Seattle police release video in Belltown robbery case

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on September 24, 2013 at 5:19 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 24 at 11:09 PM

Seattle police investigating the robbery of a 33-year-old man who was found injured in Belltown on September 15 have released new video in the investigation. It shows the victim talking to two men and a woman during the evening; now police want to speak to those three people and are asking the public's help in identifying them.

Rory Burks, 33, said he was brutally attacked from behind and then robbed after leaving a wedding reception last week at the Mayflower Hotel in downtown Seattle. But Seattle police have said they're not entirely certain he was assaulted. Because he was intoxicated, they think it's possible he might have been injured during a fall on the sidewalk.

Burks' family members dispute that theory.

"I don't know how you can fall down and hit the front of your skull and the back of your skull, I'm sorry," said his stepfather, Ron Ripley.  "There appears to be bruise marks under his cheek that look like a fist or something hit him."

That's why police think surveillance video from that night is important. It doesn't show what happened to Burks, but does show him standing on the sidewalk for a few moments. He drops his jacket and then picks it up. (Story continues below).


Less than 20 minutes later, a passerby found Burks unconscious and bleeding near the intersection of Blanchard and Fourth Avenue. 

"The hardest part was him being on the street, beaten down, lying there and bleeding," said his mother, Una Ripley. 

She says her son has come a long way since the September 15th incident, but his injuries are extensive.

"He's come from being on life support, where we didn't know if he'd make it or not to speaking," she said.  "Not in full sentences, but speaking, although he has had some sentences he's said here and there."

When he does speak, family members say he tells the same story, over and over: he says he was attacked from behind by a group of people.

Investigators say the two men and woman shown in the surveillance video are potential witnesses and an important piece of this puzzle.

If you recognize any of the people in the video, call Seattle Police Department's Robbery Unit at 206-684-5535. Anonymous tips are welcome.

Burks' family tells KING 5 they are glad the video has been released to the public.

"Please come forward, anything," said Una.  "Anybody that has any information, please call the police."

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