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Seattle coffee shop workers call 911 when homeless man causes disturbance; no officers arrive

via 60 Minutes
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A homeless man caused a disturbance in a Seattle ice cream shop, shoving items off a counter and pushing a display case at employees.

Security camera footage showed the workers defending themselves with a knife and spatula after being threatened.

“This video includes an assault on one of my employees as well as the destruction of my service counter by a deranged criminal,” Baxter & Frost owner Ian Halcott said.

When the shop owner called 911, dispatchers did not send officers due to staffing issues.

The man left before police arrived.

“I have to train my, my people in a special way to work with people who are not our customers and treat them with respect,” Halcott said. “But to also say, they’re not our customers and that, unfortunately, they have to go. But you know the level of brazenness. … They’re just, there’s no consequences.”

The shop owner said his employees felt threatened for their lives but police did not take statements that night or answer subsequent calls.

“(The dispatchers) were like, ‘No, we’re not gonna be able to make it out tonight and take the statements,’ which is terrifying. My staff literally felt fear for their lives. And rightly so,” Halcott said.

“Pike Place Market, this was always the protected area,” he said. “This is the heart of the tourist industry here in Seattle. And it’s frustrating to see the lack of enforcement here. Because for about 20 years, pre-COVID, I almost never had a problem at this scale.”

He has had to cut evening hours and said the lack of law enforcement in a major tourist area is frustrating and impacts small businesses.

The homeless man remains at large, leaving the shop workers worried for their safety.

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