Olympia police have arrested a DuPont man in connection with allegedly kidnapping and sexually assaulting two women he picked up while they were waiting at Olympia bus stops.
One of the alleged attacks occurred in November, 2013, the other occurred in February, 2014. In both cases, the suspect drove the women to Bailey's Motor Inn on Martin Way, which has been closed since last summer.
During the November, 2013 attack, the suspect raped his victim. But during the second attack in February, the victim was able to flee the suspect's moving vehicle, Olympia police spokeswoman Laura Wohl said.
Tuesday's arrest of the 35-year-old suspect was made possible after police recovered items that fell from the suspect's vehicle during the attempted rape of the second woman in February, Wohl added.
Wohl said the items that fell from the suspect's car "pointed to his identity," but she would not elaborate.
Olympia police arrested the suspect, 35-year-old Bryon E. Johnston, as he was leaving his home in DuPont about 3 a.m. Tuesday morning, Wohl said. Johnston was booked at the Thurston County Jail on suspicion of two counts of first-degree kidnapping, one count of first-degree rape and one count of attempted first-degree rape.
Wohl said police want the public to see Johnston's face and his vehicle, as part of their investigation to learn whether there are any more victims. Johnston was driving a white Cadillac Escalade at the time of his arrest. He is also known to drive a 2007 Ford F350 pickup.
According to OPD's news release:
In both cases, the two women in their 20s where approached by the suspect while they waited at local bus stops, and the suspect drove up to the women in his sport-utility vehicle and offered them a ride.
After the victims accepted the rides, the suspect "proceeded to grope them in a sexual manner."
In both of the sexual assaults, the women asked to be let out of the SUV, but the suspect refused. The suspect then threatened each victim that he was going to "cut them" if they did not cooperate with them.
In both cases, the suspect drove the victims to Bailey's Motor Inn, where he then sexually assaulted them. Both victims fought the suspect and were eventually able to escape from the vehicle.
Anyone with information that can help Olympia police identify any other victims involving the suspect is encouraged to call the Olympia Police Department at 360-753-8300.
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445; firstname.lastname@example.org