Police: Man crawled under bathroom stall to attack woman

by: Joanna Small and Casey McNerthney, KIRO 7 STAFF Updated:


Quick Facts: 

  • Voyeurism crawled under bathroom stall at Bellevue Hyatt, police said.
  • Woman sat on suspect's hand on toilet seat, police said.
  • Man is suspected, but not charged, with harassing other women there.
  • Suspect arrested after multi-agency alert.

A homeless man has been charged with voyeurism and assault after police say he sneaked into a women’s bathroom at the Bellevue Hyatt, crawled into a stall and grabbed a woman’s upper thigh.

“It appeared to the victim as though he was trying to grab her vagina area,” Senior Deputy Prosecutor Carla Carlstrom wrote in charging document summary. “The victim fled the restroom and got help but the defendant got away.”

On two other occasions at the Hyatt Hotel, the police received complaints of the suspect, Aqdas Altaf Hussain Malik, sexually harassing and acting sexually aggressive toward female customers. But he has only been charged in one incident.

Police said the incident that led to charges happened about 1:45 a.m. April 26. The victim, 25, was standing in the Hyatt atrium waiting for her friends and went to the women’s first floor restroom. She went into one of the stalls and locked it, and as she sat down police said she looked down to see the suspect.

Malik “reached up with his left hand and grabbed the back of (the victim’s) left thigh/buttock area,” Detective Ellen Inman wrote in a probably cause document. The woman “ended up sitting on the suspect’s hand on the toilet seat.”

The woman screamed and ran for help.

Malik fled the stall and ran toward the bathroom door – and the victim chased after him, prosecutors said.

“She screamed at him and hit him on his back with her hands as she ran after him,” Inman wrote. The woman then told hotel security and reported seeing him on a staircase.

Police collected security video from the Hyatt and found footage of Malik on the staircase, according to court documents. A bulletin with pictures of him was distributed to Bellevue officers and detectives.

"I'm actually pretty shocked,” Jean Lewis, who works around the corner from the hotel, told KIRO 7 on Tuesday. "I have clients over here, and I actually take clients to lunch so that would be pretty disturbing to have one of my clients in a restroom and have something like that happen."

The following month, about 2:20 a.m. on May 18, two Bellevue detectives working off duty at the Hyatt contacted a man who they said was sexually harassing another woman there. That man identified himself as Malik, and the detectives thought he looked like the man in the bulletin. Malik was given a warning, but was not arrested.

A week later on May 25, one of the same detectives was again working off duty and received several complaints about Malik harassing women at a Hyatt bar. Malik was not arrested but prohibited from returning to Lincoln Square, the Bellevue Collection and the Hyatt.

Inman, the detective in the voyeurism case, requested Malik’s department of licensing photo and created a photo montage.

“I recognized Hussain Malkik as being the male suspect depicted in the surveillance video from the Hyatt,” she wrote. On June 4, the victim in the voyeurism incident identified Malik from the photo lineup.

But Bellevue police could not easily find him – the address Malik gave was not valid, and he was not at his job. A bulletin was sent to nearby police agencies saying there was probable cause to arrest him.

On June 9, Kirkland police contacted Inman saying that Malik had been transported to Evergreen Hospital after he got drunk and injured himself. He was arrested in jail.

Malik initially denied going into a woman’s restroom, but later told police “he frequently gets intoxicated and it is possible that he went into the wrong bathroom,” Inman wrote.

Asked why he would crawl under a bathroom staff if he accidentally went into the wrong bathroom, Malik allegedly responded that it “must have been a mistake,” and that “maybe I dropped something.”

His criminal history includes convictions for second-degree criminal trespass, and a conviction for patronizing a prostitute, theft and fourth-degree assault.

He remains in the King County jail on $100,000 and has not yet had an arraignment.

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