Seattle man live-tweets attempted Target hostage-taking

A Seattle man charged with assaulting a police officer and released without paying bail was reportedly arrested just eight days later, after allegedly attempting to hold hostages at knife-point at a Target store. 

The suspect live-tweeted from inside a Target store in West Seattle during the hourslong ordeal that began on Friday evening, according to a report by KTTH’s The Jason Rantz Show

The same man was previously accused of attempting to take shoppers hostage at a grocery store in August 2021, allegedly pulled a knife at a downtown Seattle Target in January 2020, and earlier this month was charged again with assaulting a Seattle police officer, KTTH reported. But a judge still released him on his own recognizance just eight days before the latest incident on Jan. 21. 

He also has at least 11 prior instances of attempted suicide by cop, including one January 2019 incident in which he allegedly showed up at a police station with an airsoft gun and assaulted five officers. 

Though the report does not name the suspect, matching tweets viewed by Fox News Digital remained active as of Monday on the social media platform for one user named Timothy Clemans. 

The suspect dialed 911 Friday evening and told a dispatcher he was homeless and was taking a bus to a Target store to “take hostages to be on national news,” according to police documents obtained by KTTH. He expressed fear of being sent back to a hospital and his “need for mental health services.”

Once at the store, he allegedly asked where the knives were, unwrapped one and approached customers, telling them they were his hostages. He also said he would run at police with the knife so that officers would shoot him. A witness yelled for people to evacuate the store, and police arrived by 5:45 p.m. 

A hostage-negotiator team was called in, and the man remained inside the store for about six hours. It was unclear how many, if any, people remained inside with him. Connected with negotiators by phone, the suspect said he was “actively posting updates on his Twitter account while inside the store.”

The suspect films himself in one video outlining the “very unique barricade situation I created.” 

“I didn’t have access to guns because of being a felon,” the man says, appearing to walk through the Target store. “Not having money or connections to buy off the street, would not be able to assemble a ghost gun if I had the money to purchase the components, the 3D printer, whatever.”

“In the criminal element, there’s no way that it comes close to the understanding, the tactical and negotiation and having worked for a law enforcement agency … this is very unique.”  

The Seattle Times reported in 2015 that a tech officer named Timothy Clemans, a computer programmer who inundated the Seattle Police Department with more than 200 public records requests and was then offered a job to appease him, had subsequently decided to quit what was a civilian gig.  

From inside the Target on Friday, Clemans tweeted several messages. 

“About to take hostages,” he wrote. “Already alerted @seattlepd.”

He shared blurred photos from inside the store and tweeted: “Something tells me @Target is not going to hire me when they get out of jail.” 

He said that Seattle police arranged for a public defender to call him, tweeted about Axon body cameras, and said the shoppers escaped because he was armed with a knife, not a gun, writing, “Thanks to gun control and being poor no gun to take hostages with and 29+ ppl I tried to take hostage ran like mad.” 

“Well this court case is going to be fun and no I’m not representing myself,” he said in a second video. “I cannot represent myself for sh–. I got super lucky that the prosecutor’s office did b—s— charges on me on that one… see my face is all messed up because I don’t have money for s—.”

Around midnight, he finally tweeted, “SWAT just arrived big time!!!” 

KTTH reported that the suspect was arrested just before 12:30 a.m. and booked into King County Jail, but the case was not immediately referred to the King County Prosecutor’s Office. No injuries were reported.

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