Although Ballard is a neighborhood away, many Queen Anne residents shop at the Ballard Fred Meyer. (CORRECTED) It has been reported to QAV that a man allegedly tried to lure a 9 year-old girl and while SPD was contacted, they never showed up to confront him. Instead, the mother had to follow him, take a photo, and then follow up later with SPD (after a 48 minute wait).
Here’s her story from her Facebook page:
“Please be on the lookout for this guy. He tried to lure my 9 yo daughter in the Ballard Fred Meyer. He approached her and offered her popcorn, a necklace, and finally a can of beer (when she ignored him, perhaps he thought the 9yo would be tempted by alcohol?). He invaded her personal space and a store clerk was in the vicinity, overheard the creep, and ordered him to leave the store. Instead of leaving, he went to the in-store Tully’s and took a defiant seat.
At this point, I rejoined my daughter and heard what happened. I spoke w/the Store Manager (who was ‘acting’ and all of 20 and admitted that there was no store manager onsite) and this staffer refused to call the police.
Since the store was not taking this seriously, I called 911 and went to photo ID this asshat. Police never came and after a little while, the guy collected his cart filled w/beer, popcorn and necklaces (among other things) and left the store. I followed him in my car, bc the police never showed, and got some pix of him pushing his cart south on Leary towards Fremont. I called 911 a second time to provide an updated location for this perp and the nice 911 lady admitted that there was no chance of a squad car responding bc of too many incidents/too few officers.
Perpetrator had tattoos on his face and neck and was belligerent in tone and attitude. This is a bad bad guy who needs to be off the street before a less streetwise kid gets caught in his crosshairs.
Note: My 9 yo daughter and 12 yo brother were together in the store, away from me when this incident happened, bc I believe kids should learn how to navigate a grocery store. I usually send them (together) to find some items while I am getting the rest of the stuff. Not anymore.
UPDATE: Some follow up:
(1) I filed a police report with a very nice SPD detective. Waited on the phone line for 48 minutes on the non-emergency SPD line to get a staffer who in turn sent a squad car to my home. If this incident did not involve a child, I would have hung up. It is no wonder that crimes are under-reported in this town.
(2) Many have asked why Stella did not start screaming immediately. After the creep offered her a beer, she was taking a breath to scream bloody murder and at that instant the store clerk stepped in to intervene.
(3) Local media is involved, will see if this makes the news.
Feel free to share this story for constructive, public safety purposes. The perpetrator lured a child and he happened to be homeless. This is not exclusively a ‘homeless’ issue, but a broader societal issue of under-funded, under-resourced and flawed social/criminal justice system that allows creeps like this to walk the streets. It will take the collective efforts of the public sector, private sector (Fred Meyer….what were you thinking?), and NGOs to contribute to far-reaching, long-term solutions.