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Suspect in lewd attack south of Lynden arrested

This is the spot on Thiel Road south of Lynden where the alleged attack took place. /Dillon Honcoop

Suspect in lewd attack south of Lynden arrested

The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office says a suspect is now in jail facing lewd conduct charges after harassing a woman south of Lynden earlier this week.

Sheriff Bill Elfo says they arrested and booked 18-year-old José Rodriguez-Rene from Everson on charges of attempted indecent liberties late Friday.

The incident happened along Thiel Road south of Lynden on Thursday, when a man in a maroon Dodge van pulled up next to a woman jogging with her baby in a stroller. He allegedly made lewd comments and motions towards her. At one point, the suspect tried to reach out the car window to touch her, but the woman got away safely and called 911.

An alert resident in the area remembered seeing a driver of a maroon-colored van acting suspicious earlier in the day. After learning of the incident on Thiel Road, they concluded that the driver and van they saw earlier matched police descriptions of the suspect, so they called a deputy and gave the license plate number.

Deputies then tracked down the suspect to an address in Everson on the 1900 block of Hampton Road. They identified the driver as the person who had harassed the victim.