A man hid in the ladies' bathroom of the King County Courthouse in Seattle on Thursday, and assaulted a female defense attorney when she entered, police said.
The Seattle Police Department told Q13 FOX the suspect attempted to rape the woman when she walked into the restroom, which was just a few feet away from officers.
The attorney screamed for help during the attack, and officers rushed to her aid. The Seattle Police Department's Sexual Assault Unit interviewed the 35-year-old suspect, who was arrested. Detectives said the suspect is under Washington State Department of Corrections supervision.
In reaction to the assault of the attorney – the latest in a string of incidents – King County Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn wrote a letter to Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and County Executive Dow Constantine demanding action.
"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," Dunn wrote. "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."
Dunn went on to write that "this is not the first time someone has been assaulted in or near the courthouse," saying that "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," he added. "This fear is understandable and is absolutely unacceptable."
Dunn requested that the courthouse, "Administration Building, and Chinook Building be shut down except to 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."