A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods

 

Greenwood arsonist sentenced to 30 years

May 28th, 2010 · Comments

The homeless man who admitted to setting a string of fires in Greenwood last year was sentenced to 30 years behind bars this morning. Our newspaper partner the Seattle Times was in court when 47-year-old Kevin Swalwell took the plea deal.  Swalwell apologized and blamed his actions on mental illness.

Ten fires were set in Greenwood, including the four businesses that went up in flames on October 23. Green Bean Coffee House, C.C. Teriyaki, Szechuan Bistro and Pho Tic Tac were all housed in the Eleanor Roosevelt Building that burned.

(Photo of Kevin Swalwell courtesy of The Seattle Times.)

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Comments

  1. Whopper says:

    Blamed it on mental illness? Actually, he was ordered into FREE, state run mental health programs the year before he started lighting up the hood, but he refused to go.

    So don’t anyone claim this happened because of any lack of mental healthcare this ***hole had access to. He had access, he refused to go, so go quietly and rot in jail.

  2. Neighbor says:

    When is he eligible for parole?

  3. Sibilla says:

    So don’t anyone claim this happened because of any lack of mental healthcare this ***hole had access to. He had access, he refused to go, so go quietly and rot in jail.
    +1

  4. It's not that simple... says:

    You do understand that part of BEING mentally ill is not thinking that you ARE….??? The question should be why wasn’t he in a locked mental health facility until he was compensated enough to accept that he needed meds? OH YEAH – because there are too few beds, people get discharged too soon – oh, and yeah – get told to take meds that are NOT free… Start putting your money where your mouth is.

  5. Whopper says:

    He had meds, he refused to take them. Only other solution is involuntary lockup but then your friends at the ACLU would have a field day.

  6. Whopper says:

    “because there are too few beds”

    He was ORDERD by the courts into a FREE and AVAILABLE mental health care facility and walked away. Go read the records.

    I hope he rots in jail and gets no treatment.

  7. Jon says:

    Poor guy just needed a home! Well, now he has one — on the taxpayer dime, for thirty years. What a step up from smearing your feces on ATMs!

  8. It's not that simple... says:

    Whopper, you are so busy trying to disagree with me that you missed my point. “The question should be why wasn’t he in a locked mental health facility until he was compensated enough to accept that he needed meds?” Exactly my point – he shouldn’t have been able to walk away – and under “court ordered” treatment, he COULD have been held involuntarily – and even forcibly medicated. He wasn’t – and that IS a direct result of poor funding for SECURE facilities. I deal with folk sin involuntary treatment every single day – and a resistance to medication is often a result of LEGITIMATE concerns with horrific side effects, and PART OF THE ILLNESS. Short term in patient care is a revolving door – people “compensate” enough to leave, can’t maintain the treatment for financial reasons – and end up in again. And by the way – NEITHER “court ordered” or involuntary treatment is FREE. Medication is the most expensive part.

  9. LOLS says:

    whopper is a TROLL ! He posted under ANON in another post. He doesn’t like ACLU (the only people who dont like american civil liberties union are PIGS and Republicans?He tried to start an argument over somebody being happy that McD’s is not moving back and that spot on Greenwood.

  10. david stoesz says:

    That haircut they gave him … not a good look. His mug shot had a lot more character.

  11. LOLS says:

    I apologize for my above comment.I don’t like what he did(the homeless man) .What angered me is people not understanding mental illness and how hard sometimes it is to get help for it.Again I am sorry.

  12. WTF says:

    You have no need to apologize, LOLS. Whopper IS a troll. Anyone who has nothing better to do than hide behind his computer and spout off an a neighborhood blog and try to rile people up, using an authoritarian and ranting voice about things he does not understand, is a troll. It’s a form of mental illness in and of itself. I hope he gets help.