Rebecca was walking to her Lower Queen Anne home alone around 1 a.m. last Tuesday when she was assaulted by a man who was not interested in robbing her, she says. The incident, which took place in front of the Iris Apartment building on Roy Street near 4th Ave W, shook her. She writes,
The assailant did not take my purse, and it is clear that his intention was sexual assault. I screamed and fought and someone in the Iris apartment building shouted that they were calling the police, and the guy ran off into Kinnear Park. I managed to walk away with just a fat lip (and some stitches and bruises) – but it could have been much, much worse.
Rebecca filed a police report before going to the hospital, but as of last Friday the suspect had not yet been caught. She provided this description:
It was dark and I can’t be certain, but I think the man was a homeless guy I’ve seen in the neighborhood before: white male, 5’10″, 170 pounds, dark chin/shoulder length hair that is wavy/matted, full beard.
Rebecca hopes that her experience will serve as a reminder to those in the community to be aware of their surroundings, and cautious for themselves and their neighbors, especially at night. She wrote,
I still feel that Queen Anne is a wonderful place to live (the fact that neighbors responded within seconds when I screamed is testament to that) but we shouldn’t be complacent about safety. Gentlemen, please consider walking ladies to their cars/homes late at night. And ladies, trust your instincts – if someone looks sketchy, walk away and go to a well lit place (like Bartell’s) or carry something like pepper spray in your purse.
Also, for those of you in the neighborhood, if you hear a scream or tussle outside late at night, please don’t hesitate to call out and say you’re calling the police. I am so fortunate that the residents of that building didn’t just roll back over and go to sleep, or call the police silently and hope for the best; the reason the guy ran off is because someone shouted “I’m calling the police, and coming right down.”
In February of last year another Uptown resident, also on her way home alone, was pushed down and kicked in the face and chest repeatedly just a block away from this recent incident, at Roy and 3rd Ave W. In this case the suspect was after her purse, but the crime startled both the victim and many of her neighbors, who organized an Uptown block watch program in response. This most recent attempted assault is a testament to the need for continued neighborhood safety programs, such as block watch groups, especially in corners of the neighborhood that are poorly lit at night and susceptible to crime.
If anyone has any information on this incident, please contact Seattle Police right away as the suspect is still at large.
Update 11:40 a.m.: We just received an update from Rebecca, who says her injuries are healing up well. Since the incident she’s been working on ways to improve safety in the neighborhood. She writes,
I’m speaking with a reporter who might do a piece on it, and I’m going to try and have him focus on the response of my neighbors, but also the need for street lighting at the end of West Roy Street and the city/county/state to cough up the rest of the funds to make Kinnear Park safe. It has helped that they cleared out so much of the underbrush, but it needs lighting and the other safety features that are part of the new park design. It would also be great if the city would allow us RPZ zone parking (we keep asking and they keep brushing us off) so that residents on the West Mercer/Roy corridor can park their cars near their homes at night; I often have to park 5 or 6 blocks away if it’s a night that people are out at the bars, or there’s an event at Seattle Center.
I haven’t heard anything from the police, but my hope is that he’ll be spotted now that so many people are on the lookout. I definitely want to make sure that women in the neighborhood are smart and safety conscious late at night.