Woman's screams stop 2nd attempted rape in parking garage - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Woman's screams stop second attempted rape in Downtown parking garage

By Lori Brown - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A woman's screams alerted a nearby security, who prevented the second attempted rape in a Downtown Memphis parking garage this month.

Police said a man came up to a woman begging for money early Saturday morning.  She gave him some, but he continued to follow her inside the parking garage at the corner of Front and Madison Avenue.

Court records said the man then grabbed the 24-year-old woman in a "bear hug."  He drug her to the rear of the lobby, pulled her underwear down and almost raped her.

A security guard for the property heard the victim screaming and intervened.  The man ran off, but nearby Memphis Police officers said they caught him.

The officers arrested 45-year-old Bernard Richmond and charged him with criminal attempted rape, which is a felony.

The attempted rape was caught by video surveillance.

The parking lot is used by people who live at the new apartment complex, Metro 67, located across the street from the University of Memphis' new law school.

Devonya Evans uses the parking garage.  She said she is now going to be more cautious.

"I chose this complex because you have key card access to get in, key card access to get in the garage," said Evans.  "I should probably start trying to carry mace."

The attempted rape happened at 2:40 a.m. Saturday, but the attempted rape less than two weeks ago happened at 9 a.m.  In that attack, police said a man followed the victim into the elevator.  He beat her and then attempted to rape her.

Police caught and charged Darius Wright in that attempted rape.  Like the latest attack, the victim's screams were what alerted police officers.

Metro 67 residents said they can call a security guard to escort them in and out of the parking garage.

The security guard on duty initially said he could not comment.  When pressed, he admitted he was the security guard who intervened.  The security guard said he was no hero.

"I'm a nobody," he said.  "I'm a retired Ranger."

Copyright 2010 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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