Fake cop suspected in sex assault is arrested by real cops

SEATTLE - A man suspected of sexually assaulting a woman last week while impersonating a police officer is off the streets and behind bars Saturday, authorities said.

Michael Seville Lewis, 31, was arrested Friday evening after he was identified by sexual assault detectives working with the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab, U.S. Marshals and community members who called in tips, officials said.

He was ordered held Saturday on $500,000 bail, according to court documents.

Investigators say the phony cop came up to a 26-year-old woman late at night on June 15 at the busy intersection of Aurora Avenue and 93rd Street as she was walking from a friend's house to a local restaurant.

He claimed to be an undercover Seattle police officer working a sting operation, investigators say. When he asked the victim for her identification, she hesitated - then asked the man to show her some proof that he was a police officer.

He then flashed a badge, and the woman could also see that he was also wearing an earpiece with a cord that tucked into his shirt pocket. But she still wasn't completely convinced that he was a cop, and she began walking away from him.

As she kept walking, she could see the man following her. When she turned off Aurora onto a side street, where she thought it would be safer, the man came out of a side area and pounced on her, court papers show.

Police say the fake cop succeeded in his brutal attack, forcing the woman into a brushy area near the intersection and sexually assaulting her.

After a week-long investigation, U.S. marshals picked up the suspect on Friday evening a few blocks away from the original crime, in the 9800 block of Aurora Avenue North, said Seattle police spokesman Sgt. Sean Whitcomb.

Lewis underwent questioning and was booked into King County Jail for investigation of rape, extortion, assault and criminal impersonation, according to court documents.

Detectives have yet to locate the suspect's fake badge.

Acting Lt. Rose McMahon of the Seattle Police Department's Sexual Assault Unit says, "This is outstanding work by the case detectives. Still, we wouldn't have been able to solve it without assistance from the community who called in tips, the scientists at the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab and the U.S. Marshals who helped us track him down."

Detectives don't believe that this suspect is responsible for any other crimes, but they are not ruling out the possibility as the investigation continues.