Suspect in Seattle jogger attack has Arizona ties

Posted at 6:57 PM, Mar 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-13 21:57:16-04

A sex offender accused of attacking a Seattle jogger has a history of sex crimes in Arizona.

Kelly Herron was in the middle of a long run at a popular Seattle park, when she stopped to use the restroom.

Gary Steiner, 40, is accused of launching on her while she washed her hands.

"It was a fight on the bathroom floor. All I could think was, 'not today.' I was screaming,” Herron told ABC News.

While the attack happened in Seattle, Wash., Steiner is no stranger to Arizona.

Court records dating back to the 1990s show a long list of run-ins with the law. But the most serious -- his convictions for indecent exposure and sexual abuse.

In 1998, court records show he groped nurses while confined at the Arizona State Hospital.

His social worker is quoted as saying in those documents that Steiner "is dangerous because it does not appear he can stop his sexually abusive behavior."

As recently as last year, there was a warrant for Steiner’s arrest for not appearing in court. But months later, he appeared in Washington, running into his latest victim.

"I started to feel like I was going to lose consciousness, but I got another surge of adrenaline, and I reached for the door, and I was able to get out,” Herron told ABC News. She was able to hold Steiner until officers arrived.

Herron told ABC News that she had taken self-defense classes just a few weeks before.

Steiner, a registered level three sex offender in Washington, now faces charges of attempted rape and assault.