DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – For the second time in less than a month someone has been raped in one Dallas neighborhood. But the attack on Friday night came after police said that they had a possible suspect in custody.
Dallas police are holding a regularly scheduled crime watch meeting in Lake Highlands tomorrow night. Old Lake Highlands Security Director Doug Woodham said last week’s attack has been a wake-up call for residents. “It has created a little bit more alertness within neighbors, watching out after neighbors.”
The latest two sexual assaults reported in Lake Highlands both happened in the 10000 block of Ferndale Road on February 22 and March 15,
Police arrested Fernando Munoz on a burglary charge on March 1. After more investigation, they suspect him of being connected to four sexual assaults , dating back to 2008, including the one from February in Lake Highlands. Police say they are waiting on the results of DNA tests for positive identification and so far have not charged the 33-year-old.
Since suspect Munoz was in custody last week, police are now tasked with also finding the person who attacked a woman on March 15.
Residents in the area are on edge, but Woodham says they must be proactive and call police if they see anything out of place or unusual in the neighborhood. “Because usually a gut feel is a lot stronger than, ‘Oh gee. No I don’t want to bother anybody. I’ll just forget it.’”
Laura Murray lives in the area. “It’s kind of odd that they have both happened on the same street, which obviously concerns me because Ferndale is right here. It’s just scary,” she said.
Cox said the latest two attacks have been “a wakeup call” for people in the area.
Neighbors say the crimes have prompted them to change their habits.
“Not going out at night anymore, doing it during the day,” said Lisa Bueschel, who said she now makes sure to walk closer to home, either with a friend or her dog.
Tonyia Dotson said, she’s been extra careful too.
“I have to make sure all the doors are locked, the windows are secured, the garage door is down,” she said.
She’s also keeping protection close. “We do have a firearm fortunately. And believe me, it’s nearby.”
The March 19 crime watch meeting will be held at the Dallas First Assembly of God on Northwest Highway.
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