AUSTIN (KXAN) — A woman walking to work downtown was chased into an alley by a suspect who cornered her and then tried to sexually assault her, Austin Police report.
An arrest warrant says the woman was on her way to her job at the Driskill Hotel around 6 a.m. Tuesday when Gregory Gabriel, 36, asked her for $50 and told her she had beautiful hair.
After stepping inside a Starbucks for some time, the woman walked across Sixth Street to avoid Gabriel, but he was able to follow her and began to “pet” her ponytail.
The woman told police that she was concerned and told Gabriel to leave her alone, but he followed and cornered her into an alley behind the Driskill Hotel — where her began to put his hands down her shirt and pants.
Police say someone walking by helped stop the attempted assault when they heard the woman screaming for help. Gabriel ran off after that person came to help the woman, according to the warrant.
Officers found Gabriel and were familiar with him due to recent incidents that include two different public lewdness cases in April. He is now charged with attempted sexual assault.
The woman told police she felt Gabriel was able to isolate her in the alley because he planned the attack.
Driskill employees enter the hotel through an entrance in the alley where the alleged assault occurred. In an emailed statement, General Manager Scott Mason said, “We are thankful for the quick response the authorities provided to assist with this important matter – we are fully cooperating with their investigation. Safety and protecting the privacy of our associates and guests are our foremost concerns.”