SPD: Second woman attacked near Green Lake

SEATTLE — UPDATE: Seattle Police announced Monday they received a call from another woman who was attacked near Green Lake just over a week ago. The victim came forward to report she'd been groped after she heard Maria Ball had fought off an attacker who groped her as she ran along Ravenna Boulevard near I-5 early Friday morning.

"My heart goes out to her," said Ball. "It is not something that is easy to handle on your own."
Ball said she was groped by a man around 6:45 a.m. Friday as she ran along Ravenna Boulevard. 
"I'll never forget him coming behind me and grabbing me," said Ball.

“For this woman to be attacked in the way she was is outrageous and want to make sure we’re doing our job as a police department to hold the person who did it accountable,” said SPD Sgt. Sean Whitcomb.

KIRO 7 spoke with women in the area who said being attacked by a stranger in this neighborhood had never crossed their minds.
"I'm scared and I'm worried that women are still not, like, safe," said Llevo Esquerra, who lives nearby.

"I carry pepper spray sometimes, not usually in areas like this, but maybe I will now,” said Megan Manson, who came to the area to exercise.

Police said they haven’t identified a suspect or made any arrests. Investigators ask anyone with a similar story or who might have witnessed either attack to contact the police department.

“I feel more empowered,” said Ball. “To speak out about this so other people become more aware so that this doesn’t happen to them.

Seattle Police are investigating the groping incidents and are working to determine if they are connected. They ask anyone who might have witnessed either attack or is someone has home video, to contact the police department.

“We now have two cases which may be linked. Anyone with information about either case, or has a similar situation they were concerned about but didn’t report to use, we want to hear from them.” said Sgt. Whitcomb.

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Previous Coverage: Maria Ball was running along Ravenna Boulevard around 6:45 a.m. Friday when she was attacked. She says a man came up behind her on the sidewalk, close to where the road passes under I-5, and grabbed her chest and crotch.

Ball, 26, screamed and fought back.

"He grabbed me from behind and all I knew in that moment was this is not right this is not okay. Scream, do something you need to get help, you need to get help," remembered Ball.

She threw back her elbows striking the attacker, and says he ran off. Neighbors came outside and called 9-1-1.

Ball is telling her story to warn other runners.

She says she got away because of a self defense class she took last year. "I went to this class thinking I'm never going to need these skills. I'm doing this to be a supportive friend. This morning, if I had not gone to that class, I probably would not be alive," said Ball.

Ball says she saw the man on the other side of the street, near a homeless encampment, when she ran by on her way to Ravenna Park around 6:25 a.m. When she turned around and headed back to Green Lake she thinks he was waiting for her on the other side of the street.

The police report became accessible to the Seattle Police Department media unit Friday night. A spokesperson told KIRO 7 any connection between the attack and the homeless encampment would be speculative.

Ball is a member of a Green Lake Running Group and posted about the attack to warn runners.

Seattle police are investigating and suggested the victim warn her running group.

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