Recent attack highlights parking-deck safety in Raleigh

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Promoting parking-deck safety.

Thousands of people come and go every day from downtown Raleigh parking decks without a problem.

But it can be easy to forget that what happened here earlier this month can happen at any time - a man grabs a woman, pins her to her car and fondles himself.

"That's very scary to see that happened here, said Julie Russo, a parking deck customer. "Very scary."

Women who use the Marriott deck were shocked at the allegations against 25-year old Brandon Barbour.

He's charged with indecent exposure, sexual battery and assault on a female.

Police - who had to fight with Barbour on Friday to arrest him - say he attacked the woman on March 3 at 4:30 in the afternoon.

The victim told us by phone she is an out-of-town school teacher who was here for a technology conference and had just gotten out of her car.

Most of the women ABC11 saw Monday in the Marriott parking deck said they come and go to their car alone.

Some work downtown or visit often.

Others, such as the victim, are schoolteachers here for a conference.

After hearing about what had happened, they all said they would be more safety conscious.

"I've parked in parking decks before and we're always taught to be wary," said Sabrina Secrest, a parking deck customer.

When asked how to avoid an incident happening, Secrest replied, "Well, um, I don't know how I would avoid it. I would just make sure I had someone else with me."

Some women told us their workplaces provide escorts. But many women said they don't use them.
The Downtown Raleigh Alliance also has a free escort service.

If you think you need an escort from your car in a parking garage to your intended destination, you can call (919) 368-7962 and someone will walk with you.

The available hours vary by day:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday from 6 a.m. - midnight.
Thursday, Friday from 6 a.m. - 2 a.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. - 2 a.m.
Sunday: 6 p.m. - midnight.

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