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


UPDATED: MAN FOUND — Police looking for man who impersonated an officer at Woodland Park

February 26th, 2013 by Doree

Update: The man was arrested on Thursday.

Earlier: Seattle Police are looking for a man who impersonated a police officer two weeks ago at Woodland Park.

From the SPD Blotter:

A man wanted for impersonating a police officer while robbing unsuspecting Seattle park-goers is still on for the run. But that hasn’t stopped him from keeping his robbery streak alive, while armed with a box full of porn.

Ryan James Purdy-suspect-resizedRobbery detectives have been searching for 46-year-old Ryan James Purdy (aka Tracy Byers) since December, after Purdy approached several people in Volunteer Park in December, flashed a fake badge at his victims, and took their cash and credit cards.
Since we posted Purdy’s picture on the Blotter, detectives believe he’s tried to pull his fake cop scam on two other occasions, most recently in north Seattle.

Shortly after 2:30 pm on February 10th, Purdy’s latest victim was walking through Woodland Park—near N. 50th Street and Woodland Park Avenue N—when another man, believed to Purdy, approached him and asked him to come look at a box of pornographic magazines lying in the grass inside the park.

The victim, concerned children in the park would find the box of magazines, took the box and walked to his car. The suspect followed the victim, and got inside the victim’s car. That’s when the suspect flashed a fake badge, said he was doing a “drug sting,” and said he needed to pat the victim down.

During the pat down, the suspect took the victim’s wallet, rifled through it, and returned it to the man. The suspect then took back his box of porn, got out of the victim’s car, and the victim drove off.

About an hour later, the victim realized his bank card was missing from his wallet—and had since been used at a grocery store—and called police.

In a separate incident, police also believe Purdy knocked on the door of a Capitol Hill home and told a woman inside that he was a federal agent. The woman promptly slammed the door in his face.

If you see Purdy or know where detectives can find him, call the real cops at 911 or (206) 684-5535.

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Parvo canine virus likely contracted at Woodland Park offleash area

December 21st, 2012 by Doree

Jen emailed to tell us that her dog was just diagnosed with Parvo, a highly contagious disease affecting dogs, and she wanted others to be aware.

I was hoping you would help get the word out that my 11 mo. old fully vaccinated lab was just diagnosed with Parvo, and the time frame makes it almost certain that she contracted it at Woodland Park offleash dog park. I just don’t want any other pups getting sick, or if they do show signs of getting sick that their owners take them in asap!

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Community invited to weigh in on Woodland Park play area renovation

July 9th, 2012 by Doree

Seattle Parks and Recreation has $350,000 to spend on renovating the Woodland Park play area at 1000 N. 59th St., and they’re asking the community for ideas. The first public meeting with the design team will be from 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday, July 18, at the Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N., Room 1 of the Blue Building.

The money comes from the 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy. The renovation will include better accessibility for all park patrons and play area improvements. If you can’t make the meeting, you can fill out a survey online.

The meeting to review potential plans is set for 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 3, at the PNA.

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Woodland Park murder suspect pleads not guilty

March 15th, 2012 by Doree

The 33-year-old man accused of murdering another man in Woodland Park on Feb. 20, pleaded not guilty this morning.

The King County Prosecutor’s Office says Michael Bienhoff pleaded not guilty to second degree murder in the fatal shooting of 31-year-old Precious Reed.

Bienhoff remains in jail without bail. If convicted as charged, he faces life in prison under the state’s “Three Strikes” law. A case setting hearing is scheduled for March 29 at the King County Courthouse.

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Second degree murder charges filed in Woodland Park shooting

March 1st, 2012 by Doree

The King County Prosecutor’s Office today charged 33-year-old Michael William Bienhoff with second degree murder in the shooting death of Precious Reed on Feb. 20 in Woodland Park.

If convicted as charged, Bienhoff faces a sentence of life in prison under the state’s “Three Strikes” law for repeat offenders.

Bienhoff is being held without bail at the King County Jail. His arraignment is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on March 15 at the King County Courthouse.

According to charging documents, after the shooting, Reed’s family members told detectives that Reed had planned to purchase two pounds of marijuana from someone associated with the Rolling 90’s street gang.

On February 21st detectives interviewed DB, Reed’s friend who was present during the shooting. DB told detectives that he and Reed drove in separate vehicles to the shooting location with the plan of purchasing several pounds of marijuana from someone Reed knew. DB said that Reed had been arranging this meeting via communications on his cell phone. DB said that both he and Reed had over $1000 on their person to purchase the marijuana. DB drove his while Cadillac and Reed drove in the Nissan mini-van. DB said that when they arrived a large light skinned male approached on foot, shook their hands, and introduced himself as “Casper”. DB said that he believed that “Casper” was associated with the Rolling 90’s gang. DB said that he and Reed walked into the grassy area of the park and urinated. As they were walking back to the cars, DB thought he saw and heard an individual crouching down in the bushes. DB said that Reed asked “Casper” who was in the bushes and that “Casper” “played stupid” and claimed he didn’t know. DB said he got into his Cadillac while Reed and “Casper” got into the Nissan to do the marijuana deal. DB said that a minute or two later a male emerged from the park area, walked in between their cars into the parking lot, and started firing rounds. Believing he was taking fire, DB drove away southbound at a high rate of speed.

While researching records, detectives identified an individual who used the moniker “Casper” and shared physical similarities (6’02/260) with the individual described by DB as Michael W. Bienhoff (DOB: 7-5-78). Bienhoff was associated with the Rolling 90’s gang. Bienhoff was under active DOC supervision.

Detectives showed DB a montage with Bienhoff. DB identified Bienhoff as “Casper” and the individual who had set up the marijuana deal with reed.

Detectives processed Reed’s cell phone and determined that the last number he was in contact with prior to the shooting was xxx-xxx-xxxx. This number was associated with Bienhoff through his DOC records.

The charging documents state that Bienhoff was arrested on Feb. 28 while meeting with his Department of Corrections officer. He denied that another person was present at the park hiding in the bushes. Bienhoff said he and Reed argued over the price of the marijuana, Reed pulled a gun out of his waistband and the two struggled over it, and Reed was shot in the shoulder.

Bienhoff said he ran away, leaving the gun behind, and that about 45 seconds later he heard a single shot. He also said he gave the backpack full of marijuana to someone at a nearby bus stop, because he wanted to get rid of it.

Bienhoff has prior convictions for first-degree robbery, second-degree robbery, violation of the Uniformed Controlled Substances Act, second-degree escape, first-degree theft, and second-degree theft.

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Seattle Police arrest man for Woodland Park murder last week

February 29th, 2012 by Doree

Update 5:30 p.m.: The suspect appeared in court this afternoon for a bail hearing. According to the King County Prosecutor’s Office, the Court ordered him held without bail. The Prosecutor has until March 2 (Friday) to file charges.

Earlier: Seattle Police have arrested a 33-year-old man in the murder of a man in Woodland Park last week.

From the SPD Blotter:

During the course of their investigation, Homicide detectives developed information about a possible suspect in last week’s homicide at Woodland Park. On February 28th, detectives contacted and arrested a 33 year old man for that shooting. After being interviewed by detectives, the suspect was booked into the King County Jail for Investigation of Murder. This remains an active and ongoing homicide investigation.

Seattlepi.com has a long write-up on the victim and suspect here.

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Breaking news: Person shot at Woodland Park

February 20th, 2012 by Doree

Breaking news, 5:45 p.m.: KIRO 7 is reporting that one person has been shot at Woodland Park, near 60th & Aurora.

The Seattle PI is reporting the man was shot in the neck and arm. Medics rushed the man to Harborview Medical Center. Police blocked off the area around the lawn bowling area and are searching for the gunman. Homicide detectives were called to the scene.

KING 5 has a report with video from the scene here.

We will continue to update this post as we know more.

Thanks to Syd, Marie, Kari and KIRO 7 for the tips!

Update 8:15 p.m.: The SPD Blotter now has a post with limited information:

On February 20th, at approximately 5:15 pm, North Precinct officers responded to a report of shots fired in the 6000 Block of Aurora Avenue North. Officers located in a parking lot an adult male who had been shot several times. The male was transported to Harborview Medical Center with life threatening injuries.

Homicide and CSI detectives responded to the scene to begin their investigation. A K9 team was brought in as well to assist with a search for possible suspects, but no suspects were located. At this time this remains an active and on going investigation. This is preliminary information and is subject to change.

Update Tuesday 5:30 p.m.: KING 5 is reporting that the man died on Tuesday.

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Neighborhood news: Spanish bootcamp, zoo calendar, Naked City’s expanding kitchen, and arts funding

September 13th, 2011 by Doree

Just a little roundup of various news in the neighborhood.

Woodland Park Zoo is holding a contest to choose the cover photo for next year’s zoo calendar. Go to the contest website and view the 10 choices, then vote on your favorite. Voting started yesterday and goes through 5 p.m. Friday. The winning photo will be announced on Monday. One vote per person.

Fuerte Fitness in Wallingford and Zoom Language Center in Ballard are holding a Spanish Family Boot Camp at 10 a.m. Saturday at Woodland Park. Families can exercise together and learn Spanish at the same time. The one-hour class is free, but you need to register online.

Naked City Brewery & Taphouse is expanding its kitchen and, hence, its menu. The restaurant and bar at 8564 Greenwood Ave. N. is installing a grill with a hood, stove, salamander broiler, fryer and more ovens.

The city is offering funds for neighborhood cultural and arts events. The application deadline is Oct. 26
The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs’ Neighborhood & Community Arts program is looking for neighborhood arts councils and community-based groups that want to produce festivals and events that enhance the visibility of neighborhoods, promote cultural participation, celebrate diversity and build community through arts and culture.

Neighborhood arts councils and community-based groups may seek support for a recurring festival or event that has been in existence for at least one year, has a significant arts and cultural component, is open to the public and takes place in Seattle. Applicants are not required to have 501(c) (3) tax-exempt status.

Funded organizations each receive $1,200 to support direct project expenses, including artist fees, marketing and promotional fees, venue and equipment rentals or other production-related expenses. Funds may not be used for fundraising or organizational administrative expenses. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, Oct. 26. Link to the online application at www.seattle.gov/arts.

In 2011, the funding program provided $1,200 each to 40 organizations to support annual public festivals and events, including the Wedgwood Art Festival, Moisture Festival, Bastille Day Festival and Iranian Festival.

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Whatever happened to the wild rabbits at Green Lake/Woodland Park

September 16th, 2010 by Doree

Our sister site My Green Lake has an interesting story about what’s happened to all those rabbits that used to live in the field next to Aurora Avenue by Green Lake and Lower Woodland Park.

If you lived here before 2006, you know that little field was filled with dozens, maybe hundreds, of rabbits that had been abandoned by their owners. My Green Lake’s story chronicles what happened with efforts to remove those rabbits to a sanctuary.

A local nonprofit, Rabbit Haven, is holding a dinner and silent auction this Saturday to raise money for the care of abandoned rabbits, and to purchase larger signs to place in the area, warning people not to abandon their rabbits.

Rabbit Haven’s fourth annual dinner and auction is from 3-6 p.m. Saturday at  the Rusty Pelican Cafe in Wallingford, 1924 N 45th St. Tickets are $35.

Rabbit Haven is 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to rescuing, caring for, and finding “forever homes” for abandoned and mistreated rabbits. The all-volunteer staff at their two locations in Gig Harbor and Carnation look after 150-200 bunnies at any one time, providing fresh veggies, pelleted feed, timothy hay, clean litter – and love! – each day. In addition to supporting the Pacific Northwest’s animal control and humane shelters by helping them find homes for their rabbits, Rabbit Haven accepts their medically-challenged and less-adoptable rabbits. The organization also has a low- or no-cost boarding program for military families on assignment and offers care and/or boarding to the elderly and individuals with long-term illnesses. Because Rabbit Haven welcomes bunnies that have been neglected or abused, a great deal of their funds are dedicated to veterinary expenses.

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