SEATTLE - Seattle Police said they took one person into custody after a woman was attacked inside of a bathroom Thursday at the King County Courthouse.
Authorities said a woman went into the bathroom and found the 35-year-old man hiding inside.
Police said he assaulted her and the woman screamed for help while fighting him. A nearby sheriff's deputy heard the woman's cry for help and subdued the suspect.
The Seattle Police Department's Sexual Assault Unit was interviewing the suspect before booking him into King County Jail.
Detectives said the suspect is under Washington State Department of Corrections supervision.
The suspect just registered as a sex offender earlier this week for a previous conviction.
Per a memorandum of understanding, SPD handles felony investigations that happen inside the courthouse which is under King County Sheriff's Office jurisdiction.
This is not the first instance of an assault or crime occurring at or near the courthouse.
In response to the ongoing incidents, Vice Chair of the King County Council, Reagan Dunn, wrote the following letter to Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and County Executive Dow Constantine.
"Today’s sexual assault of an employee inside the King County Courthouse in Seattle is a testament to how unsafe not only City Hall Park has become, but the courthouse itself. We can no longer ignore or defer the dangerous environment that has surrounded our seat of government, and those who attempt to access our services. It is our duty as employers and leaders of the County to make sure that everyone working, accessing services, and seeking justice in all of these buildings are able to do so without fear for their own personal safety.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time someone has been assaulted in or near the courthouse. For years, employees, jurors, and the general public have endured strings of attacks in this area. This not only has caused a fear among the general public, it is also a main point of fear for many of our employees when discussing returning to the office after being virtual. This fear is understandable and is absolutely unacceptable.
This situation cannot endure. I am requesting that the Courthouse, Administration Building, and Chinook Building be shut down to all, except employees and people with necessary business, until the situation at City Hall Park can be adequately addressed, and we can ensure the safety of our employees. And once again, I renew my request for the immediate closure of City Hall Park and the danger it poses to our employee, residents, and the community."
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