Police search Interlaken Park after woman choked in attack — UPDATE

Seattle Police searched the Interlaken greenbelt Thursday afternoon after a woman reported being choked unconscious by an attacker as she walked near 21st Ave E and Interlaken Pl E.

The assault reported just before 3:30 PM drew a large SPD response to the area as medics were called to evaluate the victim reported to be a woman in her 50s. UPDATE: The victim in the incident is a 44-year-old area resident, CHS is told.

The woman told police she was walking in the area when she was approached by two black males. One of the suspects “choked the woman out” rendering her unconscious, according to East Precinct radio dispatches. We do not yet know if the attack involved a robbery. UPDATE 10/10/2014 9 AM: CHS has talked with a person with knowledge of the incident and confirmed that our account of the attack described here is correct and that one of the males may have been acting as a lookout. UPDATE 10/10/2014 11 AM: CHS has received a copy of the SPD report on the incident. A portion of the report has been added to the bottom of this post.

Police searched the greenbelt area of Interlaken and nearby streets for the suspects. One of the suspects was described as a black male, medium build, around 5’10” and wearing a maroon colored hoodie. The victim was not sure of the attacker’s age. The other male was described as a black male teen with a slender build, about 5’8″ with a lighter complexion and wearing an orange hoodie.

According to police radio, the victim was able to call 911 after the attack. We do not yet have information on any injuries she may have sustained. UPDATEKOMO is reporting that the woman told police she fought with her attacker “and both of them tumbled down a hill and into some bushes.” UPDATE 10/10/2014 9:05 AM: According to a person with knowledge of the details of the attack, KOMO’s depiction is not accurate. SPD said it is working on providing more details as soon as possible. UPDATE 10/10/2014 12:10 PM: KOMO has pulled down its story.

There were no immediate arrests.

UPDATE 10/10/2014 11:00 AM: Here is a portion of the SPD report on the incident which describes the victim’s account of the attack as she jogged through the park. The victim told police she does not believe the attack was sexually motivated and that she punched the male as they fell down the hillside. She told police the suspect didn’t say anything during the attack. According to police, the victim’s clothing was soiled with dirt and she had no visible signs of injury but medics were called as a precaution. Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 10.57.54 AM Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 10.58.08 AM

UPDATE 10/13/2014: Police continue to investigate this case but a department spokesperson tells CHS there is nothing new to report.

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33 thoughts on “Police search Interlaken Park after woman choked in attack — UPDATE

  1. It’s frustrating that I basically have to think like a racist to protect myself in Capitol Hill. Black kids walking towards me on the side walk, better cross the street! Black teen walking past me, better grip my phone a little tighter. See a black kid walking near the Volunteer Park, what the heck is he doing in a place like this–I should probably watch him, from a safe distance of course!

    I’m sad that I’m put in a position where those thoughts even cross my mind and, in some cases, seem like a reasonable response. But, I’m sadder for the black community, as its bullshit that such a small group is making daily life more difficult for them. A really specific example is that around 15th, there are a group of 3 or 4 black boys / teens that hang out, doing the regular things that boys do. I’m sure they already had to deal with sideways glances before this, but now, after a lady gets attacked in what is considered a safe, isolated area? They aren’t going to be able to walk down the street without a dozen pairs of eyes on them.

      • Random violence is a lot different than a group of criminals targeting a community. Unless you think the “thin black male” description that seems to be in every assault report is coincidence?

    • “See a black kid walking near the Volunteer Park, what the heck is he doing in a place like this”

      Maybe… he’s walking near the park like every other person of any race that might be walking near the park? What kind of statement is this?

      No you think like a racist because you are a racist, not because you are trying to “protect” yourself but whatever helps you sleep at night.

      “You” are not put in this position by some external force so stop blaming others for decisions you are making on your own accord.

      • If you think that makes someone a racist then you are reminiscing pattern recognition.
        Pattern recognition is a vital evolutionary trait without which you would not be alive.
        Stop this hippocritical nonsense and be what you are.
        Attacks like this are outrageous and the assailants should fear for their lives. Instead you’re focused on who’s “racist”.
        Pathetic!

  2. Well, at least this explains why I saw a bunch of cops at the east entrance of Interlaken yesterday around 4:30 or so as I finished my walk. It sucks that now we have to worry about being assaulted in our wonderful park, especially those of us who just go for walks by ourselves in daylight. And of course, now we’re going to be all hyper alert about any black kids that we see, which is unfair, but I personally am not going to be so politically correct that I don’t watch out for my own survival.

  3. I was attacked by a young Black man on Thomas between 17th and 18th. He must have been hiding in a stairway and ran up from behind and held me while he tugged on my bag. Took it and ran down alley. I do find myself tensing up when I am the only one on the street and there is any man walking. I do not go to the bus stop where young black men hang out on John and 22nd. There were reports of muggings there for cell phones.

    • That’s terrible Toni, when were you attacked? Date, time of day?

      I frequently walk alone by myself in the area. The reports of attacks are distressing.

      Yesterday morning I did see a black man on my walk and I instinctively crossed the street. Can’t explain why — and, having spent many years living in cities more ethnically diverse than Seattle, it’s certainly not a habit of mine to avoid *all* black men — but it seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

  4. Pingback: Attack in Interlaken Park

  5. A pack of black teens were robbing houses all over Capitol Hill and Montlake a few years ago. Cops kept catching them and letting them go because they were underage. It was a very frustrating time. Call the police if you see something suspect I did once when I saw a couple of African American kids acting sketchy on our block and the cops came found them, sent them off before they could do anything. Police called me later and told me I did the right thing they were definitely casing houses. We live in a growing city and crime will happen more and more, nothing wrong with being alert if it keeps you safe. No reason to post here and feel guilty about it. Do what you need to do.

  6. Do what you have to do to be safe an eff all the PC thinking. Browse through the crime section of this blog and draw your own conclusions.

  7. When I see a report that describes the assailant as an “unshaven light-skinned male wearing skinny jeans, a frumpy hoodie, and with an owl tattoo,” I’ll change my story.

    But have we EVER seen that story? It’s not profiling or racist when it’s fact.

  8. Racial minorities may be more likely to be caught/arrested. White people getting away with more crimes isn’t the same thing as white people not doing crimes. Also consider white collar crime.

    In general, racial profiling is not an effective safety measure. Safety measures can be applied regardless of race, gender, age, etc.

    • so what are effective strategies for protecting yourself as an older woman ( 50 ) that can be applied across the color spectrum of our population, such as…don’t go jogging alone…more – ? ?
      I once was approached by a young teenage girl who asked for a light
      while I was fishing something out of my truck. I don’t smoke so pointless to go any further with this ( I even knew what she was doing ), but hoping not to “hurt her feelings”, I did not lock the door of the truck immediately since I was on private property, behind a fence which she had crossed over. I wanted to allow them some dignity, so I didn’t even watch her and her friends from behind a window with the truck in full view…my reward for this ‘race neutral behavior’…? let me just say, that I will never !! let my tender feelings get in the way of cold reality again. Too bad if they feel discriminated against !!

  9. Let common sense prevail as opposed to being politically correct (read that: too afraid to say the truth). How am I supposed to recognize a supposed suspect in a crime if I don’t know the race of the person? Criminals can change their clothes (and in a hurry, they can dispose of whatever outer sweatshirt or shirt they may be wearing) so, if the police put out a description of the perpetrator of a crime, the height, weight and sex of the suspect is important but let’s face it, even if we don’t want to admit it and possess absolutely no racially-discriminatory inclinations, I want to know if the suspect was white, black, oriental or latino because that is an immediate identification marker. I know that that is going to upset a lot of people but for those who are getting ready to scream, please note that I included ALL races in my last sentence.

  10. I walk to and from work, First Hill to 23rd and Olive. I follow old time CD residents ideas: Walk in the middle of the street on any residential street where there are infrequent cars so you can’t get jumped as easily.
    I use a back pack so my hands are free. I keep one ear ear-bud free. I maintain awareness of who is around me. I carry pepper spray in my hand. AND I enjoy the hell out of walking and people watching, architecture watching, breathing the air. I get away from smokers and avoid walking behind someone who is smoking (can be hard to find that smoke free breath!) – Just be city smart. Duh.