Eastlake/Sat Aug 7/9:55 pm Officer Jennifer Morris reports: "The victim was standing near the front door at 18 Eastlake Ave E. The suspect, described only as a white/male/30s, scruffy beard, green baseball hat, gray hooded sweatshirt, had walked into the restaurant. The suspect told the victim: 'Give me your money.' Victim began to walk backward with his hands raised above his head. He was walking toward the bar, hoping his coworkers would notice what was happening. The suspect followed the victim, then put his right hand into his sweatshirt pocket. The victim saw the profile of what he thought was a handgun.

"The victim held out approximately $300 in cash from tips he had collected that night.

"The two witnesses saw the victim and ran over toward him. This startled the suspect and he ran out the front door. When officers arrived, they were not able to locate the suspect in the area. A large 'booze cruise' had just docked on Fairview Ave, creating heavy foot traffic along Eastlake Ave E."

Because the officer provides no further information about the seemingly oblivious booze-cruise people, their appearance in this report reminds me of Bruegel's famous painting Landscape with the Fall of Icarus. In it, a ploughman on the hill fails to notice "the disaster... something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky... disappearing into the green water" (W. H. Auden). The ploughman and the boy are very close to each other in space but are in completely different worlds: One is in the ordinary (just plowing); the other is in the extraordinary (falling from the sky). In the above report, the man robbed of his tips can be seen as the boy falling into a most unfortunate place and the "booze cruise" people as the oblivious ploughman.

Pioneer Square/Sat Aug 14/7:47 pm Officer David Adams reports: "I arrived on scene and contacted witness, an employee at the location, who reported the following about the incident: Witness was approached by the suspect, at the entrance to the restaurant. Suspect asked if he could have a table for three people, and witness told him that the table would be ready in a few minutes. Suspect asked if he could use the bathroom while he waited, and witness told him he could. A short time later, witness heard victim yelling: 'He took the money!' Witness then saw suspect run out the door with a tip jar. Witness last saw suspect at the intersection of Western and Yesler. The tip jar contained between $300 and $350 in cash."

The stealing of the tips deserves harsher punishment by the law than the robbing of banks. Even on sheerly aesthetic terms, fleeing a cafe with a worker's tip jar is uglier than fleeing a bank with a bag of money. recommended