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Chattanooga rape suspect's case bound over to grand jury Monday

(Image: WTVC)

UPDATE:

Suspect Thomas Lee Carr appeared in court on Monday.

A judge bound his case over to a grand jury after setting his bond at $75,000. If he is able to make bond, he will be required to wear an ankle monitor that tracks his movements. He also won't be allowed on the UTC campus or the alleged victim.

Depend on us to keep you posted.

PREVIOUSLY:

People who live in the MLK neighborhood are extra aware of their surroundings after police say a man attempted to rape a woman inside the Douglas Heights apartment complex.

"I hate that I wasn't surprised. I think with the college kids and the homeless people around here, I think a lot of crazy stuff does happen," said resident Lucinda Nehemias.

Nehemias says she was notified of the incident by a group text with other residents, and emails from the apartment complex as well as UTC.

"I'm glad they caught him and she wasn't hurt and that it wasn't worse than it was," Nehemias said. "I was sad, I just felt bad for the girl that it happened to and I can't imagine being snuck up on like that especially in her own home."

She says the complex has a good security system.

"You need a key to get in to the outside door, then you need a key to get on the elevator, and then a key to get into your actual apartment and you can even lock your bedroom door."

Nehemias works at Champy's next to the complex. She says employees have a buddy system so they don't have to walk outside alone after work.

"When I think about where I could live and safety wise I think that kind of stuff can happen to anybody, and I think it just comes down to being aware of your surroundings and making sure that doors are locked and all of those things."

A Landmark Properties spokesperson released a statement Wednesday evening about the incident:

"Yesterday morning, an unauthorized male followed a female resident into Douglas Heights and attempted to sexually assault her in her apartment.
The Chattanooga Police Department responded immediately, and Landmark Properties has fully cooperated with their investigation, including providing surveillance footage.
Thanks to the great work of the Chattanooga Police, the bravery of our residents and the help of the Chattanooga community, the suspect was arrested earlier today.
Questions about the case should be directed to law enforcement. We continue to cooperate fully with their investigation.
Douglas Heights has a number of security measures in place, including three courtesy officers from the Chattanooga Police Department who live on-site and additional Chattanooga Police officers who work as off-duty security officers. Additionally, the building features limited access entry points that require key fobs, individual key locks for apartment units, and surveillance cameras in hallway corridors and common spaces.
There is nothing we take more seriously than the safety of our residents. This incident should send a clear message: if anyone comes to our property with the intent to do harm to our residents or staff, we will do everything in our power to identify them and bring them to justice.
Over the coming days, we will be implementing heightened security protocols."


PREVIOUSLY (Wednesday):

Chattanooga Police tweeted that they have a suspect in custody by the name of Thomas Lee Carr. Police say they arrested Carr Wednesday morning.

In the arrest report, the victim told police that shortly before noon, Carr followed her to her apartment in Douglas Heights and forced his way in.

The victim told police that Carr tried to take off her clothes and force her into a sex act.

It was at that point that the victim's roommate came into the room, and Carr ran away.

Surveillance pictures show the suspect fleeing down the hallway.

Several people, including at least one who says that he works with Carr at Amazon, called police to say they recognized him from pictures shared on social media.

The victim picked out Thomas Carr from a lineup. Carr has been charged with attempted rape.

"I want to thank the numerous community members who provided tips that helped Chattanooga Police Officers quickly identify, locate and arrest this dangerous man," said SVU Sergeant Scott Bales. "Cooperation and willingness to help others is what makes our city a safer place for everyone."

Depend on us to bring you more details as we get them.


PREVIOUSLY:

Do you know this man? The Chattanooga Police Department (CPD) says he ran away after an attempted rape in the MLK neighborhood Tuesday.

Police say the incident happened around noon on Tuesday.

CPD received a call from the victim shortly afterward to report the incident. Police have not released either the victim's name or exact location where the incident happened.

CPD says the suspect is a white male, has short blonde hair, and was wearing khaki pants and a navy blue tank top.

If you recognize this man or know anything about the incident, please call Chattanooga Police at 423-698-2525 or 911.


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