Erie Avenue – Emory rape suspect spotted in Decatur
Editor’s note: This story turned out to be a false alarm. The man the woman encountered has been identified as a resident of the neighborhood.
A young woman says a strange man who followed her down a Decatur street matches the sketch of the suspect in the rape of an Emory University student.
Decatur Police Sgt. Jennifer Ross says the 17-year-old woman told police that at 2 pm Friday, Feb. 21, she was walking down Clairemont Avenue and turned on to Erie Avenue. She noticed a strange man walking toward her from the opposite direction. After they passed, he turned around and started following behind her. He was walking approximately two feet behind her, Ross said. The young woman felt uneasy and stepped off the sidewalk and walked to a nearby church. She waited before going home. The man didn’t follow her and kept walking east on Erie Avenue. He never said a word. He never made physical contact.
The young woman described the strange man as as white, in his late 50’s, unshaven, with a slight hunch in his posture, wearing an orange beanie cap, hoodie and blue jeans. She looked up the sketch of the Emory University rape suspect and recognized him as the man who had followed her.
“Decatur Police have been in contact with Emory University Police and DeKalb County Police to share information,” Ross said. “If you have any additional information, please contact the Decatur Police Department at 404/373-6551. The actions of the complainant in being aware of her surroundings, reacting to her uneasiness and changing course to locate a safe place are actions the Decatur Police Department would recommend if you are in a similar situation.”