Neighborhood near UofM on edge after attempted rape

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Police are searching for a man who allegedly tried to rob and rape a woman in the University of Memphis area.

Investigators say she was unloading her car in her driveway on Goodlett Street near Douglass Avenue on Tuesday when a man approached her, threatened her with a knife and tried to rob her.

But when she told him she didn’t have any money, he took it even further, attacking and attempting to rape her.

“I hope they catch the guy that did it because that’s not alright. It’s not OK," said Shaheen Mokhtari, who lives a few houses down.

Neighors tell WREG the suspect even tried to drag the woman into an abandoned house.

Thankfully, other neighbors heard the commotion and scared him off.

“Hearing about it, although you know it’s happening all around, hearing about it that close just brings it home that you’re not safe anywhere," said one neighbor, who didn't want to be identified.

People who live there said they hear about all kinds of crime in the area, but never anything like this.

“It’s mostly robberies, shootings, attempted robberies," Mokhtari said.

His neighbor agreed.

“It’s not unusual to hear gunfire," one woman said. “It’s an every night occurrence. You don’t step out and not hear gunshots of some sort.”

One woman said the attempted rape makes her scared to even step outside for a cigarette.

“I was angry for one thing that you can’t even go out in your own yard because it’s not safe, and it’s a shame," she said. "It’s a shame to have to live where you’re not safe.”

Neighbors said police went door-to-door to see if anyone saw anything, and if they caught the man on their surveillance cameras.

In the meantime, people living here say they’ll be even more careful.

Police said the suspect was a black man, 5-foot-10, with a medium build, dark complexion, low haircut and thin beard along his jawline.

He was wearing a dark hoodie with red lettering on the front and got into an older yellow or tan Dodge two-door pickup, possibly a Dakota, with “Dodge” written in red on the tailgate.

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