Crime & Courts

Police struggle to find man behind back-to-back sexual assault crimes

We’ve all heard the phrase used in a generic way: If you see something, say something. Charlotte Mecklenburg Police are asking you if you’ve seen anything in a specific area. They’re looking for a man who they say is sneaking into homes and sexually assaulting women in Northeast Charlotte.

Even the description they’re offering is vague: A man with an average build, wearing dark clothes. That could pretty much be anybody. That’s why detectives are wanting your help to know what you might have seen and if you can help stop him before he finds another woman.

These back-to-back sexual assault cases are triggering.

“They told me about the last incident, and I’ve been having really bad insomnia,” said Missy Reyes who lives at the Maple Run Apartments on Canterwood Drive, not far from UNC-Charlotte. According to police reports, that complex is where a man is finding a way to sneak in through a back door to prey on women.

“It’s nerve-wracking,” Reyes said.

In one report, police say once the man was inside one of the units, he slid into bed with a woman and started violating her. The woman jumped up and ran for help. Days later, in another case, a man snuck into another unit and attacked a 16-year-old at home with her mom and two younger brothers.

Reyes says she’s seen a strange man walking around the area lately. She also says she was trying to get to the laundry room when her intuition stopped her from coming any closer to the suspicious guy.

“I shut off the lights and ran upstairs and woke my husband up. I was like there was a creepy guy walking in the back and he was like, ‘Oh, call the cops,’ and that’s what I did,” Reyes continued.

She has even made it a point to make a homemade bolt on the door.

“I put like a wooden stick across the back-sliding door, so no one can get in because it’s really flimsy,” she said.

Reyes, who has kids, says these crimes have forced the “mama bear” in her to jump out. She won’t let her kids play outside which, she adds, isn’t fair because they’re too young to understand why.

“I’m like no because unfortunately there’s a man doing bad things to people and we don’t know who it is,” Reyes confirmed.

Reyes also says she has seen security officers riding through the complex since these attacks, which is new. Workers who help to oversee the Maple Run apartments said the apartments have security cameras and they’re working with police to find this guy.

Again, police are really looking for your help, so if you know anything call 911.

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