Fayetteville police alert citizens about serial rapist

February 21, 2008 5:58:41 PM PST
Fayetteville police are using a hi-tech approach to help protect women from a serial rapist.

Authorities say since 2006, an unidentified man has raped or sexually several women on the north Ramsey Street side of town.

Police say they're shocked by the number of police in the area who say they didn't know anything about a serial rapist. That prompted authorities to send out a reverse 911 call with information about the suspect.

Police say they have gotten lots of tips about the rapist.

Despite intense media coverage and signs in the area where some of the attacks have occurred, police are surprised by the number of people who say they didn't know a rapist was on the loose.

Pat Miller walks her dog along the river trail near Ramsey St. She didn't know about the attacks until Eyewitness News told her.

Given the new information, she decided to shorten her walk.

The Fayetteville Police Department's message targets women like Miller. The call lasts about a minute and includes a brief description of the suspect.

"The suspect is a white or Hispanic male in his early twenties to early thirties with very short, possibly shaven hair," Jamie Smith, Fayetteville Police Department, said. "He is between 5'8" tall and 6'3" tall with an athletic built."

Police say some tips are coming in a little too late for them to investigate. So far there haven't been any new attacks.

"No, we haven't had any additional incidents that have been related to the rapist that was connected to the three other rapes," Smith said. "But we are still asking women to be very vigilant out there."

The automated message started going out at 5 p.m. Thursday. The system will make calls to about 2,500 homes and business in the area, wrapping up around 7:30 p.m.


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