Seattle police are investigating a group of drug dealers who "regularly engage in extorting money from the day laborers" outside several hardware stores ranging from Everett to South Seattle.
SeattleCrime reports today that the investigation was started after a stabbing at the Home Depot on 116th St. and Aurora Ave. N. on June 17.
According to police records, a group of three men approached the victim after he arrived back at the Home Depot on Aurora at around 8:00, after finishing another job.
The men asked the victim for money to buy beer, but the man refused because he "knew that the 'loan' . . . was a way to extort money from the day laborers."
According to a police report, "most of the laborers pay the suspect money, and those that don't are assaulted."
Apparently the man who was stabbed had refused to pay the shakedown money to one of the men, and was punched in the face.
Later, the same group of three men returned to the store parking lot where one of the men found the same guy who'd been punched before and stabbed him in the stomach, chest, and knee with an eight-inch knife.
Meanwhile, other men who weren't stabbing the victim apparently started beating the crap out of other day laborers.
The stabbing victim tells police that these guys extort day laborers all over the Puget Sound area. In explaining the incident to police, another one of the victims who apparently said "it's the streets, that's just how it is."