Arrest made in Puyallup sexual assault case

Arrest made in Puyallup sexual assault case
A man wanted in connection with an attempted sexual assault was captured on Walmart security cameras Tuesday night. (Courtesy of Puyallup Police Department)

PUYALLUP, Wash. -- Police say tips helped lead them to a Puyallup man accused of trying to sexually assault a 22-year-old woman Tuesday night near a local Walmart.

According to the Puyallup Police Department, the victim was walking in the 2900 block of Fifth Street Southeast around 10:20 p.m. when a shirtless man approached her and struck up a conversation.

"He said, 'Hey little girl, what are you doing out so late? Do you realize you could get raped?'" said the victim, who did not want to be identified.

After speaking briefly, the man attacked the woman, forcing her toward a fence and physically assaulting her, according to police.

"He like pushed me onto the fence and I was kind of like sideways and not completely facing him and I figured hit him where it hurts," the victim said.

The victim escaped by kneeing the suspect in the groin and running to the nearby Walmart for help.

Despite a police dog search, officers were unable to find the attacker, though they later learned he had been in the Walmart prior to the attack and was captured on the store's surveillance cameras.

Acting on a number of tips, detectives identified and arrested a suspect at his South Meridian home on Wednesday. The 32-year-old man, who has not been identified, will be booked into Pierce County Jail on suspicion of felony attempted sexual assault.