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Police searching for suspect after W. Seattle woman attacked in Delridge neighborhood

KOMO-TV Seattle 8/17/2022 KOMO News Staff
© Provided by KOMO-TV Seattle

Police on Tuesday were searching for a suspect after a woman was sexually assaulted Monday evening in a West Seattle neighborhood, authorities said.

Officers responded around 6 p.m. to the Delridge neighborhood after receiving a report of an injured woman. 

Residents in the area, located near SW Juneau Street and 26th Avenue SW, have reported several crimes this year and last.

Officers and a K9 team scoured the area for the culprit but were not able to find the man, who was said to be wearing a black Air Jordan hooded sweatshirt, a yellow medical mask, black athletic shorts and slide sandals.

A woman who lives in the area told KOMO New she was on her front porch and heard the victim screaming Monday and then saw her in the street not far from her home.

She said the woman was so distraught that she stayed with her at the scene while police investigated. She said she accompanied the victim to the hospital.

"It was awful, just awful," the neighbor said on condition of anonymity. 

Two men who were walking their dog in the neighborhood Tuesday said they scared the attacker away.

“We absolutely interrupted it and scared him off," one of the men said, adding that they found the attacker on top of the woman in a clearing on the side of the road and as they approached, he took off into the woods.

Seattle police said in a written statement that officers searched the area with a K9 unit but did not find the man.

"My neighbors are all trying to cope as best they can they are all at their wits end, " said Susan, who lives nearby and referred to a rash of crime in the area that includes vandalism, theft, fire and drug crimes.

Caption: Police said a woman out walking was assaulted in a{{ }} West Seattle neighborhood.

She estimates the trouble began shortly after the pandemic. 

Residents had been dealing with a problematic homeless encampment until recently that appeared aound the time COVID hit.

 The encampment was cleared in July following a fire. Prior to that, a homeless man was shot and killed in June while inside the encampment.

A defendant has been charged in that homicide.

Neighbors such as Susan said they were feeling a sense of relief once the encampment was removed but were then stunned by the assault and attack on the woman.

She said she and a group of her neighbors are talking regularly, strategies next steps and calling on city leaders to help.

"I love the neighbors (and) I love this neighborhood," Susan said. "I’ve thought about moving often. I thought about it again last night (and) I don't know how much more I can take."

She said she heard the sirens Monday night and went to the scene to witness her neighbor helping the victim. 

"I wanted to give her privacy as a woman," Susan said. "I was shocked, horrified, scared and outraged because it happened in our neighborhood and it needs to stop."

According to neighbors, police were at the scene until 10 p.m. while searching for the suspect.

Jerry, who lives on the street where the assault happened, said he recognized the woman because she regularly walks in the neighborhood. He now has fears about those close to him being attacked.

"I worry about my wife and daughter," he said, adding that his 17-year-old daughter and wife won't feel safe using the nearby trails. "I'd like to see my neighborhood back to the way it was not (the way) it is! One thing we like about it is it's not all white guys. it's a mixed neighborhood of all different races and immigrants and people."

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