Update 2/26/2010: Camille wrote in our comments,
I wanted to give you all an update. I found out two important things last night. The first, chivalry is not as dead as we thought. Apparently a man ran out of his building holding an axe to come and help me but he didn’t arrive until the attacker ran off and I was already inside. The second, a gardener found my bag. It was in Gerard Schwarz’s (the man who runs the Seattle Symphony) yard over on Highland. That’s a mile and a half away, which clearly indicates that they had a car. This makes me certain that the car I saw before the attack (black celica or ford probe with rust around he windows) was involved. Thank you to everyone for your concern, please be careful.
At 11:45 p.m. on Tuesday, February 23 Camille parked on the block of her Lower Queen Anne apartment, near W Roy St. and 3rd Ave W. As she was walking home, a man walking the opposite direction grabbed her, pushed her down, and kicked her in the face and chest repeatedly, before running off with her purse.
She wrote to us wanting to share her story and help warn other people in the area, particularly young women, of similar attacks. Camille wrote,
I got out of my car onto the sidewalk less than a block from my building. I immediately saw a man walking slowly towards me. He was probably 5’7″, relatively thin, a light-skinned black man or a Hispanic man, was wearing a fitted tan or brown hoodie and had a beanie with a hood on. He wasn’t disheveled or homeless looking but he was very creepy. I didn’t want to be judgmental and like a lot of white people felt that being scared of him in some way made me racist. So, instead of trusting my instincts and getting back into my car and locking the doors, or even simply crossing the street I walked towards him.
We passed one another under the awning to the Iris Apartments which are surrounded by bushes and have no street lights. Right as I passed him he turned and grabbed me. I instinctually tried to get away, he grabbed harder, I started screaming. Eventually he knocked me onto the ground and kicked me in my face down by my mouth and in my chest. I don’t really remember what happened next but eventually he ripped my bag off of me and ran off. I’m pretty certain I was screaming the entire time. I kept thinking someone would come outside or start yelling but no one did. How can no one hear me right now I thought. I was surrounded by hundreds of people all hidden in their apartments. As he ran off I was still standing there screaming and crying help but no one did.
Despite the fact that the stretch from Roy and 3rd Ave W to the entrance of Kinnear Park is always “very very very dark,” Camille said she’s never felt unsafe walking there before midnight, until Tuesday.
Camille happened to have had her keys in her hand during the attack, and was able to get into the building and use Skype on her computer to call her boyfriend. She sat in the lobby of her apartment and spotted a police officer walk by outside. He had her cellphone, which had fallen out of her bag during the attack. The officer told her that they had received several calls about her screaming, though no one came outside to help. Camille wrote,
I filed the report but don’t feel like that will do anything. Since the incident I’ve instead been warning as many people as possible. Last night when I got home from dinner at 10:30pm I didn’t see any police patrolling.
Other than having a sore back and neck, Camille says she is doing pretty well. Luckily there was nothing too valuable in her bag and she was able to cancel all her credit cards before they were used. Still, she says the attack was a frightening and emotional experience, so much so that she wrote to her anonymous attacker in a “missed connections” ad on Craigslist.
Camille doesn’t have any clues as to who the assailant might be. While she was parking her car that night she remembered seeing a black car “with oxidation and rust around the tinted windows” stop when she appeared.
It seemed weird. I’m not sure if they stopped simply because they were being cautious with a car coming around the corner, but it did seem odd.
If anyone has any further information about the incident, please comment below. Although Camille would like to retrieve her items, she’s more concerned with the safety of other women who could be thrust into similar situations. She wrote,
I have numerous friends living in Queen Anne who are young women that live alone. I’m worried for them. I’m worried for anyone who ever thought they could simply walk 50 feet to their door without being kicked in the face.