An Anchorage man is awaiting sentencing after a jury convicted him of second-degree assault against a woman suffering from injuries sustained in a crash.

The case against 30-year-old John Robert Douglas started nearly 2 years ago on May 30, 2014. He attacked a woman in an elevator in a building on Fifth Avenue, groping her and punching her when she resisted, according to a statement from the Attorney General’s office.

“The woman had been partially disabled from injuries sustained in a previous serious motor vehicle collision,” assistant district attorney James Fayatte outlined in the statement.

The woman screamed when the elevator reached the first floor and Douglas began pulling her to a nearby stairwell. A group of people working in the building heard her and intervened. Douglas fled the building, but was followed by witnesses, including a marathon runner, according to Fayatte. They eventually caught him at the Court System parking garage at the intersection of Third Avenue and I Street and held him until police arrived and arrested him.

Douglas has a previous conviction of first-degree sexual assault from 2005 in Kotzebue. He is being held without bail until his sentencing, which is scheduled for Sept. 2.

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