SEATTLE -- A woman who survived a violent sexual assault in Ballard is pointing the finger at city leaders after a homeless man attacked her in a bathroom.
Lindsey had dropped off her car for service at Carter Volkswagen on Leary Way in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood the morning of May 14, 2018. The dealership building was under construction and she was in the dealership's temporary bathroom when a man barged in.
"He grabbed me by my throat and my shoulder and he threw me down on the ground in front of the handicapped stall and we fought for several minutes," Lindsey said in an interview with documentary filmmaker Christopher Rufo.
"During the sexual assault, he said, 'You want this,' and he said, 'God wants this.' And I thought to myself that I didn't want to die and I didn't want to die on a linoleum trailer bathroom floor."
Employees from the car dealership heard the attack and rushed to the bathroom. The door was locked but Lindsey managed to unlock it and escape. Two dealership employees held down the man until police arrived.
The man, 24-year-old Christopher Teel, was charged with rape and unlawful imprisonment. According to court documents, he admitted to raping Lindsey. His trial begins in May.
The King County Prosecutor's Office said Teel said he had been in Seattle since 2016. At the time of his arrest, he had a $5,000 bench warrant out of Seattle Municipal Court after he failed to appear for a hearing for alleged trespassing.
Lindsey said it was troubling when she found out her alleged attacker already had a warrant for his arrest and was living in a city-approved Ballard homeless encampment.
"I think we need to all acknowledge what we're doing isn't working -- what we're doing right now is actually harming the city," Lindsey said.
The following is a statement sent to Q13 News from Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan's Office:
This incident was a horrific event, and Mayor Durkan commends the courage of a survivor of sexual violence to speak out.
Ballard is and continues to be one of the focus areas for increased visibility and enforcement by SPD. Ballard has seen increased patrols and officer generated calls.
Last May, the Mayor’s Office convened a group of city leaders and neighborhood members to further discuss public safety in the area. The Mayor’s Office brought together Ballard businesses including Carter Subaru as well as the Seattle Police Department, the Human Services Department, and Seattle Parks. We continue to stay in close contact with the Ballard Alliance and other community members on a range of issues including public safety.
Recently, the Mayor and leaders from Seattle Police Department, including the North Precinct Captain, did a public safety neighborhood tour with businesses in the area. The Mayor and Chief Best will continue to prioritize public safety for residents and businesses across Seattle including additional enhanced enforcement and deploying of Community Service Officers, which will occur based on outreach and data.
According to the attorney for Carter Volkswagen, Lindsey has presented a claim to the dealership, which could result in a lawsuit.
You can view Lindsey's full interview here: