Crime Watch: Woman assaulted; helicopter, K-9 search for suspect

March 7, 2014 at 9:27 am | In Crime, West Seattle news | 37 Comments

After questions about a helicopter search in the Westwood/Roxhill area early today, here’s what we have found out: King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West says a 58-year-old woman reported being attacked near 26th/Roxbury (map) just after midnight:

A man called and said a woman asked him to call the police because she had been assaulted by an unknown male.

When we arrived, we contacted a 58-year-old woman who said she had been walking eastbound on Roxbury on the south side of the street. She said as she was walking, a man approached her and asked for a cigarette. She gave him a cigarette and then the man grabbed her and pulled her to a nearby lot. The suspect then physically and sexually assaulted her.

The woman was taken to Harborview for treatment. We attempted a K-9 track but did not locate the suspect. At this time the only description we have is a black man, approximately 25 years old, last seen wearing a dark hoodie.

Seattle Fire and Police responded too; SFD spokesperson Lt. Sue Stangl says the victim “was transported (by) medics in serious condition with face and head trauma.”

37 Comments

  1. How horrible! The victim will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Comment by CMT — 9:44 am March 7, 2014 #

  2. The WSB reported a few days ago about a couple being robbed by gun point after midnight
    in-between the Alaska and Admiral junctions. Now this poor woman is walking in another area of WS after midnight and was physically/sexually assaulted. It just sounds like there are too many thugs/gangsters skulking around making it unsafe to walk when it turns dark.

    Comment by Seattlite — 9:48 am March 7, 2014 #

  3. I wish this poor lady the strength to get through this horrible, horrible victimization. May love surround her during these dark times.

    Comment by Friend O'Dinghus — 9:57 am March 7, 2014 #

  4. At times I rethink my opposition to public surveillance cameras, if they saved one week only and had strong gatekeeping on access.

    Comment by Joe Szilagyi — 11:06 am March 7, 2014 #

  5. This is horrible. My heart goes out to her. I am very pro-camera because I think it does deter crime and makes it easier to catch criminals. With google earth, dash cams and cell phones, I think the ship as sailed on the expectation of privacy in public, so I am eager for cities to install them.

    Comment by WS Neighbor — 11:35 am March 7, 2014 #

  6. It makes me sad and angry that this happened. It also makes me sad and angry that someone thinks lynching is an appropriate response.

    Comment by WWB — 11:37 am March 7, 2014 #

  7. String him up?? Wow. Surprised that comment was allowed

    Comment by Case — 12:11 pm March 7, 2014 #

  8. And exactly WWB…..

    Comment by Case — 12:13 pm March 7, 2014 #

  9. Sadly, executing rapists will just cause more of them to murder their victims afterwards as there’s nothing more that could be done to them if convicted and removing a key witness works in their favor.

    Mind you, I see nothing wrong with hanging a rapist from a handy lamppost myself but it won’t help in the long run.

    Teaching women to shoot might be a better solution.

    Comment by Jim P. — 12:28 pm March 7, 2014 #

  10. So surely in England they must have none of this sort of street crime, right WS neighbor?

    Comment by Jeff — 12:39 pm March 7, 2014 #

  11. WWB, in no way, shape or form would I advocate lynching. Poor word choice, but I meant it figuratively. In fact, my first intent was to say something about raising boys better, but I thought someone would get bunchy about it…

    Comment by Aim — 12:48 pm March 7, 2014 #

  12. This isn’t going to be very popular, but can we bulldoze Roxhill Park and put up some of the megacondos that the Junction is getting? That place is a blight after sundown. Are there any statistics about assaults in the area relative to it vs other areas of WS?

    Comment by WMF — 12:58 pm March 7, 2014 #

  13. I am SO FOR public surveillance cameras! Why not, we get recorded everytime we walk into a store.

    Comment by coffee — 12:58 pm March 7, 2014 #

  14. You are right WMF – that idea is not going to be popular, or constructive. This happened on Roxbury – not in the Park. And honestly, this area has no more serious crime than the Admiral District. Or Alki, or Ravenna, or anywhere for that matter. My heart goes out to this woman, and I hope that we can all be better neighbors because of it. I have no doubt that KCSO is working very hard on this case. This crime will not go unpunished.

    Comment by AmandaKH — 1:05 pm March 7, 2014 #

  15. No solution is perfect, but I would feel safer and I think more criminals would be caught – so yes I would appreciate public cameras. Heck I would like more shopping centers to offer cameras in their parking lots as well with phone thefts and purse snatchings. Think how beneficial dash cams have been for police cars both in monitoring police behavior and capturing evidence. They’ve been useful on Seattle buses and nobody seems to mind those.

    Comment by WS Neighbor — 1:28 pm March 7, 2014 #

  16. I don’t like and do not support cameras. While I agree it may deter and help solve crime in a particular area, I do not think the will deter crime long term. Criminals will just move elsewhere to commit crime, perhaps to an area less crowded where thie victim may not be found or released quickly. I commute on Third and Pike daily and let’s just say there are interesting people there. Sometimes a major crime happens and the police come by. The interesting people leave but they just hang out in a different place. Crime on Third and Pike goes down but nothing really changes overall downtown. The only solution is to place cameras everywhere and that worries me.
    .
    I do not support lynching but a quick and unfair trial with representation by the most junior public defender would be nice. Heck, I’d be willing to serve as a highly biased juror.

    Comment by Eric1 — 2:15 pm March 7, 2014 #

  17. “Teaching women to shoot might be a better solution.” JimP, tell that to all those women in the military, who do know how to shoot (very well, thank you), who have been attacked, molested and raped by their fellow servicemen and superiors. To say “if you only knew how to shoot, lady, all would be well,” this is a very, very sad and tragic idea that too many women fall for, and for many of them who do go on purchase guns for self defense, oftentimes have their own gun turned on them (thinking of the man last week who took his gun with him to his garage after hearing noise, only to have it used on him), or it is stolen in burglaries and used in other crimes. Thanks for the suggestion, though, however misguided it may be!

    Comment by Living in WS since 91 — 2:37 pm March 7, 2014 #

  18. Point and shoot just like a camera. If attacked or a house is broken into and a family is in danger, point and shoot. Cameras should be everywhere. Think of all the crime lately where the news has been able to broadcast photos of the perps thug faces. Responsible, legal gun owners are just that…

    Comment by Seattlite — 3:13 pm March 7, 2014 #

  19. Living in WS since 91: My wife has a concealed pistol license and carries a gun nearly everywhere she goes in West Seattle. We live very near to where this crime took place and frequent the nearby Roxbury Safeway often. I don’t think she would tell you that it’s a “tragic idea”. Perhaps you should think of the 455,000+ Washington State residents who have state concealed pistol licenses (nearly half of them are women) before you start labeling them as not being able to defend themselves?

    Comment by Brad — 3:24 pm March 7, 2014 #

  20. This is really sad, people. Get real, you guys. Glad that you feel able to protect yourself but it might also be good to think about life from someone else’s perspective. A 58 year old woman walking down Roxbury close to midnight? Who would do that? I would guess, and only guess, someone who works very hard. Maybe a swing shift worker or homemaker or a grandmother? I would think either walking from or to a bus stop or to the store to get milk/ other supplies for her family in need. If she could afford to buy a gun, all politics aside, she probably could afford a car. And it doesn’t sound like she had one or she probably wouldn’t be walking at midnight. I don’t know the whole story but….
    Also… If you look up “serious condition” on google or Wikipedia it describes something pretty bad. The only not horrible way that this could have happened, it seems, is if she fell down and hit her head and face while being attacked or running? Not what seems to have occurred based on what WSB reported. You don’t easily end up in this kind of shape, someone has to do something pretty bad. This sounds pretty brutal and scary. There is a reason there was such a manhunt, I would say. I hope they get the person who did it before he does it again.

    Comment by K — 3:43 pm March 7, 2014 #

  21. “K”: Thank you for the candid post. It’s extremely unfortunate to see our own neighbors using the report of a woman’s terrible experience as a format for their personal agenda.

    I sincerely hope the victim is able to heal, get the support she needs and move on from such an unfathomable event.

    Hopefully our community can collaborate on proactive means to improve the safety of everyone that lives here.

    Comment by Mr.Zach — 8:15 pm March 7, 2014 #

  22. ”People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.”

    NO cameras.

    Comment by Benjamin Franklin — 8:55 pm March 7, 2014 #

  23. This section of Roxbury is incredibly poorly lit and at least in some part is responsible for creating the situation and opportunity. I walk and run this section frequently and often feel very unsafe.

    Comment by jrr — 9:00 pm March 7, 2014 #

  24. Praying for the strength,fast recovery for her. And the capture of this guy.
    Sure this lady grew up in the neck of those woods…and to say carry a gun? That would have probally gotten her killed. M.O.O.

    Comment by jessica — 10:15 pm March 7, 2014 #

  25. 2nd rape in the Roxhill area in 3 months. Wonder if it’s the same perpetrator? Similar description. For the victim… You’re in my prayers. Stay strong.

    Comment by Citizen — 11:02 pm March 7, 2014 #

  26. I think a better solution than carrying more guns or setting up cameras to records Everything would be a quaint and albeit old fashioned idea like dedicated beat policepersons who know the area and the inhabitants and regularly patrol the area. Of course we would actually have to pay them and that would require stuff like paying taxes, god forbid. Beat police is an idea that needs to be reborn.

    Comment by Faye B Summers — 10:41 am March 8, 2014 #

  27. That POS beat up and raped someone! Who cares why she was walking on a public street, at any hour, in America.
    One could only hope that natural selection would take care of it, but until then, I have full confidence that SPD & KCS will find him. Let’s just pray the justice system will actually give the victim … justice.

    Comment by WTF — 12:08 pm March 8, 2014 #

  28. I STRONGLY URGE ANYONE who has information on this case to contact the local authorities. Please come forward. The crime was EXTREMELY brutal and heinous and I do not believe this was his 1st time attacking someone.
    Thank you for your prayers and support. If anyone knows of similar attacks in that area please leave links below. Maybe there is a connection to other attacks. Help us bring justice for her sake and others out there.

    Comment by TGirl — 2:04 pm March 8, 2014 #

  29. TGirl it sounds like you’re friends with the survivor. Please give her a hug when she’s ready for those (ask first – some of us get funny about being touched after an assault.) and let her know that we care.

    It’s not about self defense or guns or anything else, people. That area has become increasingly unsafe, ESPECIALLY for women, and it should not be that way. We need to ALL expect and demand better lighting, better safety. The best way to make it safe is to TAKE IT BACK. In groups, with neighbors, hang out outside your house. Make your presence known. Install floodlights and motion sensor lights if possible. Take walks (if you can) with friends in the neighborhood.

    The neighbors caring is step one. We’ve got that part. Non-scumbags being present and highly visible is step two. And making it clear through body language that we ARE seeing what they do and paying attention.

    Last and most important, call the police. Report what you see. Be that guy. Even if you think they’re sick of you. I’ve called in a few potential stolen cars over time; got blown of by 911 once and snagged an officer at Starbucks and asked if he’d check it based on my hunch. He was kind enough to humor me, and it resulted in a jackpot: 10 or 15 stolen cars all parked on one block waiting for the next third to come get them.

    You can make a difference. Don’t just get get petulant that the community is going downhill blah blah. Quit bickering about guns and words and playing mine’s bigger than yours online. Get PO’d and take it back. If we all do it, we CAN push them out.

    Comment by AG — 11:24 pm March 8, 2014 #

  30. http://www.ladiesgadgets.com/stiletto-bag/

    Please go to this Website. A photo of her unique purse that was stolen can be seen here. If you find it in the White Center area please notify the local police. There may be DNA to help find the criminal.

    Comment by TGirl — 3:19 pm March 9, 2014 #

  31. One huge problem here is that the south side of Roxbury is outside of the Seattle city limits and is the jurisdiction of the King County Sheriff and the north side is under SPD’s. This creates a lag-time in calls to 911 for anything on Roxbury. I have called-in many things while living on Roxbury over the years for that strip and have heard the dispatchers and officers from both departments bickering with each other on the air as to who needs to respond. There are also no residences from 30th SW east to 26th SW on either side of the street and the south entrance to a troubled park. This creates a perfect corridor for criminals to prey on their victims. Add to that the drunks who stumble around the area of the casino there, the dark bus shelter in front of Safeway, and the closed-for-the-night businesses with dark parking lots between the 76 station and the Shell station and you have a prescription for trouble. I am a 6′ 4″, 240 lb man, carry a (licensed) firearm regularly, and walk with a very large dog, yet I STILL avoid walking through that section after dark. I just don’t feel it’s safe to deal with some of the scroungy characters I’ve run into through there over the years. We need better cooperation between SPD and the KC Sheriff when it comes to patrolling that corridor instead of counting victims.

    Comment by Joseph — 11:02 pm March 9, 2014 #

  32. Stay strong

    Comment by jessica — 7:46 pm March 11, 2014 #

  33. Here here Joseph! The stories I could tell about the bickering jurisdiction thru the years! Great post!

    Have grown up in area, on the line, 40+ years. Have watched the area decline, especially since Metro started using Westwood as a transit hub.

    I walk the area of the assault 2 miles darn near every night around midnight after work. Otherwise I sure in heck wouldn’t be out roaming or riding the bus! Actually worked day of assault but a different, earlier shift then normal. I have 2 choices of stop to get home: the Westwood stop or the Roxhill Elementary stop…IF the 21 driver feels like going around block as scheduled! And I have had to beg on occasion to no avail, driver unconcerned about my safety or anything other than his private agenda (always reported back to Metro).

    On one occasion a ridiculously drunk man began pursuing me, following me so I went inside the 76 told the attendant what was going on. The man followed me inside! After several tense minutes of the man trying to confront me he finally left when I loudly reaffirmed I did not know him. The attendant did NOTHING, then seemed irritated asked why I didn’t call cops. Just last night a similar situation occurred where up to 5 men (1 singleton, 2 of 2 together one brace 2 black men, one a black man with a white man) not from neighbourhood appeared and I quickly bolted inside the 76 again, told the attendant (ironically same one from last time) what was going on. White man of the brace I saw appear out of shadows followed me inside. He ended up making a purchase after an awkward few minutes. Unable to rouse my family member so late to come get me I tried calling a cab to drive me remaining mile to house. No cabs in area. Then another company’s cab drove by and I RAN at him waving frantically but he kept driving. I ended up walking the mile with my head on a swivel and nerves a bit raw. Have no idea where ANY of the men went.

    There has been an usually high amount of foot traffic/people around past 3 days in area I’ve noticed at my normal late night times. A man 2 days ago ironically told me weird things going on in area, to be careful.

    I work for a division of Metro and am forced to walk home those miles from the park due to service cuts, distance depending which of the 2 bus lines I can catch after work. I have walked at all hours of day/night. When I started 2 years ago was catching a bus at 4am! At that time a 76 attendant told me he was watching out for me as I waited. The stop by Safeway was so “interesting” another female would walk to the school to wait with me she felt so unsafe.

    Metro does not give a rats ass. I have countless times pointed out to them how I am forced into an unsafe position to walk so far at odd hours, situations I have witnessed anywhere around the park (watched ME loading murdered guy out of park once) let alone in neighbourhood. Last year encountered Alan Polevia himself as him and friends were victimizing the neighbourhood! Have asked Metro repeatedly would it still be okay if I was their sister, mother or friend? Metro added the “loop” on the 21 which takes a mile off my walk. But they are desperately trying to cut the route. I’ve met a couple of the neighbours along the walk and stay aware at all times. I also trust my instincts.

    Having already been the victim of kidnapping years ago where I had to escape a moving vehicle on the freeway I am highly aware of my surroundings. Do not put yourself in a position of vulnerability. Fight back. Be aware, trust your instincts. I don’t like being forced by Metro to put myself out there and it has triggered PTSD that I had to seek counseling for. But I need a job and Seattle is pretty car hating, want everyone to ride transit so severely limit parking, or make it outrageously costly and nightmarish downtown…what are my options?

    What is the answer to fixing things? I don’t know. An active neighbourhood watch helped get Polevia caught and break up his crime ring. A neighbourhood patrol could not hurt, ESPECIALLY with the unique city/county issue faced. Lighting up the park wouldn’t hurt either. And not hesitating to call police if something doesn’t seem right is now my mantra with area deterioration and familiarity with “normal”.

    Prayers to victim. Been there. Don’t let it take over your life. Cos the fear will try. Be a fighter. Be a survivor! Seek counseling, don’t be proud. It will help, honest!

    Comment by Kiss — 4:21 am March 13, 2014 #

  34. Welcome to urban density. The more we’re packed and stacked in, to more we will see of this. Look to the East Coast and other places. It animal nature. The more you squeeze together, the more bumping into each other, the more conflict, the more anonymity. It seems counter-intuitive in some ways, but I firmly believe that density drives crime up, and neighborhoods down the tubes. The more people there are, the less you know your neighbor. The politicians are buying future votes by selling us down the river to developers. The ole gray town, she ain’t what she used to be…

    Comment by Told you so... — 10:40 pm March 13, 2014 #

  35. So sorry for the survivor. Very distinctive purse – hope someone sees it.
    Can’t imagine how scary that stretch is for women or men at midnight. I am nervous whenever it’s dark out in that area. Hate waiting for the bus there — too unprotected from perpetrators in cars as well as potential assailants on foot.
    Hope they catch this dangerous criminal.

    Comment by fionaenzo — 9:42 am March 15, 2014 #

  36. If we can all share the purse pic on our news feeds and have our friends post it on their pages too, we might be able to get this creep before it is too late for other victims and their families.
    Please help this victim and her family get justice and closure knowing 1 less rapist is out there.
    (((HUGS))))to the victim and family

    Comment by jessica — 9:18 am March 22, 2014 #

  37. We shared it on the WSB page as soon as it came out – also, WSB stories can be shared to a wide variety of social-media channels by using the ShareThis feature under every story. No sign-in necessary; you can even use it to e-mail links. We will continue following up on this with KCSO – TR

    Comment by WSB — 9:23 am March 22, 2014 #

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