King County prosecutors say an armed man recently dragged a 58-year-old woman into a building alcove in downtown Seattle and raped her after she asked him for a cigarette.

Carlton Thomas, 33, spent nearly 10 years in prison after shooting a man in Skyway during a 2008 robbery attempt, court records show. Released in July 2018, Thomas was under the supervision of the state Department of Corrections (DOC) when he was arrested Nov. 16 four blocks from where the woman was raped, according to charging documents and a DOC spokeswoman.

Thomas, who is also accused of pistol-whipping the woman and stealing $20 from her, was charged last week with second-degree rape, first-degree robbery and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. He remains jailed in lieu of $500,000 bail.

The charges say portions of the rape were captured by video-surveillance cameras.

According to the charges:

Just after 5 a.m. on Nov. 16, a passerby called 911 to report a woman was in the middle of Third Avenue screaming for help.

Seattle police officers arrived at the intersection of Third Avenue and Pike Street and found the woman, who told them she had been sitting near the corner when she asked a man walking by for a cigarette. She offered him money, but he told her, “you can pay in a different way.” That’s when he dragged her into a nearby alcove and raped her, according to the charges.


After the rape, he let her go and video footage shows the woman — moving as quickly as she could with the assistance of her walker — walked into the middle of the street and yelled for assistance. With a gun in his hand, the woman’s assailant pulled her out of the street, took her to the ground and searched her, striking her twice in the head with the gun and stealing $20 before walking away, the charges say.

When officers arrived, they noted the woman had an obvious head injury and blood in her hair.

Officers found the suspect, based on the woman’s description, at Third Avenue and Spring Street. When he spotted the officers, the man boarded a bus in an attempt to flee. Officers stopped the bus and detained the suspect, who the woman identified as the man who raped and robbed her, the charges say.

The man, identified as Thomas, had blood on his jeans, sweatshirt and shoes when he was arrested. He also had a loaded handgun and $20, as well as a black balaclava matching the description of one worn by the rapist, according to the charges.

Thomas is scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 4.