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SPD Statement regarding tunnel attack and transit safety

By now, almost everyone is familiar with the vicious, senseless attack that occurred in the Seattle Transit Tunnel on January 28th, 2010: a fifteen-year-old girl beaten to the ground and kicked by her assailant in the presence of three Metro Transit contract private security guards and a number of witnesses.

During the hour prior to the attack, it is known that Seattle Police foot-beat officers had at least two contacts the both parties.  During these two interactions, it is agreed that the officers separated the involved individuals and instructed the fifteen-year-old girl to leave the area.

The question that remains is whether or not enough was done.  Was there an opportunity for action that would have changed the outcome?

Interim Chief John Diaz has initiated an internal review in an effort to answer this question and to address the larger issue of how the King County Sheriff’s Office and the Seattle Police Department can jointly address public safety priorities for citizens who use public transportation within the City of Seattle.  Towards this end, Chief Diaz has reached out to King County Sheriff Sue Rahr, who commands the King County Metro Transit Police.

This review will be conducted by the Seattle Police Operations Division with direct oversight by Chief Diaz.  The review will commence immediately.