Woman fights off would-be attacker in Golden Gardens restroom

Woman fights off would-be attacker in Golden Gardens restroom

Kelly posted this instagram photo of her injuries following the attack.

SEATTLE — A woman named Kelly Herron was attacked by a homeless sex offender inside a public bathroom at a popular park in Seattle on Sunday afternoon.

Police say the attack and attempted rape happened at Golden Gardens.

Officers say 40-year-old Gary Steiner punched the victim in the face nearly half a dozen times, wrestled her to the ground, and pulled at her pants.

Content Continues Below

Herron said she was marathon training that afternoon when she decided to use the restroom.

The suspect was hiding out in one of the stalls and attacked her from behind while she was washing her hands.

Herron told KIRO 7's Siemny Kim that a two-hour self-defense class saved her life.

“Time stopped, I went through everything we learned in self-defense,” she said. “I was screaming, hitting him with the side of my hand, scratching his face, telling him that he was not gonna get me today, screaming I was gonna kill him, and I just never stopped fighting." Herron said.

Records show Steiner has attacked before; police say days before this incident a warrant was issued for Steiner’s arrest due to his failure to register as a sex offender in Clark County, Washington.

We pulled his criminal record. The Clark County Sheriff’s office lists Steiner as a Transient Level III Sex Offender, the level most likely to re-offend.

In 1999 he was charged with 3 counts of sexual abuse for attacking several women in Maricopa County, Arizona.  Nine years later he was charged with indecent exposure.

Police say they don’t know when or why Steiner came to Seattle.  He was booked into the King County jail on attempted rape and assault charges.