News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


Hit-and-run driver smashes into Northgate TJ Maxx

May 9th, 2013 by Mike

Seattle Police say a 25-year-old driver smashed his old car into the TJ Maxx store at Northgate on Thursday afternoon, then fled the scene.

The incident occurred about 1 p.m. on May 8th, police said, in the 11000 block of Roosevelt Way Northeast.

Preliminary investigation indicates that the 25-year-old male suspect was driving his 1973 Plymouth Scamp westbound on NE 112th Street (the only other occupant of the car was an adult female riding in the front passenger-side seat). As the suspect turned south onto southbound Roosevelt Way NE he lost control of his vehicle and crashed into the rear of the TJ Maxx building. Both the suspect and his passenger then left the scene on foot and were gone upon the officers’ arrival.

While officers were on scene investigating the suspect and his girlfriend returned to the scene. Officers arrested the suspect and transported him to the North Precinct where he was investigated and processed for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs (DUI).

Damage to the building was slight. Damage to the car was substantial, police said. There were no reported injuries.

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Shots heard overnight? And other reports from the neighborhood

April 9th, 2013 by Mike

Update April 10: A different neighbor emails :

Thought I’d let the blog folks know our home on 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 97th Street was burglarized during the daytime hours on Tuesday, 4/9.  The usual mode was used – the thieves kicked out a back entrance door window.  They ransacked the house and stole jewelry and electronics.

Thank you to the SPD officers who responded and made the report


Early this morning a neighbor emailed:

Any idea what the gun shots were about, at 5:22 this morning? Three rang out, sounding like they were near the bridge on 15th. We called it in, as did others, according to 911. Thanks.

We don’t exactly know what that was, and neither does the Seattle Police Department.

The police incident map shows a “noise disturbance” at 5:41 a.m. at 12th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 112th Street, near the area in question, which would be 15th Avenue Northeast at about Northeast 104th Street.

A police spokesman said that report did come in as “shots fired,” but that officers were unable to pinpoint the source.

The incident map also shows a “trespass” at 5:40 a.m. at Roosevelt Way Northeast and Northeast Northgate Way and an accident investigation at Roosevelt and Northeast 112th Street at 3:50 a.m.

There was also a DUI arrest made overnight at 15th and Northeast 91st Street. It involved a collision between two cars about 9:10 p.m. No one was injured, the spokesman said, but the driver of one car was taken into custody on suspicion of intoxication.

We also heard, on Friday, from another neighbor that a package had been stolen, and a neighbor’s car apparently broken into but nothing stolen, at Roosevelt and Northeast 102nd Street.

A look at the police report map since our last post shows three cars prowled in the neighborhood and six vehicles stolen. It also shows one additional home burglary, on April 2nd in the 900 block of Northeast 92nd Street.

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Charges filed in hit-and-run death by 15th Ave. bridge

September 29th, 2012 by Mike

The driver of the car that killed a man last month on 15th Avenue Northeast just south of the bridge over Thornton Creek has been charged with drunken driving and  felony hit and run, according to King County prosecutors.

In a post earlier this week we reported that prosecutors said no charges had been yet been filed. That turned out to be erroneous – the next day a prosecutor’s spokesman said he had missed them at first, but that the charges were filed Aug. 8, with the suspect’s first court date on Aug. 22.

According to the court charges, Erik Steven Terpstra, 24, was charged with driving while under the influence and with hit and run – felony. He refused to perform field sobriety tests, the police report states, but according to the charging papers his blood alcohol level was later found to be almost three times the legal limit.

He remains in jail with bail set at $500,000. His next court date is Oct. 25, prosecutors say.

A police report filed with the court indicates that a witness saw the victim, illuminated by streetlights, sitting with his legs crossed in the middle of the southbound lane of 15th Avenue shortly before 2 a.m. on Aug. 5.

The witness tried to warn the victim that he was in danger, but he “would not respond,” the police report states.

According to the report, the witness “felt uneasy about (the victim’s) state of mind, so he pulled a short distance away, turned on his four-way flashers, and called 911.”

But as he was on the phone with an emergency operator, he saw a black Infiniti Q45 strike the victim at an estimated 60-70 mph, according to the police report. The airbags deployed in the Infiniti, but it did not slow down or stop, the report states.

Officers arriving on the scene found the Infiniti about a mile away, in the 2700 block of N.E. 98th Street. The driver was standing outside, and told police his airbags suddenly inflated, according to the report. A passenger in the car told officers she saw something in the road at the time of the impact – she believed it was a bag about 2 1/2 feet tall, the report states.

The driver, who gave a Woodinville address, was initially jailed for  investigation of vehicular homicide and investigation of hit and run.

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