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Police Arrest Suspect in UNC Attacks

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CHAPEL HILL — Campus police at UNC-Chapel Hill have arrested a suspect in connection with two recent sexual assault attempts on female students.

Jesus Alvarez-Ramos, 23, of Carrboro, was charged Tuesday with one count each of second-degree kidnapping, attempted second-degree rape and attempted first-degree rape in the Aug. 15 and 17 incidents, said University Police Chief Derek Poarch.

Alvarez-Ramos is being held under $100,000 bond in the Orange County Jail in Hillsborough.

The arrest came one week after a UNC student escaped an attempted assault by a knife-wielding attacker. It was the second such incident in three days.

In both cases, the women resisted and called for help, and the attacker fled.

Both victims described their attacker as a light-skinned Hispanic man.

Police tracing Alvarez-Ramos found him Tuesday in jail, where he was being held on a charge of failure to appear in court in a driving-while-intoxicated case, Poarch said.

Police said citizens and the news media provided a "tremendous number of leads" to help solve the case.

"I don't know that anything necessarily surprised us, but it was certainly brazen to be right there," says Poarch.

Alvarez was an employee at the Carolina Coffee Shop, near the scene of one of the attacks.

"He was working when this occurred, at least the last one, and I don't know how feasible it would have been for him to run out from the kitchen, commit a crime and run back in," says Jason McNutt, manager of the Carolina Coffee Shop where the suspect works.

Students say they are relieved by the arrest, but feel they should continue to be cautious nevertheless.