DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – An armed serial rapist struck seven times near Fair Park before the Dallas Police Department issued an alert – and people who live in area want to know why. The first rape dates back to June 22, the most recent was reported on September 1.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown is facing the criticism head on and explaining why it took more than two months after the first attack for police to warn the public. Initially, Brown says detectives were unable to link the first two assaults, which happened in June. After that, he says there was a six-week break until the third attack. However, in the last two weeks, six more rapes have been reported. The eighth victim came forward Wednesday morning, after DPD issued its warning. Brown says there simply wasn’t enough information from the more recent victims to make a suspect connection–until Tuesday. Brown says the delay is rooted in the nature of the crime.
“These victims are often in shock and not ready to talk and we have to go at their pace. And their pace led us to talking with the public as of yesterday (Tuesday),” Brown told CBS 11’s Sharrie Williams. “We don’t push those victims beyond what they are ready to do.”
Dallas City Councilmember Carolyn Davis represents the district where the rapes have been occurring. She says even she didn’t know.
“I believe in working with Chief Brown. He had his reason, and I can’t answer that,” said Davis. “Am I a little frustrated? Yes I was. They should have told me with the two. Let me know what’s going on in my district.”
Councilmember Dwaine Caraway questions if certain parts of town receive a quicker response than others. Earlier this year, Dallas police announced their search for a rapist after just two attacks in the Lake Highlands area.
“Seven. That’s a concern. That’s not a North Dallas-South Dallas issue. That’s a factual issue. Seven versus two,” said Caraway.
But Chief Brown says the part of town where a crime occurs does not dictate police response. He says police are doing everything they can to get this serial rapist off the streets.
“I’m a Dallasite. Born and raised in the southern part of Dallas and my mother lives in the neighborhood where these sexual assaults occurred. I take it very seriously. I take it very personal…crimes everywhere in the city,” he said.
Extra officers –uniformed and undercover – are patrolling South Dallas and a special task force has been set up to capture the suspect. Police say he approaches his victims with a gun and first demands money. He then takes them to another location where he commits the rapes.
Victims say he covers his face with a mask or bandana, so it has been hard for them to provide a description of his face. Chief Brown says police will interview a potential witness Thursday morning, who may help them develop a composite sketch. Meanwhile, police have released the following description of the suspect: Black male, mid-20s to 30 years old, weighing about 200 lbs., 5’6″-5’11” tall. He wears oval, gold-rimmed prescription glasses, t-shirts and basketball shorts. The suspect has been seen driving away from some of the locations in a gray four-door Honda Civic or an older model gray four-door Volvo.
Police will host a community meeting on Thursday evening to address neighborhood concerns and answer questions. It will begin at 6 p.m. at the True Lee Missionary Baptist Church, 3907 Bertrand Ave.
Anyone with information about these crimes can call 911 or Crime Stoppers at 214-373-8477 to leave an anonymous tip.
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