Father seeks help solving crime against daughter at neighborhood safety meeting

Father wants answers in downtown attack

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A brutal attack occurred in broad daylight in what’s considered one of the safest parts of Memphis. And now one father needs help solving a crime against his daughter. He went looking for assistance at a neighborhood safety meeting downtown on Thursday, Sept. 19.

The Downtown Memphis Commission holds safety meetings throughout the year. Sometimes, like this most recent one, they are not well attended. But for one man who did show up, the DMC provided a lot of resources and encouragement that the attack on his child can be solved.

"I came as a Memphis citizen whose daughter was recently assaulted," the dad told WMC Action News 5.

His name is John. He asked that we not use his last name or identify his 21-year-old daughter. She was robbed and punched last month on Nettleton, just off South Main.

It happened on Wednesday, August 14 around 5 p.m. Her physical injuries, he says, are improving. Her emotional recovery will take more time.

"She's doing better," John said, "her arm is broken, but it's starting to heal. So, it's all really good."

It’s been five weeks with no arrest, no new leads. That’s why he showed up at the safety meeting. It’s an opportunity to meet the commander of the Memphis Police Department’s North Main precinct, the Neighborhood Watch Commander, the supervisor of the DMC’s safety squad called the Blue Suede Brigade, and the head of the City’s Neighborhood Concern department.

“I learned a lot,” John said, “I met some people here who have some pull with the city, as well as learned a lot about the cameras systems here in Memphis that you see all over, the SkyCops.”

Josh Stanley, from the MPD's Real Time Crime Center, was also at the meeting.

"If you see blinking blue lights on a utility pole," he told those in attendance, "odds are they belong to the police."

But, he added, citizens can’t get access to SkyCop video if the case is still under investigation. And a FOIA, or Freedom of Information Act request, must be submitted to get any video from MPD.

John, with the help of a neighbor, located other sources of video showing his daughter’s attacker and posted it to Nextdoor, hoping someone may know who the suspect is. He’s a diligent dad, trying to solve a crime, that took place in a part of Memphis he and his family call home.

"I'm not scared for her safety," he said, "but I know that we'll be more cautious. We love Memphis. We love downtown. But we'll certainly be more cautious."

The victim described the suspect as an African-American male 25-30 years old, six-feet tall, average build with a black beard. He was wearing a blue t-shirt with a fluorescent design. He got away with about $900 worth of her belongings, including her purse and iPhone. Anyone with information about the robbery should call police.

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