I like competing narratives. From Grendel to Loose Change to Alfred-Maurice de Zayas's A Terrible Revenge, they have added spice to my life. Luckily for me, this week's batch of police reports include an especially wild case of dueling narratives.
According to a Seattle police report, police were dispatched to the Downtowner Apartments at 308 4th Avenue South in the predawn hours of October 4th to investigate a stabbing. (The Downtowner is a charming little place, with one Google reviewer fondly remembering the three times he woke up to find roaches in his ear.) The reporting officer contacted the victim, who was waiting at the front desk. No word on if the clerk looked like Screamin' Jay Hawkins in Mystery Train, but it helps me to imagine him that way.
The victim reported that she had come to Seattle from Portland on October 2nd to do "some sight scene (sic)" and was staying at one of the quaint motels on Aurora. At 11 p.m. on the night of October 3rd, she stated that she went to the King Street Station to catch a train back to our hipster-y sister to the south. (Side note—she was only off by five and a half hours; the last train for Portland leaves daily at 5:30 p.m.) Finding no train, the victim told police that she began walking in the vicinity of the station.
The report states that she soon met a man described as "an Ethiopian black male in his 30s about 5'07 150 lbs wearing gray shirt and blue jeans." The victim reported that the man "invited [her] to spend a night at his place because he lives near the train station." Without even asking for his CouchSurfing feedback rating, she agreed and left with him.
Back home at the Downtowner, the man allegedly drank beer and made an attempt to kiss the victim, which was rebuffed. The victim told police that the man then left to go to a store for more beer, while she retired to his bed. Protip: crawling into the bed of a stranger you don't even want to kiss is not a great idea.
The victim reported that she heard the man return home. Suddenly he "jumped on her back and stabbed her in the right side of her neck." The suspect was allegedly drunk, so the victim told police that she was able to pull the knife away from her neck and kick the suspect before escaping. The reporting officer described the knife as "8-10 inches long knife, black handle and a little bigger than a steak knife." You do not want this sort of knife on your neck because it does things like leave a wound described as "about 5 inches long with 2 inches wide and about 1-2 inches deep."
More drama after the jump!
After accompanying the victim to Harborview Medical Center and gathering more evidence, the officer was dispatched back to the Downtowner to meet with a witness and friend of the suspect. The report says the suspect was in fact in the witness's apartment, but "was intoxicated and very agitated" and did not want to speak to the police.
According to the witness, he became involved in the incident when the suspect knocked on his door and asked for beer. The witness stated that he refused the request, whereupon the suspect reportedly "told [him] about a prostitute he met from a newspaper advertise (sic)." The suspect allegedly told the witness that a "black female prostitute came to his apartment" after paying the front desk clerk to let in an unapproved overnight guest.
The witness recounted that the suspect said their "sexual encounter" was "interrupted because she got a phone call." According to the report, "After the phone call, she demanded an additional (sum) from [the suspect]. He refused to give her more money and they began arguing." The witness said the suspect allegedly did not deny stabbing her.
Another officer entered the suspect's apartment, where he reported finding "the bed room covers (sic) with bloodstains. [The officer] also found the bloody knife similar to the knife [the victim] described." Also present were missing items belonging to the victim.
The suspect was soon arrested and taken to the West Precinct. The report states that he "refused to answer [the officer's] question about his nationality, started yelling and kicking the holding cell door #1."
So was the victim a naive, berucksacked Portlander out of place in the big city? Or was she a price-gouging prostitute? If the latter, this report is yet another reason our city should follow Ontario's recent lead and decriminalize the oldest profession. But in any case, she did not deserve to get stabbed. Poor form, beer-swilling Ethiopian suspect!