Seattle police after organizer cancels popular Magnuson Park movie nights: ‘The park is safe’

Epic Events, which puts on the series, issued a statement on Monday, saying it had been canceled for the remainder of the year due to “security concerns that have evolved into public safety issues at Magnuson Park.”

Seattle police say there has been no increase in violence at Magnuson Park, which contradicts the impression left by organizers of the abruptly canceled “Movies at Magnuson Park.”

Doug Borneman, president and producer of Epic Events, which puts on the event, issued a statement Monday saying the outdoor-movie series had been canceled for the remainder of the year due to “security concerns that have evolved into public safety issues at Magnuson Park.”

On Tuesday, Borneman said the decision came after he talked to the parents of two teens who attended the last showing on Thursday and were robbed in the park: a 13-year-old boy who was stripped of his shoes and backpack, and a teen girl whose cellphone was taken after she was slapped.

“It seems Magnuson Park is not the safest on any night and it may not be right for family-friendly events,” he said. “We can secure the area of our event and most of the parking areas, but there is a lot of space and a lot of shadows.”

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Seattle police confirmed that there had been two reported robbery incidents on July 20, but, along with Seattle Parks and Recreation, countered the notion that there has been an increase in violence at the park, or that the park is unsafe.

“The recent events are really unfortunate, but there have not been any upticks in violence or trends in the park,” said Jonah Spangenthal-Lee, the Seattle Police Department’s deputy director of communications.

Spangenthal-Lee said he searched for police reports of violent incidents involving moviegoers in the park and found only two recent ones, both from Thursday night. In one, a 15-year-old girl was “confronted by another girl…

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