Man arrested in attempted sexual assault case in Puyallup

PUYALLUP -- A 32-year-old man was arrested Wednesday for allegedly attempting to sexually assault a 22-year-old woman on a Puyallup street.

The Puyallup Police Department said the suspect would be booked into the Pierce County Jail for felony attempted sexual assault.

Police said the man was arrested at his Puyallup residence.

On Tuesday night, a woman told police a stranger assaulted her on a busy neighborhood street and groped her, but she was able to knee him and flee to safety.

The attack happened at about 10 p.m. Tuesday in the 2900 block of 5th Street SE. The victim ran into a Walmart store on 31st Avenue SE.

The suspect was seen on surveillance camera footage inside the same Walmart before the alleged attack.

The 22-year-old woman said she was walking northbound on 5th Street Southeast, on the west side of the street, when a man walked up to her and engaged her in conversation about his lighter. The victim said she felt uncomfortable and avoided the man.

After getting some food at a nearby business, the woman said, she saw the man on the street again. She said the man called her a little girl and warned that she could get raped. The woman said the man then pushed her into a fence and groped her. The victim struck the suspect with her knee and took off.

Officers and a K-9 team searched the area for the suspect, but with no success. During the course of the investigation, it was learned the suspect had been inside the Walmart prior to the alleged assault. A check of the video surveillance cameras in the store found images of the suspect.