A 21-year-old homeless man who allegedly pulled off a woman’s clothes during an attempted rape as she walked her dog Monday morning on Olympia’s Woodland Trail is a “dangerous individual,” an Olympia police lieutenant said.
Olympia Police Lt. Jim Costa added that during the approximately five hours that it took detectives and patrol officers to identify, apprehend and arrest the suspect, Daniel Leatherman, he allegedly accosted a second woman in a homeless encampment located in a wooded area along the trail.
During a court hearing Tuesday, Thurston County Superior Court Judge James Dixon ordered Leatherman held at the Thurston County Jail on suspicion of attempted first-degree rape. Dixon set Leatherman’s bail at $250,000.
The attack occurred about 9 a.m. Monday on Olympia’s Woodland Trail near Eastside Street and Wheeler Avenue.
“I find that you are a substantial danger to the community,” Dixon said Tuesday. Dixon added that from reading the reports, “I’d be hard-pressed to find an example of someone being more of a danger than you.”
Costa said outside court that police are trying to determine if there are any other active cases that might involve Leatherman. Anyone who might have had contact with Leatherman should contact an officer directly at 360-753-8300, Costa said.
According to court papers:
The woman who was attacked Monday morning escaped and called 911 about 9:30 a.m. When Olympia Detective Bryan Houser arrived at the scene, the woman appeared to have scratches on her back and knees, and bruises on her face.
She said that while walking her dog alone on the trail, she noticed a man sitting on a log, and “she decided to say something to him to let him know she wasn’t a passive person.” After she walked past him, she later noticed him walking up behind her. She said she turned around to walk to her car, and he followed her.
She said the man kept getting in her personal space, and told her “he thought she looked good.” He started making more suggestive comments. “She looked around and didn’t see anyone else on the trail, but she kept walking hoping she would run into someone.”
She said the man then grabbed her in a “bear hug,” and threw her to the ground. She said he pulled her jeans off, and then pulled her hair as she yelled for help. He then leaned his head next to hers and said “stop or I will kill you.” She said he pulled her into the grass off of the trail, and she was able to get up and walk away but not before he grabbed her and put her in a bear hug again.
He then let her go, and she was able to call 911.
Costa said Tuesday that detectives identified a second woman who was accosted by a suspect Monday morning who fit the same description given by the woman who was walking her dog. The second woman was located in a homeless encampment off the Woodland Trail, Costa said. The suspect said strange, “disturbing” things to the second woman, Costa said. The suspect only left the homeless woman alone after her friends returned to her tent and told the suspect to leave, Costa said.
Detectives also had found some abandoned property nearby where the attack occurred. The property included identification belonging to a Daniel Leatherman, Costa said.
A Tuwmater K-9 unit was able to get a scent from the abandoned property, Costa added. After a witness saw a suspicious person walking in the woods near 15th Avenue and Dayton Street NE, the K-9 unit was able to track the person, and detectives apprehended Leatherman about 3 p.m., Costa said.
Costa said all of Olympia’s patrol officers and detectives worked through the day Monday establishing a perimeter around the Woodland Trail trying to apprehend the suspect.
The woman who was walking her dog Monday positively identified Leatherman from a photo montage of suspects that was presented to her by Olympia police, court papers state.
After Leatherman’s arrest, he denied trying to rape anyone. He said he had a verbal argument with a woman who was walking her dog on the Woodland Trail, but he claimed that was his only contact with anyone there. Leatherman, who has family in Bucoda, has numerous misdemeanor convictions, including for theft, disorderly conduct, malicious mischief and fourth-degree assault.Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445 email@example.com