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Homeless man arrested for raping woman in Ballard car dealership restroom

Photo: Lubbock (Texas) County Sheriff's Office.

SEATTLE - A 24-year-old homeless man has been ordered held in lieu of $1 million bail after being charged with raping a woman inside a Ballard car dealership restroom Monday morning.

Christopher Teel is accused of following the 40-year-old woman into the restroom at Carter Volkswagen and locking the door, according to charges filed in King County Superior Court Wednesday.

Court documents say Teel, described as 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighing 250 pounds, forced open the woman’s stall door, grabbed her by the neck and pulled her out. She screamed, and he choked her, court documents say.

Teel told her “you want this, God wants this,” according to charges.

The victim punched, kicked and screamed for help, charges said. The woman, who had just dropped off her car and was waiting for a shuttle ride to work, told Teel dealership staff knew where she was, charges said.

Court documents say the woman told police she “surrendered because I didn’t want to die.”

But when the woman heard banging on the door she, again, screamed for help, according to charges. She managed to unlock the door for the shuttle driver who was looking for her. The woman told the driver she had been raped. Teel, in the meantime, was half naked, charges said.

Jennifer Moran, Executive Manager of the dealership, told KOMO employees “detained the individual by tackling him and held him until police arrived.”

Once at police headquarters, Teel told investigators he followed the woman into the restroom to rape her, charges said. Teel then tried to head-butt a detective.

Teel, who has a criminal history in Texas, was booked into the King County and listed him as living at "99999 Homeless St. Seattle,” which is an address jail staff often use for people who are living homeless.

Officials at the Nickelsville homeless camp where he lived say they checked to see if he was on a transient Sex offender list, and he didn’t come up but they’ve never done warrant checks because spokesman Scott Morrow said in a letter to KOMO News, “criminal history information is not legally required or commonly expected for residency or movement, transient or otherwise, within Washington State.”

On Wednesday, Teel was charged with first-degree rape and unlawful imprisonment.

Teel's last known address was in Texas. Seattle police reports indicate that Teel was arrested in August 2016 when he and another man were found inside someone else's home in Magnolia. The person who rented the home had not lived there for two to three months, the police report says.

Moran said there were grief counselors at the dealership Tuesday and Wednesday.

“I’m unbelievably sad that these things happen at all,” she said. “Any at of violence makes me mad and, yeah, of course this makes us angry.”

The dealership says in recent months they’ve seen a spike in vandalism and property crime, something they attribute to the growing homeless population in the neighborhood.

Erika Nagy, a mother of two who lives in Ballard, said the rape is the final straw for her. She said she has taken her worries about safety, as well as her concerns about the drug needles she and her children have found, to City Hall. But, she said, no one has listened.

“I have every right to be mad,” Nagy said. “This is enough. I want my city back.”

On Wednesday, Nagy showed up at Ballard Oil with a stack of bumper stickers demanding the recall of Seattle City Councilman Mike O’Brien.

Both she and longtime Ballard Oil owner Warren Aakervik said the homeless crisis and new big business tax are reasons why the entire council needs to be replaced. They are tired of the garbage, tents, drug needles and crime they say has become common in Ballard in recent months.

“Enough is enough,” said Aakervik, who has lived in Ballard more than 70 years. “We need to start dealing with the criminal aspect.”


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