‘How is this happening?: Father demands change after reported daytime assault in downtown Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash. — A father says his daughter was assaulted in downtown Spokane. He’s even more concerned because it happened in a location he thought was safe.

Police were called to the 700 block of West Main Avenue in downtown Spokane on May 16. The father, Zachary Simms, says the assault happened right outside of the Starbucks in broad daylight. Today, he’s pleading for change before another incident is much worse.

“I knew something was really bothering her, and it was a serious thing,” Simms said.

That’s the first thing he remembered when his 14-year-old daughter came rushing in to his downtown office during a meeting.

She told him what no parent wants to hear.

“She comes in freaked out to the office because we’re right here on Main and Stevens and says I just got assaulted,” he said.

His daughter was able to break away from the person Simms says “came up to her and grabber her by the arm, touched her hair and said I like your hair and then screamed twice in her face.” A few weeks later, police say they’re still investigating this assault and looking for new leads. This dad just wants something to change.

“How is this happening right downtown, and it’s not even the outskirts of downtown or the places that you might think — it is in front of Red Robin, right in front of the Apple store,” Simms said. “You know what I’m saying — come on guys!”

He’s even more frustrated because even though it’s been a couple weeks since the assault, he says his daughter still isn’t the same.

“She’s also looking around and saying is there any place I can go that’s safe?,” Simms added. “Am I allowed to go to Riverfront? Am I going to get assaulted?”

These are difficult questions for any parent to answer as solutions seem even harder to come by.

“I can’t stand the fact that right now there are kids out there that could be hurt walking around downtown in Spokane while the adults are in buildings arguing about how many beds we need to have,” he concluded.