Police this afternoon released a sketch of the man who allegedly raped and beat a 16-year-old Austin girl in an alley on the night of Sept. 16.
The attack occurred at around 11:40 p.m. last Tuesday as the victim was returning home from a relative’s house, stopping at restaurant on Chicago Avenue, just west of Central Avenue. The offender is said to be a 130-pound black male, 5 feet 9 inches tall and 19 to 20 years old.
He reportedly had a knife, grabbed the girl in a choke hold and dragged her into an alley behind Baba’s Restaurant, 5613 W. Chicago Ave. The man punched, bit and raped the girl, according to the family.
Police reportedly informed family members that a security camera from a next-door currency exchange captured the offender leaving the alley after the crime, as well as the victim later leaving the scene. The attacker was last seen wearing a dark blue or black hooded sweatshirt.
On Thursday, the victim’s mother and other relatives joined community activists at an afternoon press conference on Chicago Avenue, a half-block from where the crime took place. The family says witnesses in the area that night reported seeing the man leaving the alley but are afraid to come forward fearing they might be victimized by him.
“There were witnesses around. They saw what happened,” said the victim’s mother.
Attendees at the press conference included members of the South Austin Coalition Community Council, Westside Health Authority and 15th District Police.
Rev. Ira Acree, pastor of Greater St. John Bible Church and member of the LEADER’s Network, encouraged witnesses to call police.
“We’re distributing fliers in the community asking anyone with information on this horrific and heinous crime to come forward,” he said. “She has been violated and her life will never be the same because of this tragic event.”
On Tuesday, Sept. 30, community leaders will host a public meeting concerning the attack at 6 p.m. at the Austin YMCA, 501 N. Central Ave. Anyone with information concerning the crime can call Chicago Police detectives at (312) 746-8282. Anyone wishing to speak to police anonymously can call (773) 287-4570.
Austin Weekly News will have extended coverage in next week’s paper.