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Seattle coffee shop workers call 911 when homeless man causes disturbance; no officers arrive

A Seattle small business owner shared footage of an incident between his employees and a homeless man in his cafe last week. He says officers failed to respond.

A homeless man in Seattle was caught on camera causing a disturbance in an ice cream and coffee shop, and the small business's owner says police officers were not dispatched when his workers called 911. 

The incident took place around 7 p.m. April 24 in the Pike Place Market area near Seattle's famous Gum Wall, according to Baxter & Frost owner Ian Halcott. Security camera footage shows a man wearing a beanie and hoodie with his hands in his front pockets talking to an employee before shoving things off a counter display, making a mess in the establishment. 

A second clip shows the man pushing a movable display case at two workers, prompting one to pull a knife to defend himself and his coworker while the other grabbed a spatula and baking tray. The workers continued arguing with the man, before he left and a Pike Place Market security guard showed up. 

"This video includes an assault on one of my employees as well as the destruction of my service counter by a deranged criminal," Halcott told radio host Jason Rantz in an email. 

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Neither clip includes audio of the encounter, but Halcott says the man threatened to shoot his employees.

"I have to train my, my people in a special way to work with people who are not our customers and treat them with respect," Halcott explained to "The Jason Rantz Show." "But to also say, they’re not our customers and that, unfortunately, they have to go. But you know the level of brazenness. … They’re just, there's no consequences."

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Halcott's employees called 911, he said, but officers were not dispatched due to staffing. 

"(The dispatchers) were like, ‘No, we’re not gonna be able to make it out tonight and take the statements,’ which is terrifying. My staff literally felt fear for their lives. And rightly so," Halcott said.

Halcott said he tried to contact police after the fact, since the suspect is still on the loose. But he claims no one picked up the Seattle Police Department's non-emergency number. Someone from Seattle PD did connect with him after he spoke with Jason Rantz, KTTH reports.

Halcott said his employees are now worried about their safety, and he had to cut hours because he is struggling to staff evenings. He has been a small business owner in Seattle for 25 years. 

"Pike Place Market, this was always the protected area," he said. "This is the heart of the tourist industry here in Seattle. And it’s frustrating to see the lack of enforcement here. Because for about 20 years, pre-COVID, I almost never had a problem at this scale." 

Seattle Police did not respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment. 

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