Woman, 91, raped at knifepoint in home |[7/26/05]

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 26, 2005

By Mark J. Armstrong

A 91-year-old woman was raped at knifepoint and robbed of her jewelry Monday after answering a knock on the door of her Vicksburg home, police said.

The victim told police that she went to her front door around 6:35 p.m. and found a man who forced his way into the home where she lives alone and dragged her to a bedroom where she was beaten and raped, Capt. Mark Culbertson said.

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“This is pretty serious. Anyone who would do this to a 91-year-old woman …,” Culbertson said.

Two rings and a necklace were taken by the intruder before he fled, Culbertson said.

The victim was taken to River Region Medical Center, where she was being treated for injuries including knife cuts to her arm. She remained in the hospital this morning, but a report on her condition was not available.

The victim, who lives alone in a residential area east of Halls Ferry Road south of the entrance to the federal Engineering Research and Development Center, described her attacker only as a young, black male wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans.

The description matches that of a man who ordered another woman out of her home in the same neighborhood on May 30. The man was scared off by a neighbor’s dog.

Mayor Laurence Leyens said this morning he was disgusted after learning about the rape and said police will be taking a more aggressive stance against crime.

Next week, he said six officers will be added to the department, bringing the total number to 75.

He added that even with additional officers the police department cannot stop all crime. In addition to Monday’s rape, there have been two homicides in Vicksburg this year and a shooting on Clay Street last week.

“All these things are random crimes, and even if we had 500 officers on the ground we can’t prevent all of these,” Leyens said.

In the first homicide, Kennado Caples, 26, 2708 Letitia St., was shot and killed by an intruder around 3:25 a.m. May 8 at the home he shared with his girlfriend. And, on July 17, David W. “Jones” Anderson, 41, 4719 Gibson Road, was shot and killed outside the Elks Lodge at 2916 Walnut St. Another man, John King, 38, 2006 Ford St., was also shot outside the Elks Lodge and taken to the hospital.

Most recently, a warrant was issued for Tremaine Donte Williams, 21, 1900 Baldwin Ferry Road Apt. 6B, on July 21 after he was accused of firing eight shots at a 36-year-old resident of Clay Street. All eight shots missed and Williams has not been found.

Three homicides were reported in Vicksburg during 2004.

Deputy Police Chief Richard O’Bannon said this morning that investigators are diligently working on each of those cases, following leads and conducting interviews, but that many of those leads fizzle with no results.

“Some things we can control and some things we can’t. Some things you can have an impact on and some things you can’t,” O’Bannon said.

A similar crime was reported in Vicksburg in 1999 when a woman was raped repeatedly at a home on Sky Farm Avenue while her children were held in a closet. Two men were arrested the next day, and both are serving prison terms.