Detroit police arrest suspected 'blow torch' serial rapist

Suspected serial rapist strikes again in west Detroit, but police think they now have him in custody

Author: Will Jones, Local 4 Reporter, @Local4Will, wjones@wdiv.com
Published On: Jan 24 2014 05:31:16 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 24 2014 05:49:49 PM EST
Blow torch serial rapist Detroit
DETROIT -

Asia Murray will never forget what she saw Wednesday morning: a woman badly injured with burn marks all over her legs.

"Bad. Like, both her eyes like this big, like she was messed up, beat up. She had no clothes on, buck naked in this weather, running down the street, legs were burned up," said Murray.

Neighbors in the west Detroit community have lived in fear since the blow torch serial rapist first struck last summer, sexually assaulting women and then setting them on fire.

After several months in hiding he found his latest victim near a Citgo gas station on Meyers. He pulled her in his car, hitting her and burning her legs with a blow torch.

She found a screwdriver, stabbed him in the face and ran off.

"Thank God that she survived because she didn't deserve to be burnt up," said Brittany Childress, a friend of the victim.

On Friday, police say they have the 24-year-old man responsible in custody and they believe he's connected to the other two cases in July, all in the same vicinity on the west side.

"The MO matches this case. The physical description matches. In those cases, being that those cases are now 6 months old, it requires more follow-up, we have to track the victims back down again," said Deputy Police Chief David LaValley.

Murray is relieved the man is now off the streets and no longer targeting women in her community.

"Why would you run around doing that? What did they do to you for you to want to burn them up, and beat them up and rape them, and whatever you did, why would you want to do that? That's crazy," she said.