EDMONDS — A woman awoke on an Amtrak train to find a stranger staring at her and what happened next left her bruised and terrified to board another train.
Prosecutors say Ryan Laudan assaulted the woman while attempting to steal her purse, suitcase and an apple. Laudan, a Canadian national, recently was charged with first-degree robbery. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge. He was being held on $25,000 bail.
Investigators learned from the defendant’s family that he reportedly has a brain injury and wasn’t taking his medication. It is unclear why Laudan was in Washington.
Court papers say Laudan boarded the northbound train Jan. 11 in Seattle. The alleged victim, a 60-year-old doctor, had boarded in Olympia.
She told investigators she had fallen asleep with her purse next to her. When she woke up Laudan was seated across from her, staring. She was uncomfortable and got up to retrieve her suitcase. He followed her. She returned to her seat and grabbed an apple from her suitcase. Laudan continued his bizarre behavior. She told him to leave her alone. He grabbed her purse and her suitcase and began moving toward the back of the train.
She yelled for help. That’s when Laudan reportedly grabbed her by her hair and pulled her to the ground. He dragged the 111-pound woman by her hair and sweater for several yards. Laudan reportedly hit and kicked the woman. One witness told police that Laudan was “karate chopping” the woman. Three passengers intervened and stopped the assault.
The woman told investigators that Laudan ate her apple after the attack.
He was arrested when the train stopped in Edmonds. He grabbed an officer’s flashlight during the arrest and had to be restrained, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Cindy Larsen wrote.
The doctor reported that Laudan pulled out her hair, sprained her thumb and injured her head and shoulder. She was concerned that Laudan would hurt someone else if he was released.
“The defendant’s vicious attack on a complete stranger, who is much smaller than the defendant, shows that he is a clear risk to commit a violence offense if released,” Larsen wrote in support of keeping Laudan held on significant bail.