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Woman sexually assaulted in parking garage near Swedish, Seattle U — UPDATE: SPD report

Seattle University campus security issued this bulletin about an ugly incident reported early this morning. While not technically on the Hill, we wanted to get word out.

At approximately 6 A.M. on Friday, December 11, 2009 the SU Department of Public Safety (DPS) monitored Seattle Police response to a reported sexual assault, which possibly involved the use of a hand gun. The assault was reported in the parking garage located on private property, at the 600 Broadway Building adjacent campus (SW corner of 10th & E. Cherry). The woman victim reported the male assailant had very dark skin, was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt with a dark ski mask. The suspect was last seen running northbound from the garage. SPD searched the area and DPS searched all campus garages, parking lots, and main campus areas. No person matching the description was located.  DPS staffs are currently on, and will continue to be on, campus wide emphasis patrols.

Seattle Fire Department spokesperson Dana Vander Houwen confirmed that emergency personnel treated a 35-year-old woman at the location but could not provide more information on her condition. Vander Houwen said the woman was not transported by SFD to the hospital.

SPD has posted a brief on the incident:

Detectives investigating sexual assault on Broadway
On December 11th at approximately 5:55 am,  East Precinct officers responded to a call of a sexual assault in a parking garage located in the 600 Block of Broadway Avenue.  Officers arrived and contacted the female victim, who stated that she had been attacked by an unknown male sometime between 5:30 and 5:45 am.  The suspect is described as an unknown age dark skinned black male, 6′ tall, with a muscular build.  He was wearing a grey sweatshirt (hoodie) with the hood up.  He was also wearing a dark ski mask and black, lace up boots.  The suspect implied that he had a gun.  The suspect then fled the area after the attack. 

The victim was transported to the hospital where she is receiving medical treatment.  Detectives from the Sexual Assault Unit and the CSI Unit responded to the scene to investigate and search for evidence.  This is an active and on-going investigation.  If/when any surveillance footage or a suspect sketch becomes available, we will release this material publicly.

While there is nothing that the victim could have done differently to prevent this crime, we ask citizen to continue to be aware of their surroundings at all times, to be aware of their surroundings and to trust their instincts.  If  a situations doesn’t seem right, remove yourself from it immediately.  Report ALL suspicious activity to 911.  For additional personal safety measures, please visit our Safety and Prevention page at

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6 thoughts on “Woman sexually assaulted in parking garage near Swedish, Seattle U — UPDATE: SPD report

  1. I’ve got family that work at Swedish and attend SU(as did I) so this hits especially close to home. Of course, it’s unfortunate anywhere it happens. We have to nip this in the bud, community.

  2. First and foremost, I truly appreciate you posting this story- it is incredibly important for people to be aware of what is happening in their own neighborhood.
    However, I have one small request to make in regards to this story and others like it, being a domestic abuse/sexual assault advocate, it always stings a bit to hear the term ‘victim’. That word choice (though common and typical in crime coverage) implies a weakness on the side of the person being attacked, when in reality, it is those that report these crimes and come out with their stories that are anything but ‘weak’. For this reason, advocates have become accustomed to using the term ‘survivor’ (which I believe truly encompasses the situation), and ask others to do the same.

    It is a small request, but an important one nonetheless.

    Thank you!

  3. I appreciate the sentiment but this is not an editorial path I want to go down. I respect this woman and I don’t want anybody to think otherwise if I happen to use the word victim in coverage. To be very straightforward with you, I try to write around using that word in coverage as much as possible. But that can be a challenge when dealing with multiple unnamed characters in an article.

  4. Where is the love for First Hill? First you try and steal our SLUT and now you make us all look like a bunch of rapists.

    I’ve lived on the wrong side of pine for the past 10 years and always thought I was part of the hood. Am I not? Seriously, First Hill is closer to Pike/Pine that most of “Capitol Hill”.

    I hereby declare that from this point forward this blog shall be known as the Capitol Hill AND First Hill blog. Does anyone second the motion?

    I will even cover the First Hill beat for you. Did you know that they just opened an optometrist in the exciting retail shops of the new Harborview building? (I scooped you!)

  5. I’d love to cover First Hill more closely and definitely will give important news coverage as I can. It would be very helpful to have some help on the beat, however. Deserves its own site. Let me know if you’d like to help run a First Hill Seattle news site