The Westport Police Department has concluded its investigation of an alleged assault of a Grays Harbor woman on Dec. 27, and found the case to be unfounded.
In a report from Westport Police Chief Tracy Rosenow, he said there is “no reason to believe the community is at risk, no suspect or person of interest was identified and medical reports of the woman’s injuries were inconsistent with an assault,” Rosenow said. An outside review of the investigation was conducted by the Grays Harbor Sheriffs Office, which agreed with the conclusions.
“The case is considered unfounded after more than four weeks of detailed investigations of the physical evidence at the scene, interviews with the woman who reported the assault, interviews with witnesses, review of surveillance video and audio recordings, forensic medical evaluations, emergency medical services reports, 911 call audio and interviews with registered sex offenders in Grays Harbor and Pacific counties,” Rosenow said.
During the alleged incident just after midnight Dec. 27, Abra Mcmullin said she was riding her bicycle home on the corner of Patterson and Montesano streets when an unknown male in a white vehicle pulled up next to her and tried to force her into it. Mcmullin, 34, said the man began kicking her while trying to drag her into the car. Mcmullin posted a photo of her injuries on Facebook, which gained a lot of attention.
Rosenow included a summary of details from the investigation in his press release:
• The alleged victim reported she had been assaulted by an unknown male who got out of his car and attacked her while she was riding her electric bicycle shortly after midnight. She claimed to have fought back, causing facial injuries to the attacker. She was able to make it from the injury site to the Mermaid Deli & Pub, a short distance away to seek help.
• During the course of several interviews, the woman provided investigating officers with three locations of where the incident was to have occurred and three different descriptions of the vehicle said to be involved
• The location where the injuries occurred was determined to be on East Patterson Avenue just off of N. Montesano Street based on blood on the roadway and shattered bicycle parts found at the site.
• Statements from the bartender at the Mermaid Deli & Pub indicated the woman had come to the tavern earlier in the evening (approximately 9 p.m.). The bartender refused to serve her alcohol because she appeared highly intoxicated. She then went to the bartender’s upstairs apartment to lay down and later left on her bicycle around midnight. She left her phone at the tavern and did not have it on her at the time of the incident where she sustained injuries.
• Security video that pointed directly at the incident location was reviewed. The camera is located next to a large warehouse door and is motion-activated to record large objects such as vehicles as they travel east and west on East Patterson Avenue. Smaller objects such as people and/or bicycles are not large enough to trigger the sensor to record mode.
• At 12:11 a.m. the security camera footage shows a vehicle passing over the incident location. This vehicle would have run over the woman had she been lying there at that time. The security camera does not show the vehicle suddenly braking or veering to one side or the other to avoid any type of object. There are no further vehicles seen in this camera footage until police arrive at 12:35 a.m.
• A second video taken from the Englund Marine camera shows a person on a bicycle travelling North on N. Montesano. The bicycle has a very bright headlight similar to that of the woman who owns an electric motor-assisted bicycle. Time shown on the camera is 12:13 a.m.
• The next recorded video from the camera pointed at the incident location shows a police vehicle responding to the Mermaid Deli & Pub in response to a 911 call from a customer at the tavern. The time is 12:35 a.m.
• The customer who called 911 provided multiple accounts of the event over several interviews with police. The customer stated to the 911 operator that his friend had just been assaulted on her bicycle, later on in the recording he can be heard in the audio recording from the 911 call saying, “you wrecked out pretty hard” to the injured woman. When later asked about that statement by investigators, he did not recall saying it. The male later stated in a telephone interview that the woman had told him she had fallen off her bike and that someone had been hitting her in the face. In a third interview, the male stated that the woman, upon entering the Mermaid Deli & Pub, stated that she had just been assaulted.
• Prior to transport via ambulance to the hospital, a device known as a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) was used by the investigating officer to determine the amount of alcohol in the woman’s system. A reading of .207 was obtained.
• Photos of the woman’s injuries, the medical report from Grays Harbor Community Hospital along with a summary of the case was sent to a forensic doctor and medical director for a sexual assault clinic and child maltreatment hospital in Olympia. The doctor provides forensic reviews of injuries and reports from a medical perspective and compares them with the events surrounding the injuries. While reserving the right to a re-evaluation or opinion upon further details that may come forward, the doctor provided an opinion that the injuries sustained were inconsistent with an assault or fighting off an assailant. The injures were however consistent with falling off a bicycle at a significant rate of speed.
• The registered sex offenders’ lists from Grays Harbor and Pacific County were reviewed and after locating persons who met the description provided by the woman, each was interviewed by law enforcement. None were found to have facial injuries and all were cleared as potential suspects in this matter.
In order to reopen the case Westport police would encourage anyone with information to come forward with additional evidence or details.