ORIGINAL 5:43 PM REPORT: A suspect arrested this afternoon after an attack in Lincoln Park may be responsible for other attacks, according to Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Paulsen. He says the female jogger assaulted this afternoon was not physically hurt. After police set up containment, they caught a suspect, and Capt. Paulsen says detectives will be following up for possible ties to other incidents – including previous cases at Lincoln Park. The arrest happened around 4 pm, according to a WSB’er who says his son saw police “tackling someone” at the park around that time. (Checking our archives, an incident last August is the most recent one we’d heard about.)
6:55 PM UPDATE: There’s now a short summary on SPDBlotter, with a few more details:
On January 25th at approximately 3:50 p.m. a 27-year-old female was jogging on the waterfront trail in Lincoln Park (8000 block of Fauntleroy Way SW) when an unknown male suspect ran up behind her and attempted to tackle her by throwing his arms around her legs. The victim was able to break free and get away. The suspect fled eastbound through the park toward Fauntleroy. The suspect was apprehended by responding officers as he attempted to cross Fauntleroy. The victim positively identified the 46-year-old male suspect, who was subsequently booked into the King County Jail for misdemeanor assault.
Sexual Assault Unit detectives are handling the follow up investigation. It it unknown at this time if this suspect is responsible for any other attacks.
According to the jail register, the suspect was booked just before 6 pm; public records list him at a Gatewood address, less than a mile from Lincoln Park. We’re checking on his record.
7:08 PM UPDATE: The suspect, who we will not name until charged, has a 2005 assault charge on his record. The charge says he attacked a woman in Highland Park in what appears to have been a road-rage incident that started on Highway 509; he followed her to her home, where he pulled over, reached inside her car and hit her in the face before grabbing the cell phone she was using to call 911, and ran off. He pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and was sentenced to 3 months in jail (with work release), according to the documents in that case, which also show he had prior convictions for assault, property destruction, and reckless driving in the mid- to late ’90s. He is scheduled to appear in court tomorrow morning.
9:32 PM UPDATE: A WSB commenter says she’s the victim from this afternoon’s incident, and writes:
West Seattle- I am the jogger who was attacked this afternoon. I was running on a trail along the upper part of the cliff. I was also surprised by the attack in broad daylight, and I had passed many people out walking their dogs. This is the only time I have ever ran with my cell phone, I recommend everyone to do this, it’s the only reason they were able to catch him. I called within seconds of it happening.