SEATTLE – Seattle Police want you to be on the lookout for a man who they say assaulted one — perhaps more — women outside their apartments in the past two months.
Police say he’s a white man in his late 20s or 30s with strawberry blonde hair. They’re describing him as a ‘hipster.’ It may be the same man caught in surveillance video walking into an Elliott Avenue apartment right after his alleged victim.
You can see a woman heading inside with a shopping bag and then a strange man catches the door and follows her. Seattle Police say the suspect later grabs the woman and throws her to the ground. A neighbor on the same floor heard the struggle and intervened.
“If you feel you’re being followed, you have that sense, go where there’s a lot of people and you’re screaming and you’re not sure,” said Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound’s Myrle Carner.
The first attacker may be the same man seen in a sketch. Police say six weeks after the first attack, the man was following a woman home off E. Terrace Street at 11th Avenue just two weeks ago.
“She just said I heard footsteps coming quick. Next thing she knows she’s on the ground and he’s reaching to pull her pants off,” said Carner.
Then someone driving by noticed the struggle.
“A van pulls up with a couple ladies in it. They honk the horn enough to distract the suspect. He looks up and they yell at the victim are you alright? And she says no! And at this point the suspect gets up and takes off,” said Carner.
Both women were being followed and both were grabbed from behind. Self-defense instructor Ben Olmsted says in that case, protect your neck.
“Once you feel the choke come around you’ve got to drop your center of gravity, get low and then grab the elbow and pull that elbow into your chest. Pull down on it this way into your chest and you’re going to be fighting to get your chin down so that I don’t start collapsing your chordates,” said Olmsted.
Olmsted teaches people how to fight back at Insights Training Center. Police say the woman attacked on April 17 off E. Terrace Street screamed, scratched and fought.
“When the fight’s on, there’s no more decision-making. You’re fighting to end the fight. You don’t want to stick around and find out what’s going to happen next,” said Olmsted.
The next step in these cases is that police want your help to get this man or these men off the street.
“The aggressive behavior…it isn’t like he’s trying be behind bushes. He’s not in a park. He’s in broad daylight right out in the open and he attacks this gal,” said Carner.
If you know the name of the person in the surveillance video or photos, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS for up to $1,000 reward.