KIRO 7 has learned of an arrest in a violent sexual assault and attempted kidnapping on-board a Metro bus in May.
Thirty six-year old transient Samuel Eugene Lawrence was arrested by King County Sheriff’s deputies just after noon Tuesday on a $100,000 warrant.
Lawrence is suspected of sexually assaulting a 23-year old intoxicated female bus passenger on board Metro coach No. 6100 about 4:20 a.m. May 6, officials say.
According to court documents, the bus was driving north on Pacific Highway South near 316th when the driver noticed "a commotion" and saw Lawrence pulling the woman to the rear of the bus.
In surveillance video obtained by KIRO 7, the woman can be heard saying “I really need help, I’m bleeding everywhere.”
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After allegedly assaulting the woman, Lawrence pulled the cord for the bus to stop, grabbed the victim's arms and hands and "threw her off the bus" then "tried to drag her away,” according to the incident report.
However, the surveillance video shows at least two passengers intervening to stop Lawrence.
Lawrence was arrested nearby and booked into the King County Jail at 6:16 a.m. that day, but released the following evening under the conditions he have no contact with witnesses or alleged victim, no new violations and must attend all court hearings.
According to King County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Ryan Abbott, the detective working the case didn't even know Lawrence was out of jail until he saw Lawrence mid-day Tuesday on Pacific Highway South in Federal Way, not far from where the alleged attack took place.
“So he just ran his name real quick and it came back with a $100,000 warrant for his arrest,” Sgt Abbott told KIRO 7.
Lawrence was booked into the King County again.
He’s been charged with one count of indecent liberties.
Meanwhile, this attack was not an isolated incident.
In 2017, there were more than 100 reports of sexual assaults on Metro passengers and drivers, which is why in April
King County launched an effort called "Report It To Stop It,” aimed at curbing attacks on-board Metro buses.
King County Metro general manager Rob Gannon said at the time, “We will not stand for any form of sexual misconduct on our system, not directed at our operators, not directed at our riders, not directed at our intended passengers.”
Since the "Report it to Stop It" campaign was launched, reports of bus assaults have gone up, according to Abbott who told KIRO 7, that’s a good thing.
“We want you to report these things to us,” Abbott said Tuesday. “We want to know what’s going on in our buses and transit systems, and we want to follow up on them.”
Lawrence, who’s identified as “transient” in police reports, has an extensive criminal history, with more than 50 arrests for criminal trespass, assault, malicious mischief and disorderly content.
According to charging documents, the state is “asking that the defendant not be allowed to ride public transit without an adult chaperone” if and when he gets out of jail.
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