Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Alpharetta woman's shouts help cops catch would-be rapist

By MARCUS K. GARNERThe Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionPublished on: 03/31/08

An Alpharetta woman's struggle and shouts helped police arrest a would-be rapist Sunday night, authorities said."He was obviously going to drag this woman off and rape her," police spokesman George Gordon said. "We absolutely applaud the victim for fighting back and giving us time to get on the scene."

According to police reports, a man approached the victim just before 9:30 p.m. Sunday at the Westside Commons town home complex off Westside Parkway and Maxwell Road.As she unloaded groceries from her car, the man put a sweatshirt over her head and tried to drag her to a secluded area where his car was parked, the report stated.

But the victim, in her early 20s, put up a fight."She was kicking, scratching, screaming ... whatever it took," Gordon said.

The attacker let her go and ran back to his car. But the victim's commotion brought out neighbors to her aid. She ran to her home, and Gordon said several calls came in reporting the attack. Within minutes of the incident, police identified a man fitting the attacker's description, and tried to arrest him. The man attempted to fight off two officers, and had to be subdued with a stun gun, police said.

Officers found pepper spray, a box cutter and knit cap in his car.

The victim was treated for small cuts and bruises.

Arnold Ray Harris Jr., 30, of Atlanta was charged with kidnapping, battery and sexual battery. Harris' charges are felonies, and he could face up to 30 years in prison. He is being held at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta.

"We're just glad to get him off the street," Gordon said.