Suspect on the Run After Brutal Sexual Assault

FEBRUARY 15, 2007

JONESBORO, AR -- There is a sexual predator on the loose in Region 8 and all women who travel alone need to be extremely cautious. He has already assaulted one victim and authorities fear he could strike again.

"It's a very brutal, shocking deal. I've not seen anything like it in my 33 years," says Chief Deputy J.R. Thomas with the Craighead County Sheriff's Department.

Wednesday afternoon around 1:30, a 21 year old Jonesboro woman was driving home on Craighead County Road 318 when she saw a Hispanic man waving her down on the side of the road. The man appeared to be holding a baby wrapped up in a blanket, so she pulled over.

"He advised her that the baby wasn't breathing and we need to get to the hospital. She said I know CPR, you get in the driver seat, hand me the baby," says Thomas.

As soon as they took off, she quickly realized this ride wasn't what she thought. When she went to unbundle the baby, she found a gun and a screwdriver instead. When she asked what was going on, he told her to shut up and then hit her in the head with the gun.

From there, he took her down County Road 333 into Greene County. She says she remembers passing the Crossroads Cemetery and then being taken to a more secluded area off the gravel road. That's when it turned brutal. The man cut off both her shirt and her bra, then her pants and her underwear. When she told him no, he hit her a few more times with the gun and said if she fought him he would kill her. That's when he pulled out the screwdriver and with both ends, sexually assaulted her and sodomized her.

When he was finished, he jumped out of the car and took of running. The young woman, viciously beaten immediately drove home and was taken to the hospital. The police met her there and gathered a description.

"We are looking for a Hispanic male, early thirties, a thin build, dark hair, goatee. At that time Wednesday, he was wearing a dark blue toboggan, jeans and a tan looking jacket," says Thomas.

A dangerous, armed man who still is on the loose; it's enough to disturb anyone, especially any woman.

"I just want to stress the point for the ladies out here to be very cautious of what they're driving up on," adds Taylor.

The victim is out of the hospital and is recovering at home. Again, police are searching for a Hispanic male in his early thirties, described as having a thin build, dark hair and a goatee. He was last seen wearing a dark blue toboggan, dark shirt, jeans, and a tan jacket.

If you can help authorities make an arrest in this case and get this guy behind bars, call Crimestoppers anonymously at 935-STOP.