DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A community meeting between police and residents of a south Dallas neighborhood where a serial rapist is preying upon women turned confrontational Thursday evening.
It happened at the True Lee Missionary Baptist Church near Fair Park. Police say they wanted to inform residents about the rapist who they believe has victimized at least nine women. Their efforts to share information wasn’t well-received, much to the consternation of residents, many of whom feel police lacked a sense of urgency in notifying the community.
Asked on Thursday about their concerns, Dallas Police Assistant Chief Michael Genovesi said the “Dallas Police Department couldn’t take this stuff any more seriously.”
But most of those in attendance at the meeting simple didn’t buy it. Tempers flared inside the sweltering church sanctuary in the neighborhood where the same man raped nine women since June.
“I walk those streets it could have been me i should have been informed,” said one resident.
Police found themselves outnumbered and on the defensive trying to explain why the public wasn’t immediately notified after the first attack.
“We have to be able to talk to the victim a lot of times we can’t talk to the victim right away,” according to deputy chief Cheryl Scott.
Her answer didn’t sit well with the sister of the latest rape victim.
“She was leaving Williams Chicken coming down Spring Avenue and a man came up behind her with a mask on put a gun to her head,” she said.
Her 26-year-old sister might have thought twice, according to her sister, about walking that late had she known about any of the attacks whether they were related or not.
“She’s hurt, she’s troubled, she’s not the same, she’ll never be the same…”
Concerned citizens want to know why police are just now speaking up if the rapes started happening in June. The victim’s sisters was one of many who left Thursday’s meeting dissatisfied with the answers they received.
There were compliments though from some people in who commended the increased police patrols. Police say they don’t have a suspect sketch yet, but are working on it. The suspect wears a mask and gold-rimmed oval-shaped glasses every time he attacks. After the assault, he flees in what police say is possible a gray Honda Civic or older model gray Volvo car.
Anyone with any information about any of these attacks or the suspects is urged to please call Crime Stoppers at 214-373-8477.
(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
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