Police say recent rapes not related

March 24, 2010 3:55:42 PM PDT
Two rapes in one day have residents in Fayetteville on edge. Both attacks happened over the weekend.

But, investigators say the incidents don't appear to be related to a rash of other attacks in the Fayetteville area.

A regional task force recently announced new charges against Fort Bragg soldier Aaron M. Pernell, 22, for alleged rapes in Hoke County and Fayetteville. That is on top of charges already filed by military officials for two alleged burglaries and a sexual assault at Fort Bragg.

The task force is also investigating seven recent assaults in Fayetteville and Hope Mills.

The attacks this weekend don't seem to match those incidents. The first happened about 1:30 Sunday morning near Pamalee Drive. Police say a woman got in a car with several men and was raped. The second happened about 6:30 Sunday morning near the intersection of East Mountain Drive and Highway 301.

Police say neither appears to be the work of a serial rapist.

"Obviously rape's a horrific crime, but I wouldn't be alarmed at this point due to the fact in one case the suspect was a white male and in the other case the suspect was a black male," explained Lt. Chris Davis with the Fayetteville Police Department.

"Two different parts of town, so at this point, there's nothing linking those two assaults period," said Davis. "And there's nothing linking them to the assaults that we're currently looking at with Sexual Assault Task Force."

Because of the unsolved rapes in the area, the Fayetteville Police Department was ordered recently by the mayor to report all sexual attacks with unknown suspects within 72 hours. People who spoke with ABC11 Wednesday say they're using the information about the two rapes this weekend to stay safe.

"If I knew something like that was going on - and you don't every know where it might happen - then yes, I would make sure I was more aware on my own personal surroundings," explained Eastover resident Betty Summerlin.

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