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Repeat Offender Burns Down Encampment, Released Without Charges

Caught on Camera

It’s hard to tell, but neighbors say the man walking inside the Mercer St. encampment in South Lake Union is Paris Alcantera. In this surveillance video, you can see him watching the flames and pacing back and forth. He was arrested for setting a massive blaze on August 14. Alcantera admits he did it, but says he accidentally knocked over a candle inside a tent. Either way, he was released without charges being filed. Alcantera is a prolific repeat offender with a lengthy rap sheet dating back to 1998 with three felonies, 14 gross misdemeanors, three dozen prior arrests including rape in the third degree, and multiple substance charges. There’s concern he’s going to continue with this unruly behavior in another part of Seattle. The legal system is broken.

Sweep is On

Wednesday morning, the crime ridden Mercer St. encampment in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood is finally being removed. Looks like it’s going to be a two day affair. I counted seven people still on the grounds after last week’s massive inferno, including homeless man Paris Alcantera who returned back to the camp!

The repeat offender was arrested for setting the blaze but a King County judge released him after charges were not filed. Alcantera claimed it was all an accident after a candle fell over in his tent. I have interviewed him in the past, but he was reluctant to go on camera this time around. But he told me “I own this land” and doesn’t plan to leave “without a fight.” It could get interesting. Neighbors say they want the city and state to fence this place off permanently so no one comes back.

“And all it took was a rape, a murder, a hammer attack, regular gunshots, and a giant inferno.”– Andy Stevens, Concerned Citizen

Here We Go

There is so much clutter and junk on this site, it’s going to take a couple days. And look who’s running point. Not WSDOT, but the city of Seattle.

Why Does The City and State Keep Tolerating This?

Post Millenial: Prolific offender admits to causing massive encampment fire in Seattle, released with no charges filed.

Always Takes a Disaster

Massive explosion at the notorious Mercer St. encampment on August 14. It’s right across the street from Google (@Google,) Novo Nordisk (@novonordiskus,) and several apartment buildings in one of the busiest parts of the city.

Government Failure

INFERNO never should have happened. Neighbors sounded alarm since 2022 about fires, drug dealing, and all kinds of other crimes at this location. But elected officials looked the other way and allowed this behavior to continue.

Back in March

Btw, Mercer St. encampment killer is still on the loose! And WSDOT and city officials allowed this encampment to remain standing? My coverage below:

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.