Seattle rioters leave a trail of destruction after looting businesses, setting 'explosive' fires
SEATTLE - Several businesses along 12th Avenue near Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood were vandalized during the city's third riot in one week.
What began about 2 p.m. Saturday as a peaceful protest was declared a riot by Seattle Police a couple of hours later.
Five work trailers went up in flames at a construction site next to the King County Juvenile Detention Facility. Seattle Police said about a dozen people started the fires as crowds marched down 12th Avenue. Crews with the Seattle Fire Department were able to put out the flames.
Rioters also damaged the King County Juvenile Detention Facility. Practically every window facing 12th Avenue was broken and profanity was spray painted on the building. Fences were installed around the building to prevent any more damage.
Several employees at the facility also saw severe damage to their personal cars, including broken windows, graffiti and slashed tires. One employee who has worked at the center for less than a year saw some of the most damage.
“Anxiety, I cried, upset. I think anyone would react the same way I did,” said the employee, who asked to keep her identity private.
Starbucks at 12th and Columbia Street was one of the businesses hit hardest by vandals. Every window was broken, profanity was spray painted on the inside and outside of the building, and merchandise was stolen. A Starbucks representative was on site assessing the damage.
The employee told Q13 News the store was closed and no one was inside during the break in. She mentioned several stores in Seattle and Portland were closed Saturday in anticipation of the unrest.
Jamie Boudreau, the owner of Canon, a restaurant on 12th Avenue in Seattle, spent the early evening painting and boarding up his business.
Boudreau said he and his cook were attacked by at least six rioters while he tried to stop vandals from breaking his windows. He said he blames the presence of federal officers in Seattle for the escalating chaos.
“That’s the only reason why this is happening today. It’s been quiet. Yes, I know there’s been things going on, but not like it was. It’s 100 percent because the feds are here,” said Boudreau.
Boudreau suffered a cut to his left hand and nose, but said he will recover quickly.
The business owner said he wants to hear more from city leaders and their response to the federal officers and the riots that ensured.