Hunt is on for Serial Rapist Targeting Memphis Apartment Communities
Memphis police alerted the public Monday that a serial rapist may be targeting area apartment complexes.
The suspect is believed to be responsible for at least five sexual assaults so far, going back to 2014. The most recent incident happened around 10:30 p.m. Sunday at the Arbors of Hickory Ridge apartments at 6296 Lake View Trail in the Hickory Hill area. Before that, the last time he struck, police believe, was last July.
According to police, the suspect — armed with a handgun — broke into the apartment of a 22-year-old woman. The suspect robbed and sexually assaulted the woman, police said, then fled before officers arrived.
Police believe the same man has committed at least four more sexual assaults as well as three separate burglaries at other complexes in the Memphis area dating back to 2014.
Three of those complexes are in the Cordova area: Country Squire, Woodchase and Lincoln at Wolfchase. Other incidents have occurred at the Summit apartments near Raleigh and Edgewater in Northeast Memphis, not far from Shelby Farms. No vehicle has been spotted, police said, and no surveillance video of the suspect has been located.
According to police, the suspect — wearing a mask — typically enters a residence through a window or patio door. The suspect is described as a black man between 20 and 27 years old, standing 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-9 and weighing 145-165 pounds.
The fact that the suspect attacked the women in their homes makes the situation even more frightening, said Deborah Clubb, head of the Memphis Area Women’s Council. That group works to improve the quality of life for women in the Memphis area, including combatting sexual assault.
“If they’re coming in through people’s apartments, that’s especially alarming. It’s one thing to be in the parking lot, but it’s another to be in your apartment where you feel like you’re safe,” she said.
Clubb added that women needed to take proactive steps to protect themselves from such attackers.
“You have to constantly be aware of your surroundings. Try to be in lit areas, not be alone until they catch this person,” Clubb said. “Break a broom handle and put it in that patio door so it cannot open. If he’s coming through windows, you’ve got to lock them. If they are broken, stand in your manager’s office until they fix them.”
Source: The Commercial Appeal