Police: Man’s crime spree included throwing toddler, pushing women into Lake Washington

SEATTLE — Police arrested a man on Monday whom officers said threw a toddler, kicked a jogger to the ground, pushed two women into Lake Washington and punched a man in the face.

KIRO 7 obtained a Department of Corrections mugshot of the man, who is identified as Chaz Butler. Prosecutors said he has a violent past and a conviction for assault.

The first incident was reported at 11:25 a.m. Monday, when three women were taking pictures at a lookout on the lakeside walking trail on Marsh Island near the Montlake Cut.

Police said a man tried to grab one of the women’s phones from her hand. She held on and struggled, and when one of her friends tried to protect her, the man pushed the friend into Lake Washington.

He then ran up the trail and the woman was pulled out of the lake by her friends.

Police said that minutes later, a woman called 911 to report a man came up behind her and her 18-month-old daughter on that same trail, grabbed the child by the hood of her jacket, lifted her up and tossed her to the side of the trail, which caused the frightened child to scream and cry.

When the woman tried to go to her daughter, the man grabbed the woman by the front of her jacket and pushed her into the lake before he walked away.

A witness reported seeing the man walking north across the Montlake Bridge toward the University of Washington. Seattle police notified the University of Washington Police Department. UWPD investigators said they recognized the man’s description as someone who had been in the UW Medical Center earlier that morning and threw water on an employee before running away.

UWPD provided surveillance footage of the man as the search continued.

Shortly before 1 p.m., emergency dispatchers began receiving reports of an attack in progress in the 12300 block of 30th Avenue Northeast in the Lake City neighborhood. Police said a man had run up behind a woman who was jogging and used his leg to sweep her legs out from under her, causing her to fall forward onto the pavement.

When a man in his car saw what happened and got out to help, the attacker punched him several times in the face and head, according to Seattle police.

As Seattle officers started to arrive, the victims pointed out the man, who was running away. Officers ran after him, arrested him, and realized he matched the description of the man in the Montlake attacks.

The 33-year-old Butler was booked into King County Jail for investigation of multiple felonies including robbery, assault of a child, and attempted abduction of a child. Police also requested charges for multiple counts of misdemeanor assault.

Prosecutors are asking a judge to hold Butler on $150,000 bail, arguing he’s a danger to the community.