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Police: Woman raped in Ballard dealership’s bathroom

Seattle police are looking to balance long-term solutions to homeless and safety. (MyNorthwest photo)

A woman was raped in the bathroom of a Ballard car dealership after police say a homeless man followed her and locked the door.

According to Seattle Police, the woman took her car in to the dealership on Monday. The woman was reportedly in a stall in the bathroom when the suspect entered and broke down the door.

Police say the 24-year-old suspect raped her and dealership employees couldn’t get in because the door was locked.

The manager of the dealership, who asked to just be referred to by her first name, Jennifer, told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson that several employees and a customer broke into the bathroom and detained the alleged rapist.

“That something like this happened is just awful and unnecessary, and at some point something has to be done about our challenges here in Seattle,” Jennifer said through tears.

The man later admitted to following the woman into the bathroom and raping her. The woman was taken to Ballard Swedish hospital.

“Right now, our thoughts are with the customer who was assaulted,” said Jennifer.

As an eight-year resident of Ballard, Jennifer said that she is incredibly sad to see what has happened to her neighborhood and wants politicians to address the rampant crime.

“At some point, this has to become a top priority,” she said. “And the challenges that these businesses and homeowners face in all of Puget Sound is incredibly challenging … Something has to give, something has to change.”

KIRO 7 reporter Amy Clancy said that the case, which was filed at about 10:30 a.m. on Monday, did not appear on SPD’s blotter that day, the same day as the Seattle City Council’s head tax vote.

“I don’t know if there was any nefarious reasoning here, or anything motivated by that, I don’t know if it has anything to do with the head tax,” said Clancy.

The suspect, whose address in the report is listed as 99999 Homeless Street, Seattle, had an outstanding warrant for breaking into a Magnolia home in August 2016.

“The problem is, it’s easy to live under the radar,” said Clancy. “Here’s a guy who had a warrant for his arrest on a break-in and burglary issue in Magnolia, but how do you find somebody who has a warrant for their arrest if they’re homeless, if they’re not reporting to anybody, if they’re not providing their identification?”

SPD has told Clancy that it will not go through homeless camps and look for people with outstanding warrants.

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