SEATTLE - Gregory Walton, a convicted rapist who reportedly failed to register with King County as a sex offender, was arrested Saturday after allegedly assaulting a woman inside a Harborview Medical Center bathroom.
Cindy, the 60-year-old victim, was visiting someone at the hospital Saturday evening. Just after 5 p.m. she was inside the women's restroom located near the cafeteria when she noticed Walton standing in front of the bathroom door. Walton reportedly charged at the victim, grabbed her by the neck, and slammed her through a door into a bathroom stall, according to Seattle police.
"I really thought he was going to kill me," said Cindy, who did not want her last name published. "I am up against the wall, and he is putting pressure on the front of my throat and the sides. He was trying to shut me up."
Cindy said she kept screaming.
Michael Lazzaretti, Cindy's friend, had just exited the men's restroom and heard her screams. He ran to help.
"When I grabbed him at first he wouldn't let go, so I came with my right arm over both his hands really hard. He kind of let go for a second, then I grabbed him around his neck and just dragged him backwards out of the stall," said Lazzaretti.
Cindy, who was able to get away, called Lazzaretti a hero. She also said her yelling made a big difference.
"My voice saved me, and I would like other women to know that if something happens, just start yelling for help as loud as you can and don't stop," said Cindy.
A King County Corrections officer and an off-duty Washington State Patrol trooper heard the commotion and they helped Lazzaretti hold the suspect until police officers arrived and arrested him.
Cindy was treated for her injuries at the hospital.
Walton was booked into the King County Jail for investigation of assault and failure to register as a sex offender for a 1996 second-degree rape. He was also convicted of second-degree assault in a 2004 case. The Department of Corrections said Walton has failed to register as a sex offender numerous times. He will be arraigned in court on the new charges on November 27.