Friday, September 2, 2011

Be Extra Cautious On Streets At Night

By Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON—Brockton Police are asking residents—especially females—to be extra cautious if they are going to walk the city streets in the early morning hours after a woman was raped by an unknown assailant at about 3:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 27 while walking home from a shift at a restaurant that closes late on weekends.
“This isn’t something that happened in the middle of the day,” said Police Chief William Conlon.
“It was early in the morning, everything’s closed, no one’s around, it’s pitch dark, and she was alone. You’re very vulnerable at that time alone. It’s tragic, she didn’t have any other means to get home,” he said.
Conlon said he was in no way blaming the victim--whose identity is being withheld because she is a victim of a rape or sexual assault—he only wants to warn residents—especially women—to be aware of the dangers in the city at night.
“It seems to have been a crime of opportunity,” Conlon said. “This is a hard-working woman with an honest job who was raped by someone unfamiliar to her. This poor lady did nothing wrong. She was simply trying to earn an honest living and had no car to get her home. It’s a shame,” he said.
Conlon said the investigation is ongoing and they have a description of the man, described as a possibly light-skinned black, Cape Verdean, or Hispanic male, about 5-feet, 9- or 11-inches tall, medium to muscular build, dark hair, wearing a white tank-top and knee-length baggy shorts.
The attack took place on Battles Street after the victim left work with another woman. The other woman called a taxicab because she had farther to go.
The victim, whose home was not too far from the attack, opted to continue walking, Conlon said, possibly to save the money she just made at work.
Conlon said the woman, in her 30s, told police the man came from the direction of the Golden Triangle restaurant, at the corner of N. Main Street and E. Battles Street.
The victim told police, Conlon said, he shouted to her something like, “Hey, baby, talk to me.”
She tried to ignore him and kept walking westerly on Battles Street.
He pursued her and caught up to her as she was on the sidewalk on the north side of Battles Street.
He grabbed her by the arm, pushed her down onto a grassy area near the sidewalk and then raped her.
“He closed ground very quickly. It all happened very quickly. He tackled her and forced himself upon her,” Conlon said.
Once he was done, Conlon said, he got off her and left in an unknown direction.
The victim made her way home and went to an area hospital a couple of hours later.
Later the same day, she came to the lobby of the police station to report what had happened, Conlon said.
Conlon said although the man’s description is vague, police maybe able to catch him in the future through DNA evidence.
“Our best hope at this point is to get a match from the DNA evidence that was collected,” Conlon said.
To be able to use the DNA collected at the hospital, Conlon said, the suspect has to have been previously arrested and court ordered to submit a DNA sample, or if the suspect gets arrested in the future for some other assault that requires he give a DNA sample.
Once his sample is in the computer system, police would be able to ascertain a match and then obtain an arrest warrant—a process that could take time, and although there are many unsolved cases, some suspects are captured and face justice.
“I hope that we get such a match so we can get this creep off the streets,” Conlon said.

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