CMPD: Woman raped in uptown; Suspect description released

by: Paige Hansen Updated:



UPDATE on Sept. 4: CMPD sources: Woman recants report of rape in Uptown

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police gave Channel 9 a description of the person they're looking for after a woman said she was raped in uptown Charlotte on Saturday morning.
Between surveillance cameras and streetlights, Charlotteans said they generally feel safe in the area.
"I do like having the well-lit areas, that definitely helps a lot," Shannon Roepe, who said she goes out in uptown, said.
Police are investigating an alleged rape which the victim said happened between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. that morning.
The 47-year-old woman told Channel 9 during an interview on Monday a man pushed her to the ground and raped her in an uptown alley.
"It definitely makes me want to be on the alert. I think maybe I'm a little too comfortable," Kathryn Needham said.
Police said the incident is an "extremely active investigation" and because of the nature of the alleged crime, the department has decided to increase its patrol in the uptown area.
The victim said she left the bar called Tilt on Trade Street on Saturday morning and because of a fight with her boyfriend, decided to walk home alone.
"Don't walk alone," Needham said. "I mean, that's not to blame the victim but you have to be careful."
"As a woman, I'm always hyper-vigilant of how vulnerable we are," Roepe said.
Investigators are reviewing surveillance videos from cameras in the area hoping to find out what really happened.
Police said it is extremely rare for something like this to happen in the Uptown area.
Police told Channel 9 they are searching for a black man in his 30s, about 6 feet 2 inches tall with a 2-inch afro and scruffy beard.

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Victim speaks out after alleged rape

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are still looking for a suspect after a woman said she was raped in the heart of uptown this weekend.

The victim spoke to Channel 9 because she said she does not want this to happen to anyone else.

The 47-year-old woman was still shaken Monday. She says she was raped early Saturday morning in uptown.

"It doesn't seem real, no. When I look at my face obviously and my tooth being gone, yeah I know it is real," the woman said.  She didn't want us to reveal her name or face, but Channel 9 saw the bloody scars and missing tooth she described.

The woman said she was having drinks at Tilt on Trade Street with her boyfriend. After they had an argument, she said she decided to walk home alone. She said she was several blocks away when she says she was suddenly pushed to the ground and raped in an alley.

"It seemed like forever but in reality probably 15 minutes, 10 or 15," the woman said.
She said the man told her, "This is what you get for walking alone."

CMPD investigators say the incident happened near the intersection of East 3rd and South College streets in the heart of uptown, an area in which the victim said she used to always feel safe.

"Do I feel safe now? I don't know. I haven't been out since," the victim said.  

And she says she'll never walk alone again. She says somehow, she found the strength to run away.

"Adrenaline, it comes out of you. You don't know where you got it from because I still don't know where I got it from," she said. 

Now she hopes others will be more cautious, too.

Police describe the suspect as a black man in his late 30s, standing 6 foot 2 inches tall with 2-inch Afro and a scruffy beard.

CMPD also says crimes like this one are rare in that area. 

Channel 9 searched within a 0.2 mile radius of where this happened on South College Street, and in the last month there were four assaults, one strong-arm robbery and a few other minor crimes but no rapes.