Tacoma Police looking for suspect who hit woman with handgun, sexually assaulted her

Tacoma Police are looking for a suspect who sexually assaulted a woman near People's Park as she was walking to her car early Wednesday morning. 

The assault occurred on March 22 at South 9th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way. For reference, this is less than a half-mile uphill from Pierce County District Court and next to People's Park.

According to police, a woman called 911 around 5:45 a.m. to report that she had been walking to her car when a man hit her on the head with a handgun and then sexually assaulted her. 

"She's screaming for help, she gets shoved to the ground," said Wendy Haddow, public information officer for Tacoma Police Department. "He tries to strangle her."

Officers said someone passing saw the assault happening and yelled at the assailant to stop. They were in a car driving by and saw the man on top of the woman, they yelled at him and he ran away.

Haddow wanted to stress that stranger sexual assaults like this are rare. 

"As soon as he got up and got off, she jumped in her car - the victim did - and immediately drove and contacted the police department," Haddow said.

Police don't have any photos or videos which could help identify the suspect. Now, police are not only looking for a suspect but also the Good Samaritans from that morning.

"Passerbys have not been contacted yet because I'm sure as soon as the victim drove away, they were like 'what was that all about?' and then they also drove away," Haddow said.

Tacoma Police said that the driver's heroic actions might've saved this woman's life. Any other information they could provide for police would help in finding the man who attacked this woman.

The woman told police the person who attacked her was a man in his 20s, had dreadlocks with orange ends. She told police officers that he's about 6'1" to 6'2" in height and was wearing Nike slides and grey sweatpants and a sweatshirt.

If you have any information, contact Tacoma Police at (253) 287-4455.

Also, officers are asking people in the area to check their home surveillance cameras to see if they spot anyone matching the description around the time of the attack Wednesday morning.