Police: Amateur crimefighter pepper sprays people at bus stop
SEATTLE -- A woman who has made it her mission to document criminal activity at a bus stop near her Belltown apartment building pepper sprayed two people who got upset about her taking their picture, according to the Seattle Police Department.
According to the police report for the incident, one of the victims was hanging out at the bus stop in the 2000 block of Third Avenue around 9:15 p.m. Sunday. She told officers she often comes down to the bus stop to smoke and chat with people when her apartment gets too hot.
Another woman approached and started taking pictures of everyone at the bus stop and asking if they lived at the YMCA. The victim asked the woman to stop taking her picture, but the woman continued, according to the report.
When the victim angrily "stepped up" to the woman to demand she stop photographing her, the woman pepper sprayed her, according to the report. The woman then reportedly pepper sprayed a man who came to the victim's aid.
The victim later told officers she had no intention of assaulting the woman with the camera; she only wanted the woman to stop harassing her.
Officers informed the victim the woman had every right to photograph her while in a public space, and her actions may have caused the woman to think she needed to defend herself.
According to police, the woman with the camera has been attempting to document criminal activity at the bus stop for a while now. She reported being assaulted while doing so on July 8 and July 11 and two more times in September 2012.
The woman spoke with officers following the most recent incident, telling them the victim was agitated and rushed at her, so she pepper sprayed her. She reportedly told officers she also thought the man was going to attack her.
When asked why she didn't call 911 if she felt threatened, the woman said she has had a poor response from police in the past and didn't feel it was necessary since she was able to defend herself.
Officers told the woman to call 911 next time she is in a situation like this. As soon as officers left, the woman called 911 to report the incident. They didn't respond since they had just spoken with her.