Serial restroom harasser strikes again

A man was arrested for accosting a woman in a public restroom two days after he got out of jail.

Less than two days after getting out of jail for accosting a woman in a public restroom, a Freeland man was arrested for accosting another woman in a public restroom, according to court documents.

Saul A. Padilla appeared in Island County Superior Court May 13, and the judge found probable cause existed to believe he may have committed the crimes of assault in the second degree and attempted unlawful imprisonment.

The judge ordered the 26-year-old held on $25,000 bail.

In the current case, a 59-year-old woman reported to police on May 11 that she was at Ken’s Korner and headed to the restroom near Good Cheer when the incident occurred. As she was walking in, Padilla pushed her in the small of her back, the report states.

The woman turned around and screamed for him to go away. She then went inside and locked the door. The woman later said she was scared to leave and rummaged through her purse to find something to protect herself with, but only found a pen.

The woman didn’t know, however, that another man heard the screaming and came to help. The man escorted the woman away from the bathrooms and then chased after Padilla, who was headed north.

Padilla ran into a Mexican restaurant, and his pursuer told the cooks to make sure he didn’t leave before police arrived.

A deputy who responded to a 911 call found Padilla inside the restaurant. Padilla claimed that the woman misunderstood his intentions and started screaming, which caused the man to chase him, the report states.

The deputy wrote that Padilla has a history of similar behavior.

In November 2023, Padilla was told to leave the SPiN Cafe, an Oak Harbor center that serves homeless people, after he was “touching guests” and staying in the bathroom for a long time.

A week later, a trooper with the Washington State Patrol saw Padilla harassing a young woman on the ferry to Mukilteo, court documents state; the woman said he sexually assaulted her, but she didn’t want to provide a statement. The trooper issued a trespass admonishment banning him from going on the ferry.

A week after that, officials at the Haven emergency shelter on Whidbey told Padilla to leave after he made sexually suggestive comments to other men while they used the bathroom, court records state.

In December 2023, three librarians at the Freeland Library reported having odd interactions with Padilla. One woman said he tried to convince her to go into the bathroom with him.

The next day, a deputy arrested Padilla after he went onto the ferry in violation of the trespassing order. On the way to the jail, he told the deputy that “sometimes women don’t realize that they like his advances and like him touching them.”

On Feb. 16 of this year, officers arrested Padilla after he went into the women’s bathroom at the Coupeville Library and blocked a woman from leaving. On May 9, Padilla pleaded guilty to unlawful imprisonment and burglary in the second degree. A judge sentenced him to 90 days with time served. He was released from jail last Thursday.