West Seattle Crime Watch: Jogger attacked, suspect arrested

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.

40 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Jogger attacked, suspect arrested"

  • Alki Resident January 25, 2011 (5:51 pm)

    Good job officers.

  • yikes January 25, 2011 (5:55 pm)

    “possible ties to other incidents” at Lincoln Park? Or? I’m glad she wasn’t hurt. I am anxiously awaiting details!

    • WSB January 25, 2011 (5:57 pm)

      Apparently, but I’m still working to confirm the scope. I’ll be at the Blockwatch Captains Network meeting at the precinct in a bit and will expect to find out more there too – TR

  • cjboffoli January 25, 2011 (6:08 pm)

    I wonder if they are alluding to the attacks that happened in Coleman and Seward parks later last year. Seems to be the same M.O.

    • WSB January 25, 2011 (6:09 pm)

      I’ve already asked Capt. Paulsen that. Too soon to say but in his case, he is specifically referring to past West Seattle incidents.

  • Beth January 25, 2011 (6:14 pm)

    I want a description of this @€€{%||. I walk this park every week. I was there the day before this happened. Do you know shen police are releasing further details?

  • marty January 25, 2011 (6:23 pm)

    Good job! No matter how fast you think you are you can’t outrun a cell phone.

  • DK January 25, 2011 (7:02 pm)

    Thank you WSB for being so on top of these things — for all of us that run/walk/etc. in and around Lincoln Park frequently this is disturbing to hear about at any time of day but particularly at 3:50 in the afternoon in broad daylight. So very glad to hear the jogger was able to escape & SPD was able to find the perpetrator.

  • wapisk January 25, 2011 (7:56 pm)

    Well done Southwest officers, and the woman for getting away safely. I walked my dogs there today at 4:30, I had no idea anything was up. Though I think this attack very strange, such a public trail out in the open that’s usually so busy that time of day.

  • WS fan January 25, 2011 (7:56 pm)

    This is incredible. I walk Lincoln Beach almost everyday. I haven’t decided what actions I need to take; but we need more police presence here; and everywhere. It might not hurt to fine all the dog owners who let their dogs run loose on the trail and on the beach at the same time. This would add to the city coffer so they could protect us from stalkers and dogs!

  • anonymous January 25, 2011 (8:07 pm)

    This sounds very much like what happened to me about 3 years ago at Lincoln Park. Do you have any contact numbers that I could call to check in with SPD (if they don’t check in with me first)?

  • J D January 25, 2011 (8:10 pm)

    I was actually there at that time, I’m wondering what the guy looks like. Nobody “strange” was there that I noticed? That is even creepier to me!

    • WSB January 25, 2011 (9:00 pm)

      Anon – I’m guessing this was your case, then …
      I would suggest contacting the Sexual Assault Unit, which SPD says is handling this. If you can’t find a number for them directly, call the main SPD number downtown.
      JD – the person I quoted whose son saw the arrest remembers only that the guy was wearing green jogging pants. The old court docs I have downloaded don’t include info on his appearance and, five years later, that might not be accurate anyway. – TR

  • the jogger January 25, 2011 (8:16 pm)

    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, its the only reason they were able to catch him. I called within seconds of it happening.

  • Alki resident January 25, 2011 (8:18 pm)

    This guy sounds like a major creeper,and he”s a local resident.Please publish his name asap,have a feeling they”ll find more if they search his home.

  • k January 25, 2011 (8:18 pm)

    Good work Officers!
    And to the victim– excellent job!!

  • neighbor lady January 25, 2011 (8:26 pm)

    I run regularly at Lincoln Park, and I keep to midday hours and the larger trails because I thought that was safe. I hadn’t heard of previous incidents. Do you have any more info? I’m glad this woman was able to escape. My thoughts are with her.

  • thistle stair January 25, 2011 (8:41 pm)

    Please publish his address so my wife can avoid his house on her walk from Fauntleroy and Rose to work at the hall. Me thinks he will be moving soon though

  • iml January 25, 2011 (8:52 pm)

    Three strikes and your out. Seems like he has had a few chances to get his act together.

  • DownTheStreet January 25, 2011 (9:48 pm)

    Noticed a couple news trucks in the LP parking lot around 9pm. Is that standard procedure or is this turning into a bigger deal?

    • WSB January 25, 2011 (10:04 pm)

      DTS – this was published on the citywide SPD Blotter about an hour after we got word of it – so that made it a citywide deal, plus as far as I can tell it’s been a pretty slow day (aside from local angles on State of the Union-viewing) … That aside, random attacks of any kind, especially in a popular city park, would be news. The fact the suspect might be responsible for multiple attacks, makes it pretty much slam-dunk TV fodder. There also are unsolved attacks at other city parks. (added) Well, I guess KING wasn’t one of the live trucks – that’s who I am watching, and it was just a “reader” with a map, no reporter. – TR

  • DownTheStreet January 25, 2011 (10:13 pm)

    Thx. Poor word choice on my part – didn’t mean to suggest its not a big deal.

  • Westside J. January 25, 2011 (10:29 pm)

    Good job officers! Be careful out there ladies.. Jog with a friend of you can. I’m the older brother to 3 sisters, I worry.

  • ad January 25, 2011 (10:51 pm)

    thistle stair – Am I missing the info that states that he lives nearby?

  • yikes January 25, 2011 (11:00 pm)

    Thanks for the astoundingly good coverage, WSB, and for a providing a forum for our community. It helps!

    Jogger, I am glad you are okay! Please watch for signs of PTSD… *hugs*

  • Yardvark January 25, 2011 (11:09 pm)

    Thanks to the jogger and the police for reacting so quickly. You’ve kept all the rest of us safe from that weirdo!

  • Beth January 25, 2011 (11:33 pm)

    And, his description? I don’t care where he lives (he won’t last there long), but, I do want to know what he looks like, so I can make sure to call 911 or avoid him on my walks throughout the park… ALL parts of the park, given it is my RIGHT to do so safely & without worry.

  • Jana January 26, 2011 (3:59 am)

    Be aware of the registered sex offenders living in your neighborhood West Seattle through this wonderful free site.
    I have seen one of the guys listed, clean cut, handsome young guy, (not the “creepy stranger” look that you would expect) in my neighborhood walk by my home several times the past couple of years and he had his eye on my children. There are photos, descriptions of offenses, maps with their place of residence marked etc.

    Be on guard!!!

  • Paul January 26, 2011 (4:52 am)

    All I want to know is Name and Description please

  • T-Rex January 26, 2011 (8:23 am)


    Good thinking on the publishing the website address. Be aware that yes, some sex offenders do have the creepy look but most do not. That is why they are able to get away with it, sometimes for years. You always hear someone say “Wow, he was a really nice guy, I would have never thought he was a child molester!”.
    Until these people are put away for life for their sexual crimes, we all have to look out for the kids and those who could fall prey to them.

  • Alki Girl January 26, 2011 (8:56 am)

    @Jana – thanks for posting the watchdog website to search for perverts/sex offenders.

    It sounds like this guy is a major woman hater with his previous conviction. People need to be very aware of their surroundings – no matter what time of day. I live next to the park and I always feel safe during the day but this incident is a good reminder to us all. I’m glad the jogger had the sense and ability to call 911. I can’t wait to see this guy’s mug and get him the hell out of WS.

  • Jeff January 26, 2011 (9:00 am)

    misdemeanor assault? Bet he doesn’t even do any time for it. Sickening.

  • dr January 26, 2011 (10:43 am)

    Unfortunately, guys like this rack up assualt charges and they’re not serious enough to keep them long. The reality is that this, luckily, stopped as an assualt charge only because the victim escaped. In all likeliness, this was probably an attempted rape, murder, kidnap or something a lot more severe than an assualt. Now when this man does in fact commit the more severe crime, people will look back on this instance and wonder why he was out on the streets.

    Two drunk college kids could get into a squabble at a bar and end up with the same charges that this man is getting. To me, this offense is cannot even be viewed as remotely similar. It was plotted attack.

  • Cb January 26, 2011 (10:57 am)

    I walk in Lincoln Park almost daily, and I am now wondering, if walking alone with my infant is safe…. I do walk with my cell phone and I will start carrying my pepper spray as well. This saddens me because this park is so lovely and we should all feel safe enjoying the beauty of nature so close to our homes.

  • anonymous January 26, 2011 (11:00 am)

    Thanks WSB. Yes, that was me. I contacted the southwest precinct last night but will contact the sexual assault unit today. I described him as being younger than 46, but, of course, that could be wrong.

  • Phil January 26, 2011 (11:54 am)

    Shoulda shot em, ya shot the wood caver!
    Theres court costs but, Whats a bullet cost these days?

  • Phil January 26, 2011 (11:56 am)

    Heck with the cell phone, lets see him out run a bullet!

  • Born To Be Mild January 26, 2011 (12:42 pm)

    Wonder if this guy was at the Admiral Pub on Christmas Eve?

  • CitizenR January 26, 2011 (8:29 pm)

    Anon, please contact the police! This person should not be free! Neither you or the “jogger” did anything wrong! You are both brave souls and I say God bless you both!!!

  • Shfy1 January 28, 2011 (10:14 am)

    just a thought about him ‘not lasting long’ or ‘moving soon’…it only means he gains the aninimity to start all over again, smarter, savvey-er. and with his new skill level may be able to attain a more hoorific goal. NO, lets deal with it here. STOP it from getting worse, not push it off on some unsuspecting jogger in Oregon, or Arizona…or wherever he would run to.

Sorry, comment time is over.