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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Police: Man attacked random woman in her apartment after planning to fight her neighbor

Police suspect a man who planned to fight another man waited in the laundry room of an apartment building Tuesday, chased a woman he did not know into her apartment and attacked her before leaving and returning with a knife, according to a search warrant filed Thursday.

He later told police he had intended to fight her neighbor but he “freaked out” when she saw him, according to court documents.

The woman told police she was in the downstairs laundry room of her apartment building on the 1800 block of Seventh Avenue when she saw a man, later identified as 33-year-old Victor Kuster, who she’d seen around before but who was not a resident, she told police.

Her laundry had not finished and looked like it had been stopped midcycle, she said. She decided to grab the laundry and go. As she was walking up the stairs carrying her laundry, Kuster started running up the stairs after her, she told investigators.

She ran for her apartment. Before she could close the door, Kuster had entered her home and attacked her, she told police. As he tried to hold his hand over her mouth, she screamed, kicked, punched and bit his hand, according to court documents.

After what she guessed was 45 seconds, he left the apartment. She shut the door and grabbed a knife, she told police.

One of the woman’s neighbors was walking outside to smoke a cigarette when he heard her screaming, he told police. The tenant looked down the hall and saw Kuster, a friend of his, in her apartment with a “very strange look on his face,” he told police.

Seeing Kuster leave, the neighbor ran to grab a stun gun before checking on the woman. Kuster then returned, wielding a 6-inch knife, the tenant told police. Kuster threatened to kill the male tenant and the two struggled, the resident told investigators.

When a Spokane Police Officer arrived, he found Kuster in the alley trying to drive away, according to court documents. Kuster agreed to answer questions and told the officer his friend, the woman’s neighbor, owed him money and he’d come to the apartment intending to fight the man.

Kuster said he did not know the woman fetching her laundry but, “she saw me and I freaked out,” according to the warrant. Kuster told police he was planning to ask the woman to knock on her neighbor’s door because his friend would not answer for him. He told police he “shoved her back” and was “trying to get her to” knock on the door.

“She was kicking and fighting right outside her doorway,” he told police. “I was trying to tell her to calm down. I was mad.”

Kuster was arrested on suspicion of first-degree armed burglary and was in the Spokane County Jail on a $20,000 bond as of Saturday morning.

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