5:51 PM: Neighbors gathered at the awareness event regarding the North Delridge rape just broke out in applause at this news: SPD tweeted that they’ve arrested a suspect, an 18-year-old man, in Everett. More when we get it.
ADDED 7:42 PM: No additional information yet about the suspect, and SPD tells us they’re not expecting to have anything more to say tonight. Meantime, more than 30 people had gathered at Cottage Grove Park by the time small groups started fanning out into the neighborhood with teal balloons – for sexual-assault awareness – and flyers.
They hoped to reach neighbors who hadn’t yet heard about Monday evening’s attack, but they also wanted to be respectful of the victim’s privacy – they hadn’t spoken with her yet – so the advocacy was relatively low-key. One organizer said that just to see so much community support was heartening,
They shared stories and concerns as they prepared the balloons before heading out, One woman told us she had just been on the SW Graham stairs from High Point minutes before the victim, and apparently her attacker, traveled the same route. She said she’d been followed just months ago and hasn’t “felt safe in the area for a long time.” But she found hope in neighbors talking with each other.
One man circulated a petition with a letter he said he planned to send City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, inviting her to meet with the community on September 10th. He said he’d never seen things so bad in the neighborhood in the 36 years he’d lived there. And while an organizer expressed appreciation that two SPD officers had stopped by, she said the true power will be in neighbors banding together. “What you guys are doing is one of the most important things a community can do.”