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Homeless Man and Repeat Offender Appears Before Court After Third Arrest

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Irwin Makes First Court Appearance

Saturday afternoon, repeat offender Steve Irwin made his first court appearance after being arrested in Seattle’s Dr. Jose Rizal Park. Prosecutors say he had multiple stolen licenses in his wallet and is now facing 2nd Degree Identity Theft charges. The judge found probable cause and set bail at $35K. Irwin also has an active warrant out for his arrest and is facing charges from other cases.

Busted Again

Friday afternoon, Seattle Police arrested homeless man Steve Irwin in Dr. Jose Rizal Park. This is now the THIRD TIME cops have taken Irwin away in handcuffs since last October. Neighbors called 911 after noticing heavy machinery and an elaborate encampment.

Repeat Offender

Irwin is a repeat offender, chronically homeless, and a drug addict. Authorities say he’s also chopped down trees, started illegal fires, and destroyed vegetation with a stolen excavator. That’s why he’s banned from the park. He’s refused offers of housing multiple times.

Arrested Last October

Back in October, police arrested Irwin for stealing an excavator. But he made bail and ended up back on the streets.

Interview with Irwin in January

Then in January, he was spotted again in the same spot doing the same thing.

Arrested in February

Irwin got arrested again in February. But there is now concern some far-left activist neighbors keep bailing him out instead of getting him the help he needs.

Housing First and Harm Reduction Fail People Like Irwin

Once again, Irwin proves “housing first” and “harm reduction” strategies are failing and enabling addiction. This man needs an intervention and treatment. The activists and the homeless industrial complex will keep saying this is an affordable housing problem. Not in this case. The root causes here are drug addiction, mental illness, and broken relationships. No one in his family wants him back until he gets better. Until then, it appears Seattle parks and taxpayers will have to shoulder this burden if they let him out again.

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.