Man robbed at gunpoint while biking to Beacon Hill bus stop

Where the Chief Sealth Trail crosses Beacon Ave. Image from Google Street View.

A man was robbed at gunpoint while biking to a bus stop on Beacon Hill early Tuesday, according to SPD. The robber stopped him where the Chief Sealth Trail crosses Beacon Ave and pointed a gun at him, demanding his backpack and the contents of his pockets.

More details from SPD:

An armed man flagged down a cyclist on Beacon Hill and robbed him at gunpoint early Tuesday morning.

Shortly after 2am, the victim was biking to his bus stop at Beacon Avenue S. and S. Dawson Street when a man on the street yelled for him to stop.

When the victim saw the man had a gun in his hand, he pulled over.

The suspect walked up to the victim, pointed a handgun at him, told him to drop his backpack and empty his pockets, and then threatened to shoot him.

The victim handed over his cell phone and wallet and the suspect fled down the Chief Sealth Trail.

The victim then rode his bike home and called police.

Officers searched the area, but weren’t able to find the suspect.

The victim told officers the suspect was a black male in his mid 20s, 5’6 with a slim build, skinny mustache and goatee, wearing a dark blue or black shirt and blue jeans.

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10 Responses to Man robbed at gunpoint while biking to Beacon Hill bus stop

  1. Joel S. says:

    Would it be better in a situation like this to just start sprinting away and not stop? It’s hard to hit a moving target with a handgun, and likely the perp wouldn’t want to attract attention with the shots and also risk a murder rap. On the other hand, there have been quite a few shootings in Seattle lately, so that doesn’t always stop someone from shooting, obviously. Who knows really what to do in a situation like this because it catches you off guard. Does anyone have any expert advice?

    I personally do not ride that area after dark, but luckily I don’t have to because I don’t live in that neighborhood. Glad the victim is relatively ok.

  2. Tonya says:

    Sigh. I *do* live in that neighborhood (within a half-mile of this intersection) and I love biking on Beacon Ave. I used to ride past that intersection between 1:30-2 am nightly on my commute home from work. It’s a brazen mugging and hits far, far too close to home (in every sense).

    Many (all?) south-enders would appreciate not being dismissed as “that neighborhood” — that’s not the attitude that’s going to help, and it being implied a bit too frequently that folks are “lucky” not to live there doesn’t help either. I love my neighborhood — this particular intersection is in a very nice famly-friendly area, BTW — and I apologize for being prickly, and realize you most likely did not mean to offend, but the general area has been in a rough patch with violence recently and being dismissed for what seems to be geography makes me cranky.

    The first part of your comment passed through my mind too. “Is the mugger really *that* good of a shot?” I would not risk it myself, but it’s my understanding that hitting a moving target is difficult unless you’re very well trained (but I have incredibly limited knowledge of guns). It’s really too bad any of us have to consider this.

  3. Anthony says:

    Not surprising that happened at 2am. I frequent that area regularly, and wouldn’t stop for someone unless I knew for sure they were in serious trouble. Better luck to the guy next time.

    Regarding the criminal, it’s only a matter of time before he gets caught at something, just takes time.

  4. JAT says:

    Don’t apologize for prickliness – every one of us want our neighborhood to be safe for cycling, and that includes more than just eliminating vehicular violence (intentional and unintentional). Cycling is (comparatively) cheap, but somehow it’s perceived as a rich man’s game.

    Admittedly cyclists are vulnerable (I think it’s silly greenwashing to pretend otherwise) but we’re doing our entire society a disservice if we accept that harm simply befalls some segment of our population based on how they propel themselves or what neighborhood they live in.

  5. Austin says:

    This incident shouldn’t alarm “the cycling community,” it could have happened to anyone getting somewhere by any means. Getting creamed by a car is still way higher on my danger list than getting mugged. That said, I do often think about how much less vulnerable I feel form crime while cycling.

  6. Mike says:

    I ride the Sealth at night frequently, though usually not that far after midnight. Seems like the kind of thing that could happen anytime after dark, though. I agree that it’s not just a bicyclist problem. I see young families, elderly people, and everyone in between, jogging, walking, and riding bikes on the Sealth. The gun violence of an ignorant and reckless few puts them all at risk. Beacon Hill’s a great, diverse, neighborhood, and the vast majority of people here are friendly, kind, and just going about their lives. People who think Seattle is just about smug, passive-aggressive white people really need to spend some time here. And, the recent violence here can happen anywhere unscrupulous property owners allow gang kids and drug houses to get a foothold. Catching and locking up individuals may make a temporary difference, but I think it’s also important to hold landlords accountable for what happens on their property.

  7. Todd says:

    Start packin’ heat

  8. Joel S. says:

    Yes, sorry, I should have been more specific about referring to the Chief Sealth trail in general. I won’t ride it after dark. It crosses too many hot-spots. I love it in the daylight however. Not that sunlight stops every mugger. It can happen anywhere, anytime.

    I’ve only encountered this kind of thing once before, and I chose to hop off-path and sprint away – but I did not see a gun – only a man trying some kind of tackle maneuver.

  9. r3al says:

    Yup. I live close to this area as well and I love it but in recent events makes me want to think twice in staying in beacon hill. There have been a recent crazy amounts of “crime” in Beacon hill. It sucks. I’ve seriously been considering getting my CWP. It would make me feel a whole lot safer.

  10. Mike says:

    I hope people won’t stop riding their bikes on Beacon Hill at night. The Sealth Trail won’t be a good spot for muggings unless it’s deserted. Beacon Hill is still a safe neighborhood in a safe city. I also hope people won’t go all George Zimmerman and seriously consider riding with a firearm. A decade or so ago, there was an incident at Greenlake where a yuppie rollerblader with a concealed weapon permit dropped his handgun in the park with kids around and didn’t know it. Another adult found it, and nobody got shot, but that was just dumb luck. And, nobody was safer because Mr. Rollerblades was packing. I sure
    don’t want to be riding in front of the neighborhood bike hero when he jams his front wheel into a storm drain and sends his pistol flying.

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