Suspect arrested in random ‘blindside’ kick assaults on women

SEATTLE — Seattle police arrested a 19-year-old man in connection with two similar but random unprovoked assaults on two women last week.

After SPD released video of the two separate attacks to KIRO-7 Tuesday night, detectives said a viewer called 911 and identified the suspect, who was arrested and questioned Wednesday afternoon.

“I’ve never been so happy in my life,” said Tracy Roberts, a community volunteer and nurse said, standing over the spot at 4th Ave. and Blanchard St. where she was kicked by the suspect Thursday Dec 7, while she planted flower bulbs near a tree along the sidewalk. “I want to cry now,” she said. “I have not been emotional at all.”

Roberts suffered 10 fractures in her face in the assault, including her cheekbone, nose, sinus, and eye socket.

But she said the moment she learned a suspect had been arrested, she said her sense of relief was bigger than the pain.

“I feel OK to come back out here again,” she said. “I know that he’s not going to be walking by.”

Detectives believe the same suspect was seen in King County Metro surveillance video Wednesday, December 6. The video shows the man getting up from his seat and kicking another woman in the head. She was also left with a serious concussion, and police said she was so stunned by the blow, she didn’t see the suspect, or call police until the next day.

Police say the man wore the same clothes and shoes, and the two attacks happened a day apart.

Roberts worked for years helping people in need. She founded an outreach group to help people on the streets, and before that, she was a nurse at Children’s Hospital, caring for children with cancer.

The woman who was kicked on the Metro Bus contacted Tracy with the help of police when the arrest was made.

“She reached out to me earlier this morning so we’ve been talking, and she cried with joy when I’d told her he’d been arrested,”

When people saw Tracy’s story Tuesday, they contacted KIRO-7 saying they want to help her finish planting flower bulbs along Seattle’s sidewalks.

“Oh I’d love it,” Roberts said. “I’ve got the container that I’ve got the rest of the bulbs in. I can’t do it because I’m not allowed to sit and put my head down too much but, I’ll come around and and, I’ll help.”