Midtown residents on edge following sexual assaults

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Karin Ellis has always considered her Midtown neighborhood safe. That is, until she heard about the arrest of 19 year old Darion McDowell.
"It just scares you a little bit.  It's sort of scary," Ellis said.

McDowell is charged with attempted rape, kidnapping, and one count of sexual battery.

Police said he attacked two women in their early 20s while they were jogging.

One incident happened Monday in the area of Jackson Avenue and Charles Place.

The other last month near Poplar and Stonewall.

"One victim's clothes he tried to remove.  The first victim in the August incident, he groped her breast and that's when she put up a struggle and was able to get away," Det. Monique Martin of the Memphis Police Department said.

According to police reports, McDowell even tried to pull one of the victims towards his vehicle, a red Chevy Cavalier.

It's a crime that now has joggers like Cecelia Koetting thinking twice about safety, even before their feet hit the pavement.

"Know your surroundings. Know where you're at. Know where you can go in an emergency," Koetting said.

And with crime watch signs posted all over Midtown, neighbors are hoping people will do their part to help keep others safe by reporting anything out of the ordinary or suspicious to police.

Click here to e-mail Jamel Major.