King County prosecutors have charged a 20-year-old man with assault for following a woman he didn’t know into the Westin in downtown Seattle and attacking her outside her hotel room.
The incident happened between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Thursday. Court documents state that the suspect, Patrick Hunter Brooks, got on the elevator with the victim and other hotel guests. The other guests got off on lower floors, police said, and soon the woman, identified only as A.L., was alone on the elevator with Brooks.
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Officers said he followed her off the elevator on the 14th floor and she hesitated, sensing something was wrong. She did not enter her hotel room, and when she looked at the suspect, officers said Brooks attacked her.
Documents state that she “began to struggle very hard” and he “pulled her pants zipper down.” She “began to scream very loud[ly]. A.L. rolled around to try and free herself from the suspect,” police stated, and “the suspect put both of his hands on her neck to choke [her].”
Fortunately, officers said, a guest staying in one of the hotel rooms heard her screams and ran out to the hallway, yelling for the suspect to get off her.
“It’s crazy,” Westin visitor Christina Harris said. “It’s very scary.”
“Very surprising,” Westin visitor Julie Hildebrand said. “The hotel seems like it’d be a great hotel.”
Records state Brooks moved to Washington state a month ago from Virginia and has no community ties, no job, and no known address. According to police, Brooks said that a “Bot on Facebook told him that he could do anything with no consequences.” He said his intent in attacking the woman was “to make her feel alive.”
Six months ago, KIRO 7 reported on how convention planners complained to Visit Seattle about public urination, drug use, and people having mental health crises downtown.
“We're concerned if the problems were to become worse -- more prolific, that could affect our business,” Senior Vice President of Public Affairs David Blandford said, “that conventions could either cancel or threaten not to come back again.”
Visit Seattle did not answer KIRO 7’s questions about what changes have happened since then. The Mayor’s Office also did not respond to those questions.
Some tourists, though, said they felt mostly safe in Seattle.
“Personally, I don't want to see more security in hotels than what I already see visible with the staff that are present,” Diane Erickson, who stayed at the Westin last week, said.
“We were just in San Francisco,” Mark Connal said. “It's kind of the same thing everywhere… downtown I don’t feel insecure at all.”
Julie Hildebrand said as a woman traveling alone, she takes steps to stay alert and cautious in all situations.
“I have to be alert even with my Uber drivers,” she said, “and just walking down the street. So I’m aware of my surroundings at all times, anywhere I go. I don’t care how safe the city is.”
Prosecutors said Brooks presents a significant threat to the community if released. He’s being held on $300,000 bail and is scheduled for arraignment on Dec. 17.
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