Rape charge v. homeless man adds new dimension to Seattle battle

Seattle is in turmoil over a newly-adopted “employee head tax” to support programs for unemployed homeless people. (Goodfreephotos, public domain)

The battle over Seattle’s so-called “homeless plight” and the city council’s adoption of a much-opposed “employee head tax” on private business just entered the political “Twilight Zone” because of a high-profile rape investigation involving a homeless man now in the King County Jail.

That suspect, identified as Christopher Edward Teel, against whom a bench warrant had reportedly been issued last year for failure to appear on an unrelated criminal trespass charge, according to the Seattle P-I.com.

The Jet City is in the midst of a political civil war pitting the city council against businesses in its effort to raise tens of millions of dollars to support city efforts to address a growing homeless problem. But critics have been loudly denouncing the council and liberal Mayor Jenny Durkan for adopting the tax against fierce opposition, essentially taking money from working people and businesses, and spending it on programs for people who don’t work, and to many, don’t seem inclined to find jobs.

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Critics have asserted that the city’s problems are self-created by handout programs and efforts to create a “safe injection” site for drug addicts. Many people quietly refer to the thousands of sidewalk campers as “professional homeless” who have been attracted to the city because of its support programs. CFL covered the situation earlier. Seattle, according to critics, has become a magnet for the homeless from all over the country. They live in tent camps, RVs or even tiny houses erected at “homeless camps.”

KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson, the midday talk host, has been especially critical of the situation, blaming city policies for the problem. This YouTube video, featuring a Monson commentary, details the criticism.

And now comes the alleged rape of a woman in the restroom of a car dealership in the Ballard neighborhood. Teel, according to KIRO News, “was arrested in 2016 after allegedly squatting in a Magnolia home. Court records indicate he had a warrant issued in March 2017 after he didn’t appear at a hearing. The case is ongoing.”

According to published reports, the suspect followed a woman into the restroom Monday morning, locked the door and sexually assaulted her. Two employees of the car dealership held Teel for police. He is scheduled for arraignment on May 30.

The suspect’s history may underscore the Seattle problem. He came from Texas, according to KIRO, and has apparently been in the Seattle area for two years. He was photographed in a homeless camp called “Nickelsville” for a November article in the Seattle Times.

So far, nobody has mentioned the word “recall” in relation to the city council, but tempers are rising over the head tax, and this crime report has created a fury.

 

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