Belltown tavern brawl turns messy for police officer

Herald staff

SEATTLE — A police officer was slightly injured Friday night in the downtown Belltown neighborhood when some patrons involved in a bar fight turned on him. The brawl occurred during "Belltown’s Night Out," with city officials and residents symbolically taking back the streets after recent violence.

In a related development, police arrested a second teen-ager in an Aug. 25 beating that was captured on videotape and widely shown on local television.

A state employee recognized the teen-ager boarding a bus in south Seattle and police boarded the bus to arrest him, police spokeswoman Pam McCammon said. He was booked into juvenile detention on investigation of robbery.

The incident occurred during "Belltown’s Night Out," when city officials and residents deliberately took a high profile on the street.

  • Judge who ordered skirts loses seat: A judge who declared "skirts only" for female attorneys in her courtroom has lost her job. The final count of primary election votes Friday showed that King County Superior Court Judge Jeanette Burrage was defeated by former court commissioner Laura Gene Middaugh by about 12,000 votes. Burrage, 47, was the only King County sitting judge to be rejected by voters. She said she has not decided whether to seek another office. Her opponent, Middaugh, 51, ran an aggressive campaign focusing on Burrage’s brief attempt to enforce a skirts-only dress code for female attorneys. In October 1999, during a break in a trial at the Regional Justice Center in suburban Kent, Burrage told deputy prosecuting attorney Page Ulrey and defender Cindy Arends, both in pantsuits, that they must wear skirts in the future or face the possibility of sanctions.

  • Teen will be charged as an adult in rape case: A 17-year-old registered sex offender charged with raping a 12-year-old Mercer Island girl will be prosecuted as an adult, a King County Superior Court judge has decided. Christopher Shelley of Mercer Island, who was arrested in June, faces up to 17 years in prison if convicted. In the juvenile justice system, conviction would have meant a maximum penalty of a little more than three years in detention, until he turned 21. In addition to the penalty options, Judge Jim Street cited Shelley’s criminal history and the seriousness of the charge in transferring the case to adult court. Shelley faces two counts of second-degree child rape. He is accused of having sex with the girl about five times between May 30 and June 7, according to court papers. No force was involved.

  • Bill grants protection to Cascade land: The version of the Interior Appropriations Bill finalized by the House and Senate includes $8.65 million in 2001 for Washington state to permanently protect 4,700 acres of central Cascade Mountains forest land, a land preservation group says. The lands in question are the first to be purchased by the Cascades Conservation Partnership’s campaign to save more than 75,000 acres to maintain and enhance wildlife corridors linking the Alpine Lakes to Mount Rainier. The partnership also has already raised $5.3 million from more than 3,000 Washington citizens to purchase and protect other critical forests threatened by logging. The nearly 4,700 acres to be protected with the Interior appropriation include: 1,400 acres of old-growth forest; 3.5 miles of the Yakima River, which contains wild king salmon spawning habitat and has been nominated as a National Wild and Scenic River; areas around three lakes, including the Kendall Peak Lakes, and 2.7 miles of hiking trails, including portions of the John Wayne Trail south of Keechelus Lake.

  • Toxic mold scare closes school: Vashon High School will be closed for three days this week after more than 100 students walked out Friday because of concerns about toxic mold. The Vashon Island school board, meeting in emergency session Friday night, decided to close the school from Monday through Wednesday. School will reopen Thursday but no classes will be held in Building A, target of most of the complaints and the location of the main office, library, lunchroom and several classrooms. School officials said more than 100 of the school’s 500 students left Friday with parental permission, and more may have left on their own.

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