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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Homeless man held on suspicion of rape in Seattle restroom

Associated Press

SEATTLE – A homeless man has been arrested after a woman was raped in the restroom of a Seattle car dealership, authorities said.

Christopher Edward Teel, 24, was being held without bail at King County Jail on investigation of rape, assault and unlawful imprisonment.

A 40-year-old woman dropped off her vehicle for maintenance at Carter Seattle Subaru and Volkswagen in the Ballard neighborhood Monday morning, according to a police probable cause statement.

After getting a cup of coffee nearby, she went into the restroom at the dealership’s temporary facilities where a man forced his way into her bathroom stall, assaulted her, choked her and dragged her out, documents said.

A dealership employee heard the struggle and tried with another worker to enter the restroom, which was locked, documents said. The victim was later able to unlock the door and the employees found her “cowering against the wall.”

The employees restrained the man until police arrived.

On Tuesday a judge found probable cause to hold Teel on investigation of rape, assault with sexual motivation and unlawful imprisonment with sexual motivation. The judge also ordered Teel held on investigation of assault for allegedly head-butting a Seattle police detective while being interviewed after the arrest.

It wasn’t immediately known if Teel had a lawyer.

Court records show Teel was arrested by Seattle police in 2016 on a charge of criminal trespassing. He failed to appear for an intake hearing in March 2017 and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.

“It’s just sickening,” Jen Moran, the executive manager of Carter Motors, told the Seattle Times of the attack.