Residents React to Serial Rape Suspect's Capture - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

07/12/05

Residents React to Serial Rape Suspect's Capture

Word about the arrest of Ron Young, suspected in a series of rapes in the Coastal Empire and Low Country, spread pretty quickly. We've followed the rumors for days now, but once confirmed, the arrest is easing a lot of people's minds.

We went to one of the apartment complexes where police say Young raped a woman. As you might imagine, in Magnolia Gardens in Savannah, relief was the overwhelming feeling, but there's also still some anger, and several people say they'll never let their guard down again.

Ever since the August attack at Magnolia Gardens, women living there have been on edge. "When I come home I make sure my light is on, I go straight up to my apartment," said resident Eva Barker. "I look around before I get out of my car and I make sure I have my key out."

Barker didn't move into Magnolia Gardens until after the attack, and says she was surprised when she first heard. "If I would have know that, I would not have moved over here."

"There's a lot of women here who expressed concern that they were kind of afraid of the neighborhood in general, that something could happen right here in front of of everybody and nobody saw or heard anything about it," said Ravinash Ramcharan.

With the arrest of Ron Young, people in the apartment complex are more at ease than they have been in almost a year.

"I'm just happy he's gone," said Michael Perryman. "Hopefully they'll put him behind bars for a long while."

But even with Young's arrest, women living in Magnolia Gardens say they're not going to drop their defenses any time soon. "He's not the only person out there raping people, so you always got to be careful," Barker told us.

Things had been pretty tense around Magnolia Gardens again recently. Months after the rape there, there was a series of break-ins, and some people living there couldn't help but connect the two.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite, ccowperthwaite@wtoc.com

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