Savannah Neighborhood Remains on Alert for Serial Rapist - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

11/12/04

Savannah Neighborhood Remains on Alert for Serial Rapist

The attacks of Savannah's serial rapist are changing people's lives. Police don't know where he is or when he might strike again. He raped at least four women and attacked another. It all started in July, with an attack near Savannah International. Then two more on the Southside, one on Ogeechee Road near 35th Street and another in Richmond Hill at the end of September.

WTOC spoke with people who live where the rapist struck. Even though it's been nearly two months since his last attack, the people we spoke with are not letting their guard down. They're holding crime watch meetings, practicing self-defense, taking nothing for granted.

"I make sure that I always have someone else with me," said Jineane Ponder. She and her sister never walk alone, after a man attacked a woman in their Southside apartment complex in August. "You never know who is around you. Someone might be following you or something."

"The best thing to do is just be careful," said Wykenya London. "I guess watch what cars are around you and I try to stay in lighted areas because you never can be too sure who's where."

In September, a woman was abducted and raped from Kashandra Brown's complex. The same month, a man was shot and killed there. Brown is taking no chances with her safety. "I use my cell phone. I have my cell phone on. My sister lives right around the corner so I call her until I get in my car."

Brown's husband, Jedadiah, felt better after their apartment complex started its own neighborhood watch group. "I see more police patrolling around. I see, almost every hour, a cop rolls through here back and forth. It's more quiet around here. That taught everybody a lesson, to stick together."

It's something they hope will help prevent another attack from happening.

Take another look at the suspect's picture. If you know who he is or where he might be, call CrimeStoppers at 234-2020. The Savannah Apartment Association increased the reward for information leading to his arrest by $1,000, bringing the total to $3,500.

Reported by: Liz Flynn, lflynn@wtoc.com

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