Rainier Valley/Mon Nov 2/12:45 am:

Officer John Marion reports: "While on uniformed patrol in the city of Seattle, officers observed a white Jeep Cherokee going southbound on Rainier Avenue South. The vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed. At Rainier and Othello Street, the driver locked the wheels and the vehicle slid to a stop. Officers heard the tires screeching loudly. When the vehicle startedagain southbound on Rainier, it accelerated rapidly and continued at a high rate of speed.

"The vehicle was driven erratically and was swerving and jerking back and forth. There were other vehicles on the roadway that the driver of the Jeep was endangering while driving in this manner. Officers activated emergency lights and attempted to stop the vehicle at Rainier and South Rose Street. The vehicle did not stop for lights and sirens but continued to drive at a low rate of speed.

"The vehicle turned onto Rose Street and stopped at 49th [and] Rose. As officers were exiting the patrol vehicle to contact the driver, the vehicle [suddenly] drove away southbound on 49th. The occupants of the vehicle appeared to be looking for a place to exit the vehicle and flee on foot. Officers also believed that the occupants might have been attempting to lure officers away from the arterial streets for purposes of attacking officers. Officers followed the vehicle as it pulled into a driveway and stopped. Officers exited the patrol vehicle and removed both occupants from the vehicle. The driver/suspect and the passenger were placed in handcuffs and detained at the location of the stop..."

Officer Marion concludes: "Officers frisked the vehicle for weapons but found none."

The suspects turned out to be nothing more than misbehaving young people. But in the middle of the report, we find that the officers mistook them not for regular criminals but for enemy combatants who were executing a military-­style ambush. Under normal circumstances, the officers would not have imagined such a ridiculous thing. But these were not normal circumstances. Two nights before, Officer Timothy Brenton was shot while sitting in a marked patrol car with a student officer. He died on the spot. "This is an assassination," said Assistant Chief Jim Pugel, who later connected the suspected assassin to an attempt to lure officers into a firebombing at a police parking lot on October 22. For a moment, the SPD saw our city as a battle zone. Those foolish young people are damn lucky to be alive. recommended