By Casey McNerthney
February 12, 2013
Seattle Police released this sketch Tuesday of the man suspected of sexually assaulted a woman walking home from Northgate Mall the night of Feb. 8. Police say they have not linked all four recent sexual assault cases in North Seattle. Anyone with information is asked to call 911.
Seattle Police released a sketch of a North Seattle sexual assault suspect Tuesday afternoon, but detectives said they had not linked the four attacks that have happened in the area since Feb. 8.
This suspect is wanted for the sexual assault of a woman who was walking home Friday night from Northgate Mall.
In the most recently reported case, a woman walking home from from Leny's Place, a bar at 2217 N. 56th St., and noticed a man watching her.
"She then noticed that the same man appeared to be following her from a distance," Detective Jeff Kappel said in a statement. "She began to pick up her pace to a slow jog as she made her way along the sidewalk in the 4700 block of Thackeray Avenue Northeast. She turned to see where the suspect was and within seconds was tackled from behind and knocked to the ground. "
The suspect tried to pin the woman, but she screamed loudly and resisted, repeatedly punching and kicking the man, Kappel said.
"The suspect did not try to take her purse nor did it appear to the victim that this was a robbery," Kappel said. "The suspect eventually abandoned his efforts due to the resistance offered by the victim and ran away."
The woman didn't report the incident until Monday at 4:23 p.m., police said. The victim suffered minor injuries to her wrist, elbow and knee during the assault. She didn't seek medical attention.
The woman described the suspect as a thin white man in his late 20s, 5-foot-9, and 160 pounds with short brown hair. He was last seen wearing a red plaid shirt and blue jeans.
"While nothing indicates that this suspect is responsible for any other recent attacks, investigators are looking into that possibility," Kappel said.
The incident near Leny's is at least the fourth such assault since Feb. 8.
Previous North Seattle sexual assaults
The first case happened about 7 p.m. Feb. 8 as a woman was walking home from Northgate Mall. A man pulled the woman into a weeded area.
"The victim fought with the man as he sexually assaulted her," Det. Renee Witt said in a statement. "The suspect finally ended the ordeal by running away. The victim managed to walk home, where her roommate called police."
She received treatment at Harborview Medical Center, and sexual assault detectives responded to the scene.
Police said that attacker is a white man in his 20s with light-colored hair in a buzz cut. He had "medium" height and a thin build, and the victim described him as looking "methy" with very bad teeth, sunken eyes and a wiry build.The sexual assault happened near First Avenue Northeast and Northeast 117th Street.
The second case happened shortly before 8 p.m. Sunday in Greenwood when a woman was walking home from Fred Meyer. She was in the 8500 block of Fremont Avenue North when a man in a white van pulled up next to her and said hi.
"This male then exited the van and got behind the female, he attempted to force her into the van," Witt said. "While doing so he pulled a black ski mask down over his face. The woman fought frantically and was able to resist and free herself. The Hispanic male got back in the van and fled the scene with a second Hispanic male driving away eastbound. The victim called 911."
Police initially said the man was alone and had pulled the woman into his van. Investigators think the van left northbound on Fremont Avenue North.
The woman called 911 and suffered minor scrapes to and scratches to her hands, Witt said. Several officers searched the area, but could not find the suspects. Witt asked that anyone with information about the incident call 911.
Investigators said the van had the letters "XYF" spray painted in red on one side, but they did not give a make or model. Police also did not release the suspects' approximate height or build.
The third reported case happened about 6:30 a.m. Monday at Green Lake. A woman runner was attacked by a man who pulled her form the path into bushes near Wallingford Avenue North and Green Lake Drive North.
The woman fought back and broke free, and the attacker ran to the north. A cyclist who saw the suspect tried to follow him, but lost track. The woman was frightened, but not physically injured.
Police said the suspect is a white man, possibly in his 20s, either 5-foot-7 or 5-foot-8 with a medium build and short brown hair. He wore a dark hooded sweatshirt or jacket.
Department alerts block watch captains
Monday afternoon, about two hours before the attack near Leny's Place was reported, Seattle Police North Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Terrie Johnston sent an e-mail to block watch captains and similar contacts.
"We wanted to notify you that there have been three separate sexually-motivated attacks on women across the North Precinct," Johnston wrote. "The descriptions of the suspect vary, as does neighborhood, time of day and day of the week. The common threads have been that the women were either walking or running by themselves, and were approached by an unknown male. Two of the incidents occurred next to wooded areas.
"SPD Patrol officers and Detectives are doing all they can to identify and apprehend the suspect(s). I will keep you informed of our progress. In the meantime, please review these personal safety tips."