Websites recount alleged assault near ferry terminal

A local Facebook page and a Bainbridge Island blog have been abuzz with talk about a sexual assault that reportedly happened Saturday, Sept. 1.

Bainbridge police said they have nothing to investigate, however. Not yet, at least.

Island police have not received any reports of the assault, and detectives are not currently looking into the incident that's been fodder for online chatter.

"We don't have anything to go on," said Bainbridge Island Police Commander Sue Shultz. "No one has been able to identify a victim."

"That's a very personal crime," she added. "If someone has been attacked, they need to report it. We can't go off what Facebook is saying."

Word of the attack, which supposedly occurred on the evening of Saturday, Sept. 1, was initially posted on the Facebook page for the group "Bainbridge Islanders," a page for island residents to communicate with each other during emergencies such as power outages. It is also used to post community information.

The story then spread to a discussion on the Island Moms forum.

"Be aware … a woman was attacked last night after getting off (a) ferry in Winslow," the Facebook post states. "Not sure where she was parked, etc. but she was hit in the head with a rock and he was trying to rape her — while yelling 'I'm going to kill you.'"

The message continues to say that the woman was able to fight off her attacker because she is very "strong and fit," and that the man was not caught.

Friends of the unnamed woman who fought off the attacker have voiced their support for her over Facebook.

Police said they will investigate if someone files a crime report.

Shultz noted that in such cases of sexual assault, the police department handles the investigation with extreme sensitivity.

"It's probably one of the worst crimes police have to investigate," she said.

Shultz said that detectives try to only interview a victim once as to not repeatedly cause them to relive the experience.

Police have received three reports of sexual assault on Bainbridge Island, starting July 22 when a 19-year-old woman fought off her attacker on Madison Avenue.

Minutes later, another assault was reported by a 53-year-old woman who was groped nearby on Madison Avenue and Bjune Drive.

Jaime Silva-Arroyo currently faces charges for the attack on the 19-year-old woman, but not the second assault on July 22.

Bainbridge Island police are also currently investigating another case of sexual assault after a Poulsbo woman reported an attack by more than one island resident.

Island police served a search warrant in relation to the assault Aug. 25.

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