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Four Arrested for Trespassing at Vacant Horace Mann School

Seattle police have arrested four people occupying the vacant Horace Mann school in Seattle's Central District. Some activists inside had refused to leave the building even after they were warned against trespassing on school district property.

A SWAT team moved in Tuesday afternoon at the request of Seattle Public Schools. Seattle police spokesperson Det. Renee Witt said officers knew there would be no children in the building, and that only a small group of occupiers were left.

"We contacted three initially as we made our initial entry into the building, and then we found a fourth male who was actually hiding in an attic inside of the school," Witt said.

Police said they received a tip that explosives and other weapons were inside, but a search by the arson bomb squad turned up nothing. 

The building had been slated for renovation, but several community groups moved into the building months earlier and began offering educational programs.  

They were negotiating with the school district to find a new location when those negotiations came to a halt. A subgroup of activists then took over the building and barricaded its doors.

A Seattle Public Schools spokeswoman said the district is still interested in negotiating a new home for the community groups.

Florangela Davila is KNKX’s news director. A journalist in Seattle since 1992, she’s earned numerous individual and team honors in print, online and broadcast, most recently three regional Murrows for KNKX.
Gabriel Spitzer is the Host and Senior Producer of Sound Effect, KNKX's "weekly tour of ideas inspired by the place we live." Gabriel was previously KNKX's Science and Health Reporter. He joined KNKX after years covering science, health and the environment at WBEZ in Chicago. There, he created the award-winning mini-show, Clever Apes. Having also lived in Alaska and California, Gabriel feels he’s been closing in on Seattle for some time, and has finally landed on the bullseye.
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