While eating my cereal this morning (Quaker Oatmeal Squares mixed with Organic Pomegranate Granola with vanilla soy milk ... mmm), I heard sirens. Lots of sirens. I took my breakfast out to the patio to watch as about 20 police vehicles sped down the Seneca ramp off of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.
"So many police," I said to myself. They were all going to the same place. There was even one policeman in uniform driving what appeared to be his own car. "Where were they going? A big funeral? This a really fast for a motorcade."
Then I looked and noticed a tan Jeep Cherokee that was driving fast in front of all the police cars. "Wow, that guy is really trying hard to get out of the way!" I thought to myself. "He should just pull to the right like you're supposed to."
(Elapsed time: 2 seconds)
"Ohhhh! They're chasing him!"
Already on the late side heading in to work, I figured I would drive rather than take the bus today. I peeked out again to see if things had quieted down only to hear more sirens. Police were buzzing around on all of the streets. I looked down to the alley to see the tan Jeep appear again, this time coming up Western. He turned directly under my patio, right by the exit from the Harbor Steps garage, followed by about 10 police cars.
I clenched with excitement. "Get him!" said the voice in my head. "He'll be easy to trap in Post Alley."
I realized at this time that it would probably not be a good time to try to drive to work, as my route out of my garage and toward the freeway headed precisely through where the chase was occurring.
I resolved to walk outside to get a cup of coffee and have a closer look.
Outside Harbor Steps, I could see that Spring Street at 1st Avenue was swarming with police. An Officer was holding back pedestrians from going any further South than 1st and Seneca.
I stopped to chat with a woman who had come down just like me.
We caught one another up on what we had seen so far. Sirens... Tan Jeep... Car chase... Lost of police... I was late for work ... She had to interview someone at 2 ...
"If you are a believer," she began, "then you'll know that this is a sing that we are living in the End Times."
"Oh?" I asked.
"Yes. Just look at what's going on. Gas prices. The home mortgage crisis. I've been on this earth 50 years, and it's never been as bad as it is now."
"Is this worse than 1968?" I asked.
"If you're a believer, then should we have to worry about this? Isn't it all going to be better eventually ..."
I'm not a religious person, but I can see the practical aspects of this story. As long as people don't try to hasten the rapture, the inspiring message of everything will be better eventually is hopeful and would help get someone through a rough spot.
In a way, a belief in God is kind of like the way the big ball pulls the little ball up the hill in Magic Pen.
After our little conversation, she headed back inside and I walked down half-a-block to Online Coffee. While I chatted with the waitress (yes, cute) about the morning's excitement a customer who was using a computer filled us in that there had been a bank robbery in West Seattle.
Coffee in hand, I made my way down to 1st and Spring where a crowd had gathered. I watched for about 15 minutes and people filled me in as to what had happened. The Jeep was boxed in. The police shot through the windows. They dragged the guy out.
I watched as paramedics came down with a stretcher and loaded up the guy. We couldn't tell if he was a live or not, but they were not in a hurry to take him anywhere.
You can read the rest of the details in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer story.
- The barista at Online Coffee received a call on her cellphone from her coworker's dad asking if they were all right.
- The photographer who snapped the cover photo in the P-I (shown at the right) arrived about 10 minutes after me, and took this photo from just in front of where I was standing.
- I'm not sure what a guy said to her, but the photographer told him "I'm working, not just looking for the sake of looking."
- To which I thought to myself "Doesn't the fact that someone pays you to come take a picture of what we're looking at confirm the intrinsic value of us looking at it?"
- I ended up taking the bus to work.