Local News

Raleigh police look for clues to link sexual assault cases

Posted November 1, 2012 6:19 p.m. EDT
Updated November 1, 2012 6:55 p.m. EDT

— A man accused of attacking a woman in her bedroom last month in Southwest Raleigh may have struck before, according to court documents.

Police obtained a search warrant last week to collect DNA from 17-year-old Malik Jamal Woolridge, of Orchard Hollow Lane, who is charged with rape, burglary and assault in connection with a sexual assault at a Raleigh apartment complex on Oct. 14.

A 19-year-old woman told police a man entered her bedroom, exposed himself, pulled back the covers and pushed her back on the bed when she tried to get away. The woman was able to flee her apartment and call 911.

Woolridge was arrested about 11:45 p.m. that night near the area of Melrose Valley Circle in southwest Raleigh, and the victim later identified him as the assailant.

According to the search warrant, police want Woolridge's DNA "to compare with any DNA collected in other similar cases."
Investigators wouldn't confirm the specifics of what other cases they were looking at, but a Sept. 28 incident on Chamberlain Street involved a man whose description is similar to Woolridge's.

That night, a man climbed into bed with two sleeping female students and ran away when one of them woke up, police said. The man was described as black, about 6 feet tall, with a muscular build, dark complexion and a short afro.

Two other unsolved cases - one on Oct. 16, 2011, on Bagwell Avenue, and another on Aug. 25, 2011, on Vanderbilt Avenue – also have similar descriptions of the assailant.

Police would not say Thursday whether Woolridge is a suspect in the other crimes.

The incidents have women in the area keeping their guard up.

"We do keep our door locked all of the time," North Carolina State University student Heather Dew said. "We have (a) motion light, and the porch light we always keep on."

Woolridge remains in the Wake County jail under $400,000 bond and has a court appearance scheduled for Nov. 6.