Friday, September 22, 2000

Man charged in assault of woman in office

By Jane Prendergast
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A 36-year-old man armed with a toy gun was arrested on Fountain Square late Wednesday after police said he tried to rape a woman in a downtown office building.

        The woman, 36, was working in her ninth-floor office in the PNC bank tower on Fourth Street about 7 p.m.

William Austin
William Austin
        Police say William Austin of Avondale, who worked for the building's janitorial service, went into her office, ordered her to come out from behind her desk and proceeded to hit, choke and throw her to the ground, police said.

        He then ripped off her clothes and tried to rape her, reports said.

        At some point during the attack, the woman apparently realized the gun was not real and decided to fight, said Sgt. Dave Wuest, a supervisor in the Cincinnati Police Division's personal crimes unit.

        “She put up a pretty good fight,” he said. “Good for her.”

        She scared the man off, and he left, stopping to turn in janitor's keys while the woman called for help, Sgt. Wuest said. He ran, leading officers on a foot chase to Fountain Square.

        Mr. Austin was arrested and taken to jail, where he remained Thursday. He faces charges of kidnapping and attempted rape.


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