Seattle homeless man Steven Irwin builds cabin in public park months after digging up site with excavator

A homeless Seattle man has set up a “time bomb” shack equipped with a washing machine and treadmill in a public park, months after he allegedly stole an excavator to tear apart part of the property in search of money. Built.

Stephen Irwin, 41, is accused of a recent $15,000 payment by the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department to repair damage caused when Irwin illegally dug up his property in October 2023. Regardless, he claimed to have obtained permission to construct a building in Dr. Jose Rizal KOMO News.

Irwin was arrested on charges of fraudulent construction and charged with auto theft, but only got the space back with some interesting upgrades.

The illegal shack currently has a fireplace, propane heater, washing machine, multiple generators, and a treadmill.

Police are seen taking Stephen Irwin into custody after an incident in October 2023. Andrea Suarez/We Heart Seattle
After his arrest, Irwin was released and returned to the same location to begin building a cabin. como

“He dug slopes, erected structures, cut down trees, and reversed thousands of dollars in repairs,” said Andrea Suarez of We Heart Seattle, a homeless advocacy organization that helped Irwin. “I’m doing it,” he said. Exit Friday.

“There are risks for him to be in that environment. You can smell kerosene, propane and gasoline. There are three types of fuel here, and there are electrical wires everywhere.” Suarez said, adding that the scene is a “ticking time bomb”.

Irwin’s Cabin is about more than just a cozy spot in the park, Suarez explained.

“He dreams that this is a gold mine, that he will mine diamonds, find gold and make a lot of money,” Suarez said.

Irwin was arrested in October after receiving multiple 911 calls from neighbors concerned about the destruction of Dr. Jose Rizal Park, about five miles from Seattle’s iconic Space Needle.

The Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation recently paid $15,000 to repair damage caused by Irwin while excavating the property. Andrea Suarez/We Heart Seattle
The dangers of the situation are also being felt by neighbors who live near the park. como

“He was driving a little crazy with this heavy equipment,” park ranger and volunteer Genevieve Courtney said last year. He happened to meet Irwin while excavating land.

He later admitted to police that he had used an excavator to clear the space for his shed, but he remains strongly convinced that he had permission to alter the surface of the land for his shed. ing.

Since Irwin was released and returned to the encampment, he has been using power and hand tools to clean up areas within the park, the paper said.

The dangers of this situation have also been noticed by neighbors living near the park, who have worked tirelessly to bring the issue to the city’s attention.

Andrea Suarez, executive director of We Heart Seattle, said the situation should serve as a wake-up call to local leaders in crime-ridden cities. Andrea Suarez/We Heart Seattle
Dr. Jose Rizal Park is approximately 5 miles from the iconic Seattle Space Needle. como

“This guy is just running away and I don’t understand that. We’re really frustrated. We need some civility here and we need some police action,” Brian said. Hartman told the program.

Suarez said she wants the situation resolved because Irwin could unintentionally pose a danger to himself or others, but said the homeless man has no plans to cancel the building. .

But that can only be accomplished if the city takes the lead in enforcing the law, she said.

“This is a call to action by law enforcement and Seattle’s parks and recreation community to do something,” Suarez told the outlet.

“I also offered to pay for his first six months of housing, and he said, ‘That’s great.'” I will continue to have a cabin in the woods. ”