You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, May 10, 2012 : 3:10 p.m.

Police detain man wanted for questioning in attacks on girls in West Willow

By Cindy Heflin

Washtenaw County sheriff’s deputies have detained a man they were seeking for questioning in connection with three attacks on girls in the West Willow neighborhood of Ypsilanti Township Wednesday.

Thumbnail image for west_willow_assault.jpg

Police said they have arrested a man wanted for questioning in attacks on girls in the West Willow neighborhood Wednesday.

Sheriff’s Office spokesman Derrick Jackson said deputies picked the man up shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday after releasing a wanted poster, including a photo taken by a security camera in the neighborhood, earlier in the day.

Residents have helped with supplying information in the case, he said. "I know we have gotten quite a few tips and leads from residents and students at the school," he said.

The man was being questioned at the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office shortly after 3 p.m. Thursday, Jackson said.

Deputies are continuing to investigate and need to complete their interviews with the man, but at this point they consider him to be a prime suspect in the case, Jackson said. Police said the man groped two girls and tried to abduct a third as they were walking to the bus stop in their neighborhood Wednesday.

Deputies reported a 17-year-old girl was approached from behind by a man who had ridden past her on a bike as she was walking to her school bus stop about 7 a.m.Wednesday near Chevrolet Street and Studebaker Avenue. The man put his hand over her mouth to prevent her from screaming and used his other hand to grope her crotch, letting her go when she bit his hand and ran back to her nearby home.

While deputies were in the area investigating that report, an 11-year-old girl approached police. Jackson said that girl reported a man matching the description of the bicyclist had approached her and groped her chest area before fleeing.

While talking to the girls, investigators received another call from dispatch notifying them of the kidnapping attempt of a different 11-year-old girl by a man matching the same description.

Sheriff’s office spokesman Derrick Jackson said the girl was on her way to a school bus stop at 7:30 a.m. near Nash Avenue and Dodge Court when the man approached her, grabbed her arm and said “you’re coming with me.”

The girl managed to yank her arm away and ran away and screamed, he said.

The man matches the description, in both appearance and actions, of a man suspected in a sexual assault reported last week near McCartney Avenue and State Street. Jackson said a man rode past a girl who was walking in the area before turning around, groping her and riding away. Police are still investigating that incident as well.

Willow Run schools administrators stationed staff members at various points in the neighborhood Wednesday afternoon to provide a safe atmosphere as students were walking home and said they planned to do the same thing Thursday.

Anyone with any information regarding about the assaults is asked to call 734-973-4884, or the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office confidential tip line number 734-973-7711.

View Larger Map



Fri, May 11, 2012 : 1:31 p.m.

I'm glad they caught him! If it's him. I wish the cameras had been there for Jesse Post and his mother.... I'm glad they r doing some good now! A community that as been so trashed in the past, has finally gotten something positive out of something bad. I hope the girls can get some relief.


Fri, May 11, 2012 : 10:21 a.m.

I'm also impressed by the cooperation b/t policy, sheriffs, and Willow Run schools. You all have done an awesome job--hopefully stopping a predator before something even more awful happens. Kudos!

Monica R-W

Fri, May 11, 2012 : 5:56 a.m.

Good job AGAIN West Willow, Willow Run S.D. and WSCO! Convict this person and throw away the key if he is the individual he's the one who did this horrible crime...times three.


Fri, May 11, 2012 : 4:44 a.m.

Can I get a camera in my neighborhood? You can put it on the street light in front of my home. Heck, you can even point it directly at my home and watch it all day if you want. lol


Fri, May 11, 2012 : 1:53 a.m.

I REALLY hope they got the guy! That would make my day!


Thu, May 10, 2012 : 9:12 p.m.

Where are all of the posters that constantly complain about and poke fun at those security cameras?

Monica R-W

Fri, May 11, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

Turns out this suspect couldn't run and hide from them!


Fri, May 11, 2012 : 1:54 a.m.

Yeah. I'd like to know the answer to that question as well.


Thu, May 10, 2012 : 8:29 p.m.

Great Job. Job well done by parents older students, and willow run schools. This is why those new cameras in west willow are there.. made for a fast ID.


Fri, May 11, 2012 : 1:55 a.m.

Please remember that this man is innocent until proved guilty.


Thu, May 10, 2012 : 7:56 p.m.

I hope they got the right guy. If so, bravo!


Thu, May 10, 2012 : 7:40 p.m.

This was an excellent example of the community, school officials, and the sheriff's office working together to keep our streets safe. Thank you all.