Local News

Fayetteville Custodian Uses His Cane to Scare Off Woman's Attacker

Posted November 30, 1998 6:00 a.m. EST

— A Fayetteville custodian is being hailed as a hero for stopping the attempted rape of a city museum worker.

The victim was saved when the custodian attacked the attacker, making him run away. And now, police are looking for the suspect.

Investigators say Lee Darnes used his cane to help a woman who was being attacked and raped.

"I guess after I look back, it made me a little nervous. But heck, I made it through Vietnam. There's not too much back here that's going to really scare me," said Darnes.

The victim was working at the Tokay Park Children's Museum when she was confronted. The museum was closed at the time of her attack.

"She accidentally left the door open, but it was left unsecured. The guy made entry through that door. At first she heard the noise, and she thought it was a co-worker," said Fayetteville Police Sgt. Roberto Rivera.

Police say the attacker forced the woman into a bathroom and beat her while trying to rape her.

That's when Darnes heard the commotion and used his cane to beat the man and force him to run away. Darnes hopes a quick arrest is made.

"He's a predator. I think it's important to all of us. This guy evidently is a predator. He will hurt anyone so they need to catch him," said Darnes.

The suspect is described as a black male in his mid-20s about 5 feet 6 inches tall with a slight mustache.

The suspect was seen fleeing the area in a older, tan Ford Tempo with one headlight out.

If you have any information about this crime, the Fayetteville Police Department wants to hear from you.