank today. Solid-gold lining: By this time next week, Rainier Valley Food Bank will have received over $100,000 worth of post-burglary donations, which it will share with several of the area's less fortunate food banks. Fuck you, robbers; thank you, donors. (And you can still help—demand at local food banks has doubled in the past year. Visit www.rvfb.org.)
••Meanwhile in California, a 39-year-old man is facing charges of misdemeanor child annoyance after allegedly soliciting teenage boys to spit in his face. Details come from the Associated Press, which reports the would-be spit solicitor was apprehended today in a sting operation at a Thousand Oaks, California, mall, where the man had arranged a meeting with a teenager, whom he'd allegedly offered to pay $31 to spit in his face. Other Westlake High School students told authorities the man had contacted them through MySpace and paid them to yell profanities, slap him, and spit in his face, with a few lucky kids reportedly fielding cash offers to take it to the awful next level (i.e., human toiletry). "A motive wasn't clear," reports the AP.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19 Nothing happened today, unless you count the ridiculously dramatic near-death experience of a 34-year-old window washer in downtown Seattle. The man plunged from the upper levels of the Broadacres building, traumatizing onlookers on various floors, before being rescued by his safety rope one foot above the pavement and escaping his ordeal with only a broken finger.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20 The week continues with the International Transgender Day of Remembrance, the annual commemoration of the shocking number of transfolk lost each year to anti-trans brutality, observed in Seattle with a late-morning "die in" and early evening candlelight march at the University of Washington. Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, a thirtysomething man was shot by a stranger for seemingly no reason at all. As KING 5 reports, the man was walking along the 700 block of East Union Street at around 6:00 p.m. when an unknown man in a passing car shot him in the chest. The victim remains hospitalized. The suspect is still at large.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21 Nothing happened today, unless you count Hot Tipper Girlie H's report of waiting for the number 8 bus downtown with "an unattractive man wearing multiple pairs of baggy pants, who decided that the pants on the under layer needed to be on top and proceeded to take all his layers of pants off and put them back on. He then went around the corner to pee. After coming back, he went to town on his junk—and by the time the bus arrived, his wang was out of his pants. Thank you for listening."
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 22 The week ends with another dose of the stupidly random violence that stunk up Friday. Today's setting: North Seattle, where around 7:00 p.m. this evening, a woman was strolling along Holman Road Northwest when an unknown man grabbed her from behind, stabbed her in the lower back, and fled. The victim was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries; the suspect remains at large.
Be careful out there. (And go see Precious.) Send Hot Tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.