Man accused of raping Whitehaven girl had been arrested in the past

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Memphis police kept their word when they said they’d make it a priority to arrest the man accused of raping a little girl. Tuesday, Larry Ward sits in jail.

Police made the arrest Monday afternoon and have since charged the 20-year-old with rape, assault and kidnapping.

WREG's Bridget Chapman went to Ward's house on Monday but was told by the people there they didn't have any comments.

Ward's accused of raping an 11-year-old girl in Whitehaven.

“From my understanding, I guess was she was on her way to school and he hit her with his vehicle and drug her into his car and took her on the other side, proceeded to rape her and dropped her off," said the victim's mom.

It’s a crime that’s shaken the neighborhood. Officers arrested Ward after they reported seeing his car in this area on Raines Road near Weaver Road. They say the car matched the description from the assault nine hours earlier. Ward and a woman in the car were detained, with Ward later getting booked.

His record shows a history of burglary of a building and driving with a suspended or revoked license.

The victim’s mom told us on Tuesday her little girl’s back home and doing better.

“She's going to be emotionally traumatized by this, I'm sure,” said Lt. Colonel Gregory Sanders with the Memphis Police Department.

She was walking to Geeter Middle School around 7 a.m. when her mom says the attack happened.

“This is something new to me because my baby walks and walks home from school all the time and it's just a shock.”

Leaving her a message for other parents.

"Just be aware of your surroundings and just watch out for your children going to school in the morning," she said. "It's not safe out here."

The victim went to LeBonheur after the attack and her mom told us on the phone she’s just happy she’s home safe Tuesday night.

Ward is scheduled to be in court Wednesday.