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Problematic RV’s “Gaming” the System in Seattle

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Cindy Hagan says she had no idea what the “pop, pop, pop” she heard.  She initially concluded they were fireworks.  But the loud bangs were gunshots.  

The 911 dispatcher made it clear: “There were seven shots heard.”  

Michael Chamberlain describes a terrifying scene Saturday afternoon on this quiet north Seattle street: “If I had gone out of my house five minutes earlier, I could very well have been a casualty.”

Chamberlain says there was a gun battle between someone in the RV and the people inside a suspicious looking car — “it was basically a drug deal gone bad.”

The 911 dispatcher noted that the “Suspect vehicle was a tan Honda Accord. Car left. The RV is still there.”

It’s unclear if anyone was actually hit, and so far, no arrests — though a neighbor video shows two people walking out of the RV right after the shooting. 

Chamberlin says the RV has “been here eight or nine days,” parked on his street, right next to the Interurban Trail, and that he “had already contacted parking enforcement numerous times…and nothing had been done about it.”  

Chamberlain’s view is this never would have happened if the city took immediate action after all the neighbor complaints about this problematic RV.  

I knocked on the RV’s door. “Anybody home? I don’t think anybody’s here.” 

There was still no one was inside when I went by later.  However, a Seattle Department of Transportation warning sticker was left on the windshield, indicating the vehicle needed to be moved within 72 hours. 

A few hours later, Chamberlain says several people entered the RV and drove away.  His stark commentary on all this type of thing: “It’s a blight on the community.”

The concern now what happens if they return, along with all the associated issues (Chamberlain speaks of “drugs deals that are here day and night” and “trash and litter everywhere.”).  

Or as neighbor, Daniel Petroni, puts it, “Folks who want to camp out … really causes more crime, more issues and more incidents in the area.”

Chamberlain notes this is Seattle city light property, but the city has yet to address the problem. 

And that’s why neighbors plan on adding even more of concrete blocks to keep them away.  

Jonathan Choe

Journalist and Senior Fellow, Center on Wealth and Poverty
Jonathan Choe is a journalist and Senior Fellow with Discovery Institute's Center on Wealth and Poverty, covering homelessness issues for its Fix Homelessness initiative. Prior to joining Discovery, Choe spent several years as one of the lead reporters at KOMO-TV, consistently the top rated television station in Seattle. His in depth stories on crime and deep dive investigations into the homeless crisis led to measurable results in the community, including changes in public policy. Choe has more than two decades of experience in television news behind the scenes and in front of the camera for ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, and Tribune. He has also been nominated and honored with multiple industry awards including an Emmy. Choe spent several years teaching classes on emerging media and entrepreneurship to under privileged youth in inner city Chicago. As an independent journalist, Choe also contributes regularly to the Mill Creek View and Lynnwood Times and has reported on exclusive stories in the past year for Daily Wire and The Postmillennial.