Of Wolf and Man

The Stranger - Dark side of the Emerald city

by Dominic Holden

Seattle on fire

A night of destruction and mayhem stormed over Seattle last night, bringing the kind of violence that authorities are struggling to comprehend.

While several arrests have been made many more culprits remain at large and the police are hopeful they will be apprehended quickly. Hospitals and mental health services have reported an increase in patients this morning and have again raised the need that more funds are urgently needed. In a joint statement the heads of several hospitals and private institutions have requested emergency funds be released immediately to enable the needs of the obviously traumatised population to be met.

Seattle’s emergency services were pushed to the brink in what they hope is a never to be repeated event. While most areas of inner Seattle were affected, the main focus of the varied incidents was the affluent inner east. Police and Fire services were stretched beyond breaking point as the night drew to a close. Many homes were without power or communications for several hours, with essential services being restored to many only this morning.

There were reports of a gang attacking trees in the area, with several significant trees outside council chambers bearing the brunt of their unexplained anger. Who this group is and what their demands are is unknown, the police are looking into several similar incidents but so far have no leads. Chief of Police, Tommy Powe, has affirmed that there will be an ongoing investigation into several incidents arising from last night and while they are all being treated with the utmost seriousness he has suggested the culprits for a spate of murders and random shootings are the number one priority. He urges anyone with relevant information pertaining to these events to come forward and urges all citizens to remain calm but alert.

There have also been accusations against authorities with some citizens feeling they have been severely let down with recent police behaviour and accusing them of standing by while the night of violence raged on. There have been several reports that calls to emergency services went unanswered or received a less than courteous response. One local resident who wishes to remain anonymous says she now fears for her safety and is considering hiring a private security company to protect her property as the police have shown a complete lack of understanding and ability to do so. She was shocked when she rang emergency services to report a group of teenagers in the area behaving suspiciously that her call was not answered for one and a half hours;

“What if they attacked my house? You certainly don’t have the time to be waiting on the phone when you life is in danger”

There are strong calls for a commission into the response of emergency services to the unexpected events of last night. Councilman Brad Becnall is leading the call for calm pointing out the many incidents, which all occurred simultaneously and continued until morning, were both frightening and unprecedented. He supports the push for answers and feels that many of the men and women who risked their lives to protect the town will be vindicated while acknowledging there is always something to learn from the aftermath of mass emergencies such as the city experienced last night. The Mayor and Deputy Mayor were unavailable for comment.

Council chambers tree

Maryanne Treyson an eminent psychiatrist has been calling for an increase in funding to hospitals, particularly in the area of mental health provision, for many years now. “It is sad that it takes a mass trauma on the scale of what occurred last evening for the authorities to begin to listen. I have been calling for the need for more trained professionals and funding to deal with the steady increase in cases we have been seeing for the last five or so years. You’ve got to understand that this isn’t just bored housewives or executive stress but acute cases of psychotic breakdown and the statistics just aren’t easing. Unfortunate a tragedy as last night was it has been on the cards for some time and we should be grateful more people haven’t died. I just can’t believe this is what it takes for the authorities to listen. My phone has not been this busy in months.”

Indeed whatever the outcomes from calls for commissions or ongoing investigations it is clear the tinder for lasts night explosion had been building up for a long time.



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