Crime & Courts

Cops stop suspect in woman’s kidnapping and sex assault near UNCC, but he slips away

A 15-year-old has been arrested and charged after police say he kidnapped and raped a woman in the University City area.

Police on Saturday stopped a car driven by a man suspected of kidnapping a woman outside an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte and sexually assaulting her, but officers couldn’t find him after he ran from the car.

The suspect approached the victim at about 2 a.m. in a parking lot in the 1200 block of Rebecca Bailey Drive, which is in the University City area, police said in a news release Saturday night.

The suspect “forced his way into the victim’s car,” drove her to several locations and sexually assaulted her, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department release said.

The victim escaped from the suspect near the intersection of North Tryon Street and University City Boulevard, police said, but the assailant took her car.

The woman immediately reported the assault to CMPD; officers soon spotted the car and tried to stop it, the release said.

The suspect kept driving west during an ensuing pursuit, police said, before he ran from the car at Pondridge Court, which is in a residential area south of West W.T. Harris Boulevard.

“Officers along with the K-9 unit set up a perimeter and canvassed the area but were unsuccessful in locating the suspect,” police said in the release.

The victim was treated at a hospital, police said.

The 15-year-old was charged with first-degree rape, first-degree kidnapping, robbery with a dangerous weapon, and three counts of first-degree sex offense, according to a Monday news release from CMPD.

He had been released on bond in an unrelated case when the alleged rape was committed, police say.

The teen’s name can’t legally released because of his age.

Police urge anyone with information to call 911 or leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

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Joe Marusak has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1989 covering the people, municipalities and major news events of the region, and was a news bureau editor for the paper. He currently reports on breaking news.