Lacey PD: Man arrested after choking, trying to kiss teenage girl at bus stop

Lacey Police arrested a man accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl at a bus stop over the weekend.

According to authorities, a 17-year-old girl was waiting at her bus stop on Sunday when a stranger sat down uncomfortably close to her. He talked to her briefly, then lunged at her, grabbed her throat and tried to forcibly kiss her.

"He choked her," Sergeant Jeremy Knight said.

Lacey Police say the girl screamed and ran, and the suspect ran away, too.

She was able to get away, hop on a bus and found safety in a church in Tacoma.

"She did a fantastic job, she was loud, she fought back, she did exactly what she was supposed to do what anyone would want her to do in that type of situation," Knight said.

Mere hours after the attack Knight says she reported the assault.

"As a father of girls, I can certainly share in the concern of, I think any parent that their child could be contacted by someone who would do something like this," Knight said,

Fortunately, surveillance cameras captured the man they believe attacked the teen.

Detectives shared pictures of the man with local jails, they say Nisqually Jail identified the suspect as a man named Corylee Bartlett, 50.

He was released from jail on March 23, three days after the attack.

"We certainly take notice of offenders that are released and re-offend in a short period of time, certainly that's going to be something that our prosecutor's office will look at, in addressing this particular case," Knight said.

Early Wednesday morning, officers found and arrested Bartlett and booked him into the Thurston County Jail for second-degree assault with sexual motivation.

"One is too many," Knight said. "We have no tolerance for that and we will address that behavior as swiftly as possible and do our best to ensure that we hold those individuals responsible.

There's a lasting impact in the community.

Emily Byrne, 25, was born and raised in Lacey. She went off to college but came back and bought her home just a few blocks away from where the attack happened.

"That's not fair to her at all; that's a so horrible I'm just a breaks my heart for her," Byrne said.

She says she's noticed things have changed around what used to be a family-oriented neighborhood.

"I wish I could confidently say this is a safe area, you know but I can't," Byrne said.

The bus stop has now become a painful reminder.

"You don't think it's gonna happen you but it very well could," Byrne said. "It's really really tragic and I just I wish we knew [what] more to do."

Barlett hasn't been charged yet, police expect those to come any day now.

Fox 13 did look into his criminal history, a lengthy one, as he's been charged with several times including three felony assaults.

Police are asking anyone who had contact with Bartlett before the attack to give them a call.

They do assure they don't believe there are more victims.