Sunday, November 10, 2002

Mason man's DNA checked


He could be linked to rape

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

HAMILTON TWP. - Police are investigating whether a 28-year-old Mason man stopped by police for driving a car without a license plate on Saturday is one of two suspects wanted for last week's midday rape in a subdivision here.

The man, whom the Enquirer is not naming, was arrested at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in Hamilton Township after a short car chase.

He has not been charged in connection with the attack.

SUSPECTS




Hamilton Township police are asking that anyone who recognizes the sketches in Thursday's incident to call their tipline at 513-239-2450.
He is being held on charges of resisting arrest and fleeing and eluding while police await results of a DNA test. His bail was set at $15,000, a Warren County Jail official said.

"I cannot rule him out," said Sgt. Andy Roosa, who is leading the rape investigation. "But I don't think he is the guy (rapist)."

The woman raped described the attackers as having brown hair, brown eyes and heavy acne. Both were 17 to 20. One was roughly 6 feet tall and 250 pounds. The second man was approximately 5-foot-6, slightly built and wore a diamond stud earring in his right ear.

The man in custody is about 250 pounds, but has clear skin, facial hair and blue eyes.

Yet the man picked up Saturday was one of many whose names anonymous tipsters left with Crime Stoppers after police released descriptions of the suspects.

Saturday's arrest came after Sgt. Roosa noticed the man in a Maineville convenience store who was driving a Ford station wagon with no license plates and a towel over the steering wheel. When Sgt. Roosa asked the man for identification, he jumped into the car and sped away.

The man led police from three departments on a 13-minute chase before being stopped at Hopkinsville Cemetery on U.S. 22/Ohio 3, just west of State Route 48. The man stopped the car short of running over spikes police had placed in the roadway.

Residents in this Warren County Township were advised to keep their garage doors closed and locked and be alert of their surroundings after learning of the rape on Thursday.

Police said the attackers entered the home in a subdivision off Fosters-Maineville Road through on open garage. The two men, wearing no disguises and leaving fingerprints and DNA evidence behind, forced the woman upstairs, bound her wrists with packaging tape and raped her.

The two then rummaged through drawers, apparently looking for money and other valuables, before stealing the woman's car.

The woman freed herself about an hour after being taken hostage and called police. Officers found her car abandoned with the keys in the ignition six miles away on Morrow-Cozzadale Road.

Officials said late Saturday that they were working under the assumption that the two rape suspects were still at large.

E-mail jhannah@enquirer.com

Sheila McLaughlin contributed to this report.




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