Cups of fluid thrown in women's faces in Lakewood

Stefani Watson was stunned when a man threw a cup of liquid in her face Monday and raced away on a bicycle. Now, she's furious.

“It’s just stupid that you want to have some kind of power trip and hurt people for no reason,” said the 23-year-old Lakewood woman, who was assaulted while walking home from the grocery store.

Lakewood police believe her assailant is the same man who has tossed cups of fluid in the faces of another woman and two girls and pinched the rear ends of two others in the last week.

“We don’t know what his motivation is,” said police Lt. Chris Lawler, adding officers are on high alert to ensure the man’s actions don’t continue to escalate.

The assaults began Aug. 30 when the man pinched the butt of a female jogger near Fort Steilacoom Park. He did the same thing later that evening to a woman walking to get her mail in the 8500 block of 82nd Street Southwest.

After riding his bike Wednesday past two women walking in the 8300 block of 83rd Avenue Court Southwest, he turned and threw a cup of something slimy – possibly spit – in their faces.

On Thursday, he threw a balloon containing egg and an unknown substance in the face of a woman outside the Lucky Mart in the 8600 block of Hipkins Road Southwest. She vomited but was not seriously injured.

Three incidents were reported Monday, starting with a woman working in the recreational room at the Morning Tree Apartments. She told officers the man came inside, asked whether she’d seen a little girl, then tossed clear liquid with brown chunks in her face.

Moments later, two 12-year-old girls said a man fitting the same description threw a blue liquid resembling chemicals used in port-a-pottys on them as they walked in the 7900 block of Onyx Court.

Watson’s incident is the latest. On her walk home she noticed a man riding his BMX bike in circles behind the grocery store and was suspicious of the McDonald’s cup that sat in his cup holder, covered with foil. Watson, who believes the substance was chlorine, reported the incident to police.

In all assaults, the man was on or near a black- and silver-colored bike. He was wearing a red sweatshirt and jeans for several of the incidents and police believe he might be a transient.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 253-830-5098.