Local News

Fayetteville neighborhood on edge after rape

Posted July 8, 2010 11:57 a.m. EDT
Updated July 8, 2010 6:34 p.m. EDT

— Fayetteville police warned residents and searched for clues Thursday in the Montclair neighborhood where investigators say a woman was raped two days ago.

More than a dozen officers knocked on doors within a half-mile of the Brittany Place complex, where investigators believe a man kicked in an apartment door and attacked the woman around 2 a.m. Tuesday.

"We want to let people know we're out here, including the perpetrator," police spokesman Sgt. Dan Grubb said. "We are looking for you, and we are going to put a stop to this."

Police handed out leaflets entitled "Peeping Tom Prevention," stopped drivers and talked with residents. They planned to canvass the neighborhood again in the evening and to increase patrols.

Investigators said they have only a vague description of a suspect. The victim was sleeping when her attacker broke in, and he covered her face to keep her from getting a good look at him, police said.

Resident Tony Johnson was grateful for police effort's to inform the neighborhood.

"It happened a couple days ago?" Johnson asked. "I was unaware of that. I just found out this morning."

Investigators haven't determined if Tuesday's attack is linked to a series of burglaries and sexual assaults in Fayetteville and Hope Mills from June 2009 to January. In those cases, women reported that a man broke into their homes and attacked them while they were alone late at night.

Police don't believe the latest attack is related to several peeping cases and a sexual assault last month off Bingham Drive, about three miles from Montclair.

Resident Jake Emmert said the neighborhood across from Britany Place is on edge.

"My wife's scared," he said. "I lock my gates at night, padlock them."

Bevin Wates, who lives with her husband and young daughter in the adjoining Cross Creek Cove apartment complex, said she doesn't worry much about being assaulted but does worry about break-ins.

"These apartments are nothing to break into. I've had a break-in already, actually," Wates said. "Now that police are coming door-to-door, I might consider moving."

Emmert said he's not surprised that a rape occurred at Brittany Place. He said the complex needs better lighting and fencing.

"There's too much activity. There's no security," he said.