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Police arrest man suspected of attempted abductions

BY SARA LYNNE THELEN
Daily Staff Reporter
Published September 4, 2008

After a three-day hunt for a man who tried to abduct two females near campus Sunday night, Ann Arbor Police arrested a suspect at his home Wednesday afternoon.
The suspect, a 40-year-old Ann Arbor man, is being held at the Washtenaw County Courthouse awaiting arraignment on two counts of kidnapping and two counts of assault with attempt to commit criminal sexual conduct. The man's name will not be released until his arraignment.
“I can’t even begin to tell you how hard the officers and the detectives worked — for all intents and purposes, we were working non-stop since the incident occurred,” said Ann Arbor Police Lieutenant Michael Logghe. “Virtually all the resources we had at our disposal, we used.”
At about 8:30 p.m. Sunday, a man pulled the first woman, a 20-year-old University student, into the bushes as she jogged along Packard Street near Independence Boulevard.
She broke free and ran away.
About an hour later, a man drove alongside a 16-year-old female, jumped out of his vehicle and struck her several times before pulling her into his van.
The girl escaped, jumping from the moving van.
Police say they are confident the same man committed both attacks. The victims provided similar descriptions of his van and physical appearance.
Logghe said Ann Arbor Police Officer Eric Ronewitz recognized the suspect, whom he had arrested over the summer for driving with a suspended license, from the “very accurate description” the victims provided.
“There’s no question in our minds that it’s him,” Logghe said.
University Police issued a campuswide crime alert with a description of the suspect after the incident.
"We felt it was appropriate to inform our community about the incident,” said University Police spokeswoman Diane Brown. “We know a number of students (live) in that area, and that frequent that area, as well as staff and faculty that live in that area."
While Brown said the suspect’s arrest is "a welcome event," she added that students should remain cautious.
"It appears that someone who was intending to harm our community was taken off the streets," she said. “But people should not become complacent. Students should walk in groups, particularly after dark, and stay in well-lit areas.”


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