Police: Apologetic armed robber 'just trying to get by'

SEATTLE -- A man who put a gun to a woman's neck while robbing her and her brother early Tuesday in Capitol Hill later apologized, saying he's just trying to get by, according to the Seattle Police Department.

According to the police report for the incident, a new Capitol Hill resident and his sister, who was visiting from California, were walking home near 14th Avenue and East Olive Street shortly after 1 a.m. when a man grabbed the woman, pressed a gun against her neck and demanded the victims give him everything.

The Capitol Hill resident immediately handed over his wallet and cellphone, but the robber became angry when the resident's sister failed to follow orders, according to the report.

According to the report, the Capitol Hill resident followed as the robber marched his sister across the street at gunpoint. He eventually reached into his sister's pockets and handed her wallet and cellphone to the robber.

The Capitol Hill resident later told officers the robber then demanded his apartment keys, but he pleaded with the robber, saying he had to be able to get home sometime that night.

According to the report, the robber agreed to let the man keep his keys and then apologized to the victims, saying, "I'm sorry; I'm just trying to get by," before letting the victims go and walking off.

But, apologetic or not, the robber did not return the victims' belongings, according to the report.

The victims found a parking-enforcement officer and reported the robbery, and the victim from California expressed concern about how she was going to fly home the next day without her driver's license, social security card or bank cards.

Officers checked with the clerk at a nearby 7-Eleven who believes the suspect came in to buy a number of items around the same time as the robbery. And, an officer who had been in the area thinks he may have recorded the robber's license plate number around that time.