Reclaiming the trail

After attack on Everett walkway, one woman makes safety her quest


Herald Writer

EVERETT — Paulene Watson is not about to give up.

"I just want the community to pull together," she said. "We’re going to stand up and band together."

Three weeks ago a man attacked a 14-year-old girl on the city’s Interurban Trail near 112th Street SE.

On Friday she and others made thousands of copies of a flier displaying a police sketch of the person who attacked the girl in hopes somebody will be able to give police information to lead to an arrest.

The girl has been recovering at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Watson, who doesn’t personally know the girl, began a crusade to clean up the trail and make the community feel more at ease.

"There’s somebody somewhere who knows him," she said. "The other thing is this lets people know: Not in our backyard. We’re going to take control of this."

Fliers were passed out at grocery stores, businesses and to anyone who would take one. Watson said some have even been delivered to homeless shelters in Seattle.

Watson said she talked to several people who are now afraid to walk on the trail.

Police have described the attacker as a white man, 40 to 50 years old, about 6-foot-1, 160 to 180 pounds, with a light complexion.

His hair, a dirty blond fading to gray, was long and stringy, and he had a couple of days’ growth of beard.

He appeared unbathed, and had bad breath, and he wore a long-sleeved red plaid shirt with a T-shirt underneath, blue jeans with a hole in the left knee and dark-colored athletic shoes.

He also has a blue cross tattooed on the skin of his left hand between the index finger and thumb, police have said.

Detectives have asked anyone with information about the incident to call the Everett Police Department tip line at 425-257-8450c.

Watson hopes to also get clearance to organize a volunteer group for a cleanup along the Interurban Trail in November.

"If everybody sat back and said, ‘I’m too afraid to do anything,’ we’ve lost," Watson said. "I want everybody to know it’s OK to stand up. I can’t do it by myself."

Talk to us

More in Local News

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
No right turns on red gets a look, a bid to expand sports betting arrives

It’s a new week. Here’s what’s happening on Day 22 of the 2023 session of the Washington Legislature

A man was injured and a woman found dead Sunday night after an RV fire in Marysville. (Marysville Fire District)
Woman dead, man burned in Marysville RV fire

The Snohomish County Fire Marshal’s Office and Marysville Police Department were investigating the cause of the fire.

James Lewis
COVID still ‘simmering’ in the county, while booster uptake remains low

Meanwhile, flu and RSV cases have plummeted, suggesting the “tripledemic” could — emphasis on “could” — be fading.

Herald publisher Rudi Alcott
A note from the publisher

The Daily Herald publisher Rudi Alcott discusses our new publishing schedule and newspaper delivery by mail.

Locals from the group Safe Lynnwood gather in front of the Ryann Building on 196th Street SW to protest the opening of a methadone clinic in the building on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Despite controversy, Lynnwood opioid treatment center opens its doors

For weeks, protesters have objected to the center opening near Little League fields and a Boys and Girls Club.

CEO Amy King standing outside of a Pallet shelter. (Courtesy of Pallet)
After rapid rise, Everett’s Pallet hits milestone: 100 shelter villages

Temporary home manufacturer Pallet hires locals who have “experienced homelessness, substance abuse or the justice system.”

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Boil water advisory in effect for 75 Snohomish homes

A water main break resulted in outages and possible contamination Sunday. Service was expected to return by Wednesday.

Ismael Cruz-Sanchez speaks at his sentencing at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Driver in fatal I-5 crash in Arlington gets 10 years

Ismael Cruz-Sanchez had a lengthy history with impaired driving. He pleaded guilty to killing Jason Vogan, 45.

The building at 307 Olympic Avenue, seen on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023, is home to the office of Omni-Mana Services in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Charges: Arlington drug trafficker masqueraded as a pastor

Prosecutors say Steve Parker led a double life, helping people in addiction while dealing drugs across Western Washington.

Most Read