‘It was frightening’: Neighbors in shock about sexual assault near Shadle Center

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane Police Department has arrested a suspect in the sexual assault near the Shadle Center on Tuesday morning. The woman says the man had a handgun and took her into a secluded area and assaulted her.

Spokane Police announced the arrest Wednesday, but the investigation is ongoing. Neighbors say they’re shocked that it happened practically in their backyard.

Kimberly and Rich Madore say they feel safe living in their neighborhood. The couple says they’ve had prowlers look through their car and even a golf cart stolen once, but nothing serious such as what happened blocks away from their home.

“We both were just in shock. It’s just way too close to our house, where we live and we feel safe. This is a great neighborhood and it really scared us. We looked at the picture. It was hard to make anybody out, but it was frightening,” Kimberly Madore said.

The scary situation caused the couple to do some research on a less-lethal weapon.

“We went and looked those up last night, and we’re going to have one coming so,” Madore said.

“He’s always wanted to have some protection to carry with me, and after reading that in the paper this morning, I am more than willing to have something just to protect myself,” Madore said.

Community Oriented Policing Services, or C.O.P.S, says it’s a safe place for victims.

“Never assume you did something wrong, and I think that is so important to point out. This gal who was victimized doesn’t mean she did something wrong even if you did everything right there is no magic bullet to completely reduce your risk of crime,” Spokane C.O.P.S. executive director Patrick Sticker said.

However, tips to take to prevent sexual assault are to walk in a well lit and populated area. If you have a large dog, bring them along on the walk. Carry pepper spray, a rape whistle or anything that will draw attention.

Try not to be alone, but if you have to, let someone know where you are.  Stryker says situational awareness is also key.

“Try not to be staring off on your phone, on social media or something like that, but eyes up and how you carry yourself as well. Usually, criminals are looking for someone that they at least perceive to be an easier target and so by carrying yourself upright and proud it helps send a message you might not be an easy target,” Striker said.

READ: Spokane Police Department asking for help finding person of interest in sexual assault