Private security guard Tracey Baker prevented a sexual assault on Wednesday outside of the Seattle apartment building he was hired to protect.
On Wednesday, Baker saw a man attacking a woman outside of Wintonia Apartments in Capitol Hill. Baker approached the suspect, identified as Thomas Williams, and told him, “You need to back off.”
Baker walked Komo News reporter Jonathan Choe through the events: “He went to the street (and) I actually grabbed him, and led him back to the gate right here.” Baker cuffed Williams and contacted the police.
According to officials, Williams struck the woman and was attempting to pull her into a nearby alley with the intent to rape her when Baker stepped in. Williams has denied the allegations, and claims he was outside waiting for his wife, who he says lives in the apartment complex.
Williams’ bond was set at $10,000 and he is scheduled to return to court later this month.
“The security guard was a big help in this case,” said Casey McNerthney, spokesman for the King County Prosecutor’s Office, of Baker, “and we’re very fortunate Seattle police was able to respond quickly.”
Earlier this year, Baker also assisted with the arrest of a man who had stabbed an apartment resident in the lobby.
“I’ve been a busy man,” Baker said of his work.
Baker is hired by Iconic Global, a high threat private protection service based in Auburn, Washington. They offer security for hire, contracting services, and training for civilian, military, and LEO members.
With the increase in civil unrest and regular violent riots in Seattle over the summer, combined with the city’s efforts to massively decrease the Seattle Police Department’s budget, the presence of private security firms has risen.
Iconic Global is just one of several private security teams that have been hired in the Seattle area to protect businesses, residential properties, and even property owned by the city in recent months. In June, Iconic Global responded to the overnight shooting that occurred at CHAZ/CHOP.
“We support the message,” Joseph Spiro told Capitol Hill Seattle, speaking of the Black Lives Matter protests that erupted nationwide in May. “Obviously, there are people taking advantage of it. We’re there to make sure people feel safe.”
According to Spiro, Iconic Global worked inside the CHOP encampment with some of its leaders “to explain why we are there, not to get in the way of what they’re doing.”
The public view of Iconic Global and the involvement of other private security companies appears to be mixed, with many praising the efforts to keep civilians safe, while others have been far more critical in our current climate where law enforcement officials are smeared as being inherently racist.