Private Security Guard Hired by Neighbors Reportedly Pepper-Sprays a Magnolia Resident Minding His Own Business


To be clear, I have no idea if this is the same person. But wondering if this was a former police officer google showed me this.
While Private Security (AKA rent-a-cops) may have some discretion on the property they've been hired to patrol, they have absolutely NO authority on a public street or easements. This idiot just opened himself - and his company - up to a big, fat lawsuit.
The very fact that they had enough money to hire a private security force shows that we as a society are not taxing the wealthy nearly enough to be able to protect them from themselves.

All of these Magnolians who are wringing their hands over a supposed lack of responsiveness on the part of the SPD probably have security systems to protect themselves, their idiotic children, and their tacky glass art. Why worry about anything else? Because status. They want to show off.

Well, look what their showing off has got them. I hope there is a nice juicy lawsuit.
It's like a group of extremists hired thugs to patrol a neighborhood enforcing sharia law on any random citizen who happened to be using the public road. Looking "suspicious" is the white supremacist code word equivalent to an imam ordering young men to go out and beat up women not properly covered up, or men acting gay.

Any way you look at it, this local faction is using private force to pressure society to conform to their narrow definition of normalcy. Old car, the wrong clothes, being outdoors for reasons other than exercise, dog walking or minding children is reason enough for them to harass anyone.

Burn it all down, I'm saying. All of it.
People robbed at gun-point and pistol-whipped every weekend on Capitol Hill and you hear shyte about it here, but THIS is news?
I agree with Catalina. These people can afford to hire private security for their own neighborhoods, but the rest of the city be damned? Tax 'em. TAX THEM. All citizens of a town should be safe, not just the ones in the big houses. I see that more and more all over the country and it really makes me angry. TAX THEM to the point that the police department can be expanded and provide the security they want.

Yes, this is big news. What part don't you get?
Oh Blackwater, keep on rollin'.
@2: I hope you're right, but what I really hope is that the people who hired him can be implicated in the lawsuit as well. As Erica mentions, the "Magnolia Patrol Association" brags about how the guards they hired are unconstrained by the constitution and can be had at bargain basement prices right there on their website:…
@3&7: A tax exclusive to Magnolia, huh. That's as dumb an idea as making Mexico build a wall along the southern border.

It's called graduated income tax, dear. It's a thing.

I think the mistake these Constitutional Originalists are making is that they are thinking of this security guard as a private *individual*, whose behavior is as free as any *individual* who for reasons known only to himself walks up and strikes up a conversation with people in a way that the police aren't allowed to do. He's not a private individual, he's an employee of an organization, which includes both the contractor and the neighborhood group that hired the contractor. They are all liable for systematic discrimination and conspiracy to deprive people of their constitutional rights, just as the police or any other group can be held accountable for conspiracy to break the law of the land.

That shit doesn't fly. This is going to cost these smug fatheads big time. They should have known better before they put their foot in it.

Point taken, and if I had had more time I would have mentioned Citizens Arrest. But, regardless, assuming for the moment the circumstances were as Mr. Harris stated (and at this point I have no reason to think they were otherwise), then one has to ask: in this situation what was Toomey's justification for confronting Harris in the first place? Last I heard Private Security Officers don't have the authority to issue parking tickets on public streets, and there is no crime for merely parking or being in a particular area if one is not actually engaging in illegal activities. As I recall from my own security training back in the day, invoking CA required actually catching someone engaged in the commission of a crime, such as trespassing or illegal entry for example, and even then, for the reasons you state (not to mention the possibility of a perp being armed), it was still considered an absolute last resort, especially in a situation like this where you have no backup and no one to corroborate your story.

And if I were Mr. Harris' attorney the first thing I'd be doing is checking the surrounding homes for security camera footage; this is Magnolia after all, and there's a very good likelihood at least a couple of CCTV's were pointed in the general direction of where the incident occurred.
Raindrop dear, you must try to work on your reading comprehension. MattB and I are advocating for taxing ALL rich people, not just those in certain neighborhoods. That would be silly.
The silver lining is the private security guard is probably not protected by a powerful, corrupt, and ethically bankrupt union. And, unlike real cops, he almost certainly could be held personally liable for damages in a civil lawsuit, along with his employer.
@16: Okay - I missed the subject-verb agreement. Nevertheless, taxes should never be used puntiively.
john t dear, unions are only as "powerful, corrupt, and ethically bankrupt" as the management they bargain with allows. It doesn't matter whether it's municipal government or General Motors - inept management makes for "powerful, corrupt, and ethically bankrupt" unions.

Please make a note of it.
Raindrop dear, that's where we will always disagree. As Dorothy Parker said, "The rich should be taxed for being alive"
And, unlike real cops, he almost certainly could be held personally liable for damages in a civil lawsuit, along with his employer.

That seems naive. Since the security guard appears to have successfully stole/destroyed the phone, it's he said/he said. Unless new evidence emerges, the most likely outcome is a trivial punishment and re-assignment or nothing at all. Private security firms are pretty good at avoiding accountability--they do it in different ways than cops do, but they still do it. The problem here isn't union power.
This guy was not an "officer". He was a guard hired by a private company which was paid by a bunch of NIMBYS who were frightened of some homeless people in their wealthy enclave. He was excited by his uniform, as all uniformed people get excited by their uniforms. Uniform excitement leads to stupid acts. At least in this case, the guy encased in the uniform didn't use a gun.
So if I am reading you right, I can imprison anyone, hurt them, and then call the cops, and as long as there are no witnesses I'm in the clear? To me that sounds like a license to harm people as long as I can make a claim that they tried (not succeeded) to harm me. Are you a lawyer who deals with this?
I live right up the street from where they took their Facebook Profile picture. During the time they were Supposedly Volunteering to help the community. What a crock. Supposed to be unarmed yet their young kid was running around everywhere with his gun on, same as in the profile picture.

I’d like to share some knowledge from last year with you, when this security company was telling every one they we “Volunteering to help the community”

They were filling their military SUV at the 76 station in the village multiple times a week. Mr Harris was/is a recognizable figure to them. According to Harris, and the news he was parked in the GAS station LOT! How do you pull up to a business that isn’t paying you, tell someone who works there, that you should recognize their parked illegally at their own business that you are not paid to protect, and pepper spray them???

Secondly, when they were up here “volunteering”, they were supposed to be unarmed, yet the officer in their website photos was armed, and beat up a gentleman in Discovery Park. The Seattle Police were called on the security guy. I obtained the report when there was discussion of having them on Magnolia as the patrol. They were not supposed to be in the park, and not assaulting people either or armed.

Thirdly, during their volunteer time, my neighbor’s daughter had multiple “Stalking” like incidents with one of their officers in which he followed her while she jogged, and went so far as to follow her into stores. Police were informed and last I had heard last year the police had taken a report and were attempting to contact Central Protection whom wouldn’t talk to them.

This is a company with MANY MANY incidents on record, but all they was shown are the positive ones. When they were up here on Magnolia, I did have a pleasant encounter, and a officer helped me with my groceries when he was driving down the street. But the negatives far outweigh the positive, these people were up hear to be seen in that truck and to deter petty crime thru intimidation.

Lastly, after speaking to an Seattle Police officer this morning, security is supposed to have licenses, for weapons such as pepper spray, billyclubs and guns, AND handcuffs. When this contract was spoken about at public meetings, they security people were not supposed to be armed. Bill refuses to return my calls, or emails, and Central Protection isn’t answering any number listed in Seattle or their New York office.

If they are supposed to be un armed, how did Harris get sprayed? Hmmm? Where are the records that show they can have weapons? Hmmm?

Monty View

The owner and operator: "I'm the general, just makin' sure my soldiers straight."

This is Seattle, NOT Iraq.
@20: Would that include nice rich people, like Lady Gaga or even Dan Savage?
Yes Raindrop. Of course it would. Don't worry your pretty little head over wealthy people. They always take care of themselves.
Bess, the problem is that city government, at the direction of the politicians, won't go there. They don't want to go up against the guild because Seattle is a "Democratic" city. That's true in the respect that most Seattleites don't want to see rank-and-file admins or ditch diggers or fire fighters getting the shaft in labor negotiations, but it doesn't acknowledge that many of those same people who support labor broadly want the city to reign in the SPD.

The Mayor or some of the more social justice oriented council members could be pressuring labor relations to push their requests on to the arbiters and react when and if the arbiter reject them, but they won't do that. The Mayor has his sites on higher office where he'll need statewide votes, and people like Sawant are too busy with grandstanding nonsense like not confirming the Superintendent of City Light. (She's closing in on her fourth meeting to discuss that) Also, she knows that as long as she runs in her district, all she has to do is show up at anti-police rallies and make speeches. There's no need for her to take direct action.

Any reform of the SPD has to start at 600 Fourth Avenue. It's never going to come from the Guild.
How is it legal for a small group of people to hire security for a whole neighborhood?!! Its not a fucking gated community so this should be illegal.
No Bess you are wrong about weapons. The MPA contract is an UNARMED contract. Meaning that Toomey should NOT have been armed with any offensive weapon, INCLUDING handcuffs. According to Seattle Police, each item requires certification for the guard to carry and utilize, the company must have certifications to employ armed guards, and oh yeah... it has to be an ARMED contract, which MPA isn't ! Hence why no one is saying anything, they're legally cooked. Forcefully restaining Andrew after pepper spraying him is illegal, where are there any marks that show physical esscalation by Andrew? If there was any evidence to defend this security thug, they'd be parading it up and down the street, on facebook, and all the story pages. There simply isn't

Anyone who had every been pepper sprayed (mayday 4 years ago by "accident and drift" will know that it is an injury.

Fire and Medical response was sent for Andrew. So he was injured, by security, in the parking lot of his place of business. It's assault.

My question is, where is the camera coverage of that area? Starbucks has cameras facing that direction for their entrance, as to the banks, and other businesses.
On top of it all, "Hummer H2" vehicles are total poseur cars.
These "security" people's authority is completely undermined by those fake pieces of petro-poop.
As shown here...…

...almost 90% of Magnolia residents are white. The area median income of Magnolia is $96,000 per year, not counting unearned income. Magnolia has the second lowest crime rate of all Seattle neighborhoods.

Clearly, Magnolians have more $$$ than they have brain cells in gear. I agree with Catalina and MattB--tax the living hell out of them.

I agree with Catalina and MattB. Tax the rich!!!

Addiction should be treated for what it is: a medical condition. Besides, there wouldn't even BE heroin addicts if Bayer AG hadn't mass produced it for profit in the first place, right?
Hi, everyone. I'm the person sited in the article above.

Firstly, to clarify and thanks, I wasn't parked @ the station where I work. I was parked in what's considered the "sketchy" part of Magnolia.

Doesn't really matter, but I wasn't on private property that is owned by my employer.

Also, the "Magnolia Security Patrol", (or whatever it's called), is only being funded through 135 donations or something.

There are 20,000 people living in the Mag. (Yes, we have our own nickname for the hood.). 135 people is a vast minority of neighborhood residents.

A lot of people are holding the whole neighborhood responsible, & they aren't. The outpouring of support from Magnolia residents whom I interact w/ on a daily basis has been enormous.

Anyway, Monte View (aka. Magnolia resident). Thanks!! I don't know if you'll receive this, but I appreciate your comments. Thanks again!! Is there a way that you could contact me?

I entirely appreciate the idea that you might require anonymity, but (apparently) I'm about to be attacked in the media tomorrow by the 135 elite & Central Protection.

Would like to know more about Discovery Park incident.

Also, thanks for the article, Ansel. I've enjoyed your work!! Also, sent you an e-mail. Let me know, buddy. Thanks again.
Ken dear, I appreciate your honesty about your addiction, but I still don't think jailing addicts is good public policy. Maybe it worked for you, but it doesn't seem to be working for the larger community.
Time to go wander the mean streets of Magnolia.