Community response credited for attempted rape arrest

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Chattanooga Police arrested Thomas Lee Carr and charged him with attempted rape Wednesday morning. CPD only needed about 15 hours to catch Carr, thanks to information provided by community members.

The incident occurred around noon Tuesday in the MLK neighborhood. According to the police report, Carr followed a young woman into her residence and attacked her.

After saturating social media and news websites with his pictures, police were able to find and apprehend Carr in record time.

“I’m glad to hear that they caught the guy so quickly,” UTC senior Carson Cook said. “I’m glad to hear that the rest of the community cared and were sharing what they saw and knew on social media.”

This isn’t a new tactic. Many law enforcement agencies use social platforms to update the public and ask for their assistance in solving crimes.

“That’s amazing,” added Daniel Horton, who lives in the same building as the incident. “It’s really cool that we can use platforms like that to I guess plaster a guy’s picture all over the place until someone sees it, and we catch him a day later. That’s wonderful. It’s really exciting to hear. And I think it’s great that we can use Twitter or Facebook or whatever to catch people like this. I think it’s great.”

Junior Sam Franey believes in the strength of a community to help prevent crimes like this.

“I think just having a strong community, just talking a lot to each other and making sure that we all are looking out for each other. Always watch out for people walking by themselves, no matter where you think they’re going or what they might be doing,” Franey said.

The incident happened very close to UTC, but students say this doesn’t change their day-to-day activities.

“My dad would probably like me to say that I would do something different and go out and buy pepper spray or something,” Cook said. “But I’ll probably still walk around here because that’s how I get to class and stuff.”

Sergeant Scott Bales of CPD’s Special Victims Unit credited the community’s “cooperation and willingness to help” with making Chattanooga a safer city.

Categories: Local News

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