A 20-year-old sex trafficking victim’s desperate escape earlier this week led to her pimp, “Dice Capone,” ending up in Seattle police custody.
The girl, identified in police reports as H.A., had been trafficked from California to Seattle with several other women about a month ago to act as a prostitute for William Burt, or “Dice Capone” as he is known in the “prostitution underworld”.
King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Benjamin Gauen reported that Burt’s crime ring had been found operating in at least three states, and harming countless victims. With the investigation still ongoing, Gauen says that there will doubtlessly be more evidence unveiled soon, per the Seattle Times.
Picking up more women after he arrived in Seattle, Burt rented out motel rooms for the women to complete their “dates,” with the prostitutes each bringing in a mandatory $2,000 per day. They weren’t allowed to keep any of it.
On Nov 2nd, H.A. decided that she wanted to leave, and was then beaten and pistol-whipped by the pimp. H.A. was locked in the $1.4 million dollar Airbnb where Burt and his girls had been staying previously. She was kept there without any way of escaping or way to communicate with the outside world.
Burt returned on Nov 5th and again beat and pistol-whipped H.A., forcing her to strip off the clothes she had been given. Her face was so torn up that she later told police that her lip had barely stayed on her face.
She initially tried to escape through the blocked front door, but then ran upstairs and jumped out of a 3-story window, landing on an already broken leg. Hobbling to the road in her underwear, she flagged down a car for help. Two women stopped to help, just as Burt and the other women came out of the house and forced H.A. into his vehicle.
Driving back to the motel, Burt had the other women go in to continue their business. In the car, he told H.A. that she would be let go, but first, he would break all of her teeth. Managing to escape the car before that happened, she ran into the middle of a six-lane highway and sat down.
“H.A. felt safer in the middle of a busy highway, practically naked, at night than being within arm’s reach of the defendant,” Gauen wrote in the charging papers, according to Local 12. “Surveillance video from a nearby business has corroborated H.A.’s account of what happened.”
The 20-year-old topless girl sitting in the middle of traffic spurred several 911 calls before a rideshare “good samaritan” driver stopped and told her to get in his van.
Driving away, the van received several shots in the windshield from Burt, with the driver firing his own shots back. They got away from Burt after about 5 blocks, going to a nearby gas station to await police.
H.A. was then taken to a hospital to be treated for a broken leg, broken ribs, spinal injuries, and quite a few other horrific injuries.
Burt was found outside of the Airbnb shortly after by police and was arrested. Bail was set at $750,000. Several other women were also found at the time. Reports say that at least two of the women had “Dice Capone” tattooed on their faces, as a form of sick advertisement.
Investigations are ongoing, but Burt has already been charged with human trafficking, promoting prostitution, and assault.
After being returned home to her family, H.A. has already been contacted through social media by a woman working for the pimp. Police are saying that there is the risk of them locating her and persuading her to go back.
In retrospect, it is likely that the driver’s firearm and his ability to return fire were the only things that stood between them and certain death at the hands of “Dice Capone” that eventful night.