Local News

Carrboro Women Worry About Safety As Rapes, Assaults Continue

Posted February 17, 2004

— Carrboro police are not sure if two rapes and a sexual assault that happened within miles of each other in Carrboro are connected. But they admit it is a possibility.

Meanwhile, residents want to know if police are giving them information they need to protect themselves.

In the last week, three women have been attacked in their residences, two of them raped. Now, many women in Carrboro are wondering if it will happen again.

The first two cases happened last Monday at two apartment complexes along Highway 54. The women were assaulted within hours of each other.

The latest attack happened Sunday, just a few miles from the other two.

"There's a possibility they are all three related," Carrboro police Lt. Jim Phillips said.

Police released a composite of the suspect, based on a description given by one of the victims. What they did not release right away was where the first two assaults happened -- saying only that they were along Highway 54.

Some residents felt that, in the interest of public safety, the names of the apartment complexes where the attacks occurred was important information.

"The specific names of the complexes, in our view, would not have enhanced public safety in a positive way in the sense that it would have made anyone one iota safer," Lt. Phillips said.

The managers at Royal Park Apartments felt differently.

Within 24 hours of a woman being raped at the Royal Park complex, managers wanted everyone to know about it. They handed out fliers with information about the attack and the suspect.

They even offered a $10,000 reward.

"I feel a little better being aware that something did happen," concerned resident Juanita Butler said.

Said another resident, Lindsey Bruton: "I would like to know where it happens, when and to who.. What's going on, exactly."

Though many women saying knowing where the attacks happened makes a difference, putting the suspect behind bars is the only thing that will make them feel safe.

According to police, the suspect in the two rape cases is a Latino male, between 20 and 30 years old, between 5 feet 7 inches and 5 feet 9 inches tall. He has a round face and a heavy build and speaks English with a slight accent.

If you have any information, you are asked to call the Carrboro Police Department.

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