Three Seattle women individually picked a 33-year-old Bellevue man out of a police photo montage, identifying him as the suspect who attacked them on city streets. Witnesses intervened in each case — and one witness provided key information that led to the man’s Tuesday arrest.
King County prosecutors on Friday charged a 33-year-old Bellevue man with three counts of indecent liberties, accusing him of committing brazen daytime attacks on three different Seattle women.
Bellevue police arrested James Richard Montgomery, who goes by Richard Montgomery, during a traffic stop Tuesday near his Bellevue apartment, charging papers say. Before he was taken to Bellevue police headquarters for questioning, Montgomery asked the arresting officer to grab his black sunglasses out of his vehicle, a new, red Chevy Cruze, according to the charges.
The sunglasses along with a bomber jacket and a couple of pairs of jeans that police later found in Montgomery’s apartment matched the women’s descriptions of clothing worn by their attacker, say the charges.
Montgomery remains jailed in lieu of $500,000 bail, jail and court records show.
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“In a seven-week period, the defendant attacked three separate women, strangers to him, and attempted to sexually assault them by grabbing at their clothes,” Senior Deputy Prosecutor Carla Carlstrom wrote in charging papers.
In each instance, the women screamed, and the attacks were interrupted by witnesses, causing Montgomery to flee:
“The defendant represents an extreme danger to the community by these brazen, predatory, daytime attacks on females out in public. But for the interruption of witnesses, the harm inflicted would have undoubtedly been much greater,” Carlstrom wrote.
Around 8 p.m. March 7, a 23-year-old woman was walking home in Belltown when she noticed a man walking behind her, the charges say. When she got to her apartment building, the man followed her into the elevator than attacked her outside her door, where he tried to rip open her shirt, according to the charges. The woman screamed, which alerted her partner inside the apartment, and the man fled.
A 22-year-old woman was walking home from work around 3:30 p.m. April 17 when a man grabbed her from behind and threw her to the ground on a grass easement in the 1000 block of East Terrace Street, near Seattle University, charging papers say. She screamed and fought her attacker, drawing the attention of a passing motorist who honked her horn and stopped to see if the woman was OK, say the charges. The man got off the 22-year-old and walked away on 11th Avenue, the papers say.
Two days later, on April 19, a 20-year-old woman had been studying at a Ravenna cafe and was attacked as she walked home around 5 p.m., according to charging papers. She was grabbed and thrown to the ground near 20th Avenue Northeast and Ravenna Boulevard, where the man got on top of her and attempted to pin her wrists, say the charges. She fought and screamed for help, kicking the suspect in the stomach; a female motorist laid on her horn and two male pedestrians also responded, charging papers say.
After the suspect fled, one of the male witnesses followed him to his car, which was parked a few blocks away, according to the charges. The witness later told police the vehicle, a new, red Chevy Cruze, had a temporary paper license in the window and while he couldn’t see the number, he provided the name of the Kirkland dealership where the car had been purchased.
With that information, Seattle police learned the dealership had recently sold two such vehicles — one to an elderly couple, the second to Montgomery, charging papers say. Detectives obtained Montgomery’s driver’s-license photo, which bore a strong resemblance to a police sketch of the suspect, say the charges.
All three women individually picked Montgomery’s photo from a police photo montage, identifying him as the man who attacked them, the charges say.