Woman saved from possible rape attempt in Harborview restroom

SEATTLE -- A woman was attacked and nearly raped by a sex offender and felon inside a Harborview Medical Center restroom but was saved when a friend heard her screams for help, according to the Seattle Police Department.

The victim was visiting friends at the hospital around 5:15 p.m. Saturday. After eating at the cafeteria, she went into a women's restroom nearby.

While looking for hand sanitizer, the victim noticed a man, 38-year-old Greg Walton, standing inside the restroom, blocking the door, according to the police report for the incident.

According to the report, Walton charged at the victim, grabbed her by the neck, and pushed her into a bathroom stall, forcing the stall door open with her body.

After closing the stall door behind him, Walton reportedly lifted the victim off her feet and slammed her head against the back wall so hard she thought she was going to lose consciousness.

The victim later told officers she originally thought Walton just wanted to steal her purse. But after he made no attempt to grab the purse from around her shoulder, she believed he was going to rape her.

According to the report, the victim started yelling for help, but Walton told her to be quiet and tightened his grip around her neck so she couldn't scream.

The victim told officers she thought Walton might kill her.

Meanwhile, the victim's friend was in the men's restroom next door when he heard the victim screaming.

He ran into the women's restroom, forced the stall door open and started hitting Walton. According to the report, Walton released one of his hands from the victim's neck in order to fend off the attack.

As more people heard the commotion and came into the restroom, Walton gave up and tried to leave, according to the report.

A hospital employee detained Walton and was joined by a King County Jail employee armed with pepper spray who had been eating in the nearby cafeteria. Eventually, a Washington State Patrol trooper showed up to handcuff the suspect until Seattle Police Department officers arrived.

Walton, who reportedly showed signs of intoxication, was arrested and booked into King County Jail for investigation of assault.

Walton has five felony convictions between 1997 and 2006, including convictions for rape, assault and failure to register as a sex offender. A warrant was issued for him in July by the Department of Corrections for escaping community custody.

The victim suffered deep, bleeding scratches to her neck, an injury to the back of her head, and light-headedness from being choked. She was admitted to Harborview for treatment.