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Posted on Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 9:03 a.m.

FBI assisting Ann Arbor police in investigation of 6 recent attacks on women

By Lee Higgins

The FBI is assisting the Ann Arbor Police Department in the investigation into six recent attacks on women in Ann Arbor, including two rapes, FBI officials confirmed today.

FBI Special Agent Sandra Berchtold, a bureau spokeswoman in Detroit, said AAPD contacted the FBI for assistance, but she could not discuss specifics.


More stories on recent attacks on women in Ann Arbor:

Six women walking alone have been attacked between July 15 and Tuesday. The most recent attack occurred in a parking lot in the 700 block of South State Street.

A 21-year-old University of Michigan student retrieved something from her car about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday and then was grabbed from behind and fondled by a man, before breaking free, police said. It was the same block where one of two rapes occurred on July 18.

Police said one or two men are believed to be responsible.

Anyone with information on the attacks can call the Ann Arbor Police Department's confidential tip line at (734) 794-6939 or Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) SPEAK UP.

This map shows the location of the six assaults. Place your mouse over any location to see more information on the assault that occurred there.



Fri, Jul 29, 2011 : 1:36 p.m.

I don't care if we call in NASA to assist as long as this pervert is captured quickly, but for those of you that watch a little too much television the FBI won't be knocking down doors or serving warrants, they are kind of like the human resources department at your job. No one really knows what they do all day and they take credit for everything, kind of like Ann Arbor's Mayor.


Fri, Jul 29, 2011 : 1:47 a.m.

The FBI will create a "Profile" of this person and then when they actually get him, he won't be anything like they thought. I think UM Hospital Security Guards would be of more use in finding this guy than the FBI (F amous B ut I ncompetent).


Fri, Jul 29, 2011 : 12:23 a.m.

Good move by AAPD. The FBI does not relent until cases are brought to a close, so citizens' confidence level that the subject will be caught should go way up.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 10:57 p.m.

Regarding the map pinpointing the attack locations. Can't help but notice the huge gap between Liberty and Madison. I still think this guy is on foot, and is very familiar with the area. Seems to be avoiding the central campus area.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 10:50 p.m.

Would someone with a CPL please ventilate this guy?

Andrew MacKie-Mason

Fri, Jul 29, 2011 : 7:14 p.m.

I'm ashamed that someone would be advocating the murder of another human being on the boards.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 8:40 p.m.

Whatever it takes to catch this guy, or these guys, is what's important. Ann Arbor has an increasing crime problem, whether or not the city wants to admit it beyond this latest series of attacks. There are more assaults and armed robberies happening in the city, perhaps due to the perception that A2 is an easy target with all the students and fewer police these days. Women should not be taking any chances at night, for any reason.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 8:05 p.m.

This was mentioned on msnbc today.

Wolf's Bane

Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 5:17 p.m.

Finally! The FBI will certainly catch this knave.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 3:51 p.m.

So maybe this rapist has struck somewhere else similiarly and now the patterns are suspicious. Good for the AAPD. Catch him soon.

Tom Teague

Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 3:48 p.m.

The agency's responsibilities and authorization to help local police agencies are outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 28. The FBI brings expertise in criminal profiling as well as identification of potential suspects from fingerprints or DNA. If this local crime pattern is similar to a series of rapes that occurred elsewhere, the FBI will be helpful in securing cooperation across state lines. Not to mention additional investigators and FBI crime lab resources. So why is it "troubling" to have the FBI involved? Personally, I applaud the AAPD for asking for help.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 3:57 p.m.

Just as aawolve said- glad to have Garcia and the BAU working on this.

Tom Joad

Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 3:35 p.m.

I have to agree. Late night Ann Arbor brings out the worst of the worst. I don't venture out after midnight, not that I can't but I don't like to be confronted with druggies, drunks, and aggressive panhandlers.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 2:49 p.m.

Sorry, but I find this troubling that the AAPD has to ask the FBI for assistance. Where does this even fall into the Fed's stature of help? Is the AAPD not competent enough to solve a "relatively" routine crime. Please, don't get me wrong in saying that rape is a routine crime. My point is that something is lacking within the AAPD if they feel that they have to turn to the FBI to solve a local crime that isn't typically a case that the FBI would become involved in. What resources does the FBI bring to the table that our local police department should have? Years ago, when there was a similar crime spree, the city rounded up young African American men that fit the description and requested that they submit to DNA samples. Guess this approach won't occur now. But still, is there a manpower shortage? Does the FBI bring more crime solving technology that the AAPD doesn't have? Is the FBI assisting with developing a profile of the person(s)? What's next, will the FBI be contacted if there is a series of break-ins of homes each summer? This speaks to the whole perception that since A2 has a low crime rate, and when something major happens the AAPD has to seek help, or are slow to respond to developing trends. Has the jewelry store robbery on Main St. been solved yet? Guess this is what happens where it's more economical to have patrol officers parked at BGreen catching speeders on Packard Rd. at 9am. westbound when the traffic slows to single lanes. Or, on Stadium Blvd. around the same time parked in a church parking lot as traffic clears a curve. This is like catching fish in a barrel, but no real crime solving ability involved. While utilizing resources are very questionable.

Andrew MacKie-Mason

Fri, Jul 29, 2011 : 7:10 p.m.

First of all, it's atrocious that you would even seem to suggest that this is a reasonable thing to do: "Years ago, when there was a similar crime spree, the city rounded up young African American men that fit the description and requested that they submit to DNA samples. Guess this approach won't occur now." Second, as the other people have said, this is an *extremely* rare type of crime spree. Yes, the AAPD can probably handle it, in some sense of the word. But no police force is perfect, and they all take time. More help can never hurt. If the FBI speeds up the capture enough to prevent even a single woman from being attacked, wouldn't that be worth it to you? Or is it so important that our local police force handle everything on its own that you think a slower capture (and more attacks) is ok? By the way, even 'routine' police work isn't carried out solely by the AAPD. They collaborate with other agencies at various levels of government in many ways, whether through using databases (drivers' licenses, fingerprints, DNA, crime info, etc), sharing training resources, collaborative manhunts, interjurisdictional warrants and extraditions, etc.


Fri, Jul 29, 2011 : 5:06 p.m.

Serial rapists and murderists sometimes change locale. The FBI might have information as to whether or not there have been sexual assaults with the same MO in other states, leading to an eadier ID. Part of the Michigan Coed Killer (1970) got caught, because he went on vacation in California and continued his crime spree there. At a police seminar I once attended, it was stated that if you drift into town and commit a murder or rape, then leave within 4 hours, there's allmost no chance that you will ever be caught.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 10:41 p.m.

Years ago that crime spree included brutal beatings and death, was over a much longer time period, and, so far, was infinitely scarier.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 8:13 p.m.

The fact is that all of the crimes that the FBI investigates fall under the jurisdiction of some police department somewhere. We would all love for local police departments to be as capable of solving any crime as the FBI, and maybe in a world of unlimited funding they would be. But in the real world, there is a gap between what the AAPD is prepared to handle and what the FBI is. Of the 8 violent crimes that the FBI deems to be the most serious, only murder is less common than forcible rape (date rape, statutory rape, etc. do not fall under this same category - these crimes are significantly more common). Therefore, when you have 6 in a period of little more than a week (and the FBI statistics count attempts as well as "successes"), that is a huge deal and the FBI should be involved. And let me clarify by saying that the AAPD is not outsourcing anything to the FBI - they are collaborating. That's an important distinction.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 6:50 p.m.

Thanks to all those who replied, it has given me another perspective to look at. So, in the future, AAPD will just deal with the minor crimes and outsource the major crimes to the FBI? Just a question based on this logic. What then, is the type of police force do we want (or have for that matter). It's not just a question of why it bothers me as much as what are we missing from our local police force as a community. If our local police department has trouble in solving major crimes, then this is an issue that needs to be addressed. If we only want a police force to create revenue for speeding then this should be addressed also. Granted this a a major challenge for the AAPD. Nothing of which they've had in quite some time. Still, the reputation of the AAPD is loosely based on Mayberry, to use another posters reference. I, personally, would like to know that if there were a major crime occurring that my local police department has the resources to fully investigate and solve. If the FBI is needed for assistance so be it, but it seems early on to request their help within a very short period of time. Maybe more will come forth after the perp is caught and the public can digress more information from the factors that help to bring this person (s) to justice. Time will time. Meanwhile I'm holding judgement on the validity of the AAPD and how they perform.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 5:46 p.m.

As well trained,Diverse and Highly paid the AAPD are, they can use all the help they can get. I know at least 3 guys that look like this suspect (I'm 100% sure they aren't involved) but I bet they won't even get questioned. If this was a black male it would be another DNA Round up and once again the AAPD would be getting the DOG Poop sued out of them. yeah, bring in the FBI, DEA,CIA and DOJ and ASPCA for that matter.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 4:54 p.m.

This whole thing is beginning to look like Mayberry RFD.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 4:43 p.m.

Why does this upset you so much? The FBI does much more than profile criminals. They have access to a myriad of resources and databases that local police departments do not (or are not as familiar with using). As much as the media might make you believe that stranger rape is common, the reality is that it is not. It is extremely rare, and it is even rarer to have so many attacks occur in such a short period of time. The FBI is the foremost authority on these kinds of criminal acts, and their involvement can only help with the investigation. Let's face it....the AAPD does not have very much experience investigating random violent crime like this (thankfully), and calling in people who are trained to solve exactly these types of crimes can only be a good thing.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 2:58 p.m.

Your years ago comment and black males giving dna was in reference to the serial rapist back in early-mid 90's, right? That approach could work today still under the Patriot Act, but if would have to be for terrorist suspects only...


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 2:56 p.m.

FBI probably has more resources (manpower, tech, etc.-as plenty of posts from the other day made light of a dwindling AAPD force. Yes the FBI has more tech than AAPD does..... It's probably a courtesy call and if the FBI has a good relationship with AAPD, it can't hurt things to bring them in.

Atticus F.

Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 2:47 p.m.

At this point, everyone is a suspect... If you're at your office desk, look to your left, and then to your right. If the person sitting next to you is a male, you are sitting next to a possible rapist. You brother, your son, that guy who asked you for your number at the gym, all suspects.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 11:56 p.m.

Beg to disagree there, Ace Ventura; Black Men = not a suspect Old Men = not a suspect Have you been reading? There is a description out you know. Could you be a little more melodramatic, sheeze.

Wolf's Bane

Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 5:17 p.m.

"You brother"? What are we trying to say here, Attipus?


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 2:52 p.m.

Love your id pic btw.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 2:52 p.m.

Cue the family guy line from college orientation and sexual assaults. 1 out of 2 men will assault you. 'looks to left, guy says i would never, looks to right, guys says, i might. Tasteless yes, but focus should be on suspect and not witchhunts/generalizations.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 2:37 p.m.

Ok, first off no one ever deserves to be attacked. But with that said....with these attacks going on for almost 2 weeks now, and with it being reported all over the media.....why are there still women putting themselves in these precarious positions. When the police tell women not to walk alone at night....that means DON'T WALK ALONE AT NIGHT!

Andrew MacKie-Mason

Fri, Jul 29, 2011 : 7:01 p.m.

"don't put yourself in a position that could possibly cause you harm" So I take it you never drive anywhere? Or walk anywhere? Or set foot outside your home? Or stay in your home? You've developed a lifestyle that allows you to live in perfect, 100% security? Sounds pretty boring to me. "that is the risk she takes" This sounds a lot like, "why should we care if these women are attacked? They chose to take the risk."


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 10:49 p.m.

Mariella, I don't believe anyone here on this thread is "blaming the victim". We're simply stating the obvious: don't put yourself in a position that could possibly cause you harm. Don't walk alone at night - ask a trusted buddy to go with you if it's absolutely necessary that you be out at night. Common sense. However, if a woman feels comfortable walking alone at night for whatever reason, that is the risk she takes. I don't think anyone here would actually lay blame on her if something horrible should happen. I guess it's like walking into an area that's known for snipers sitting atop tall buildings waiting for their next victim.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 10:32 p.m.

@redwingshero.... "-) actually it was on Washington Street in Ypsi, a block away from the Deja Vu. Saw some pretty interesting, shall we say, nightlife - all through my living room window, of course.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 8:13 p.m.

It doesn't seem like this woman was "walking alone at night." It seems like she drove into campus, probably because of the recent attacks. But how is one supposed to get from the library (or an office, or a workplace) to one's car? Do you have some magical ability to float from place to place, Jennifer? Some people have jobs that require them to be out past 9pm. Please stop blaming the victim.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 6:36 p.m.

Yeah, pittsfield has its spots, but has nothing out my way like the south side of Jackson. Reading the police blotter is always funny and sad all at the same time.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 6:17 p.m.

redwing you do realize Pittsfeild has some pretty seedy areas don't you ?


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 5:15 p.m.

@fatkitty-it's ok, you can say Detroit. Oh wait, you mean Ypsi or Willow Run. I gotcha now!


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 5:03 p.m.

Of course women should take extra precautions, but a friend or buddy is not always available and people have to be able to get to and from the places they need to be. And just because you're avoiding a walk at night doesn't mean this guy isn't going to go looking for people during the day. Let's just hope and pray they catch this creep soon!


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 4:52 p.m.

A few years ago, I lived alone in an apartment building located in a questionable but "economical" neighborhood east of here. I made a point of taking care of my personal business/errands before dark. Granted, there were times when I thought I needed something from the store, or wanted that pack of cigs I left out in my car. But, nothing was important enough to risk taking a chance with my safety. And I don't feel like I missed out on anything because of it.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 3:35 p.m.

As a woman, I have no intention of walking around Ann Arbor at night alone--though I frequently did before these attacks and this decision may have implications that people disagree with. Right or wrong, though, I don't think many people consider running to get something from their car at 11:30pm "walking alone at night." And I say this not just as a woman, but as a resident of one of the buildings using that lot--as someone who has, on multiple occasions, run to grab something from my car or take out the trash in that lot late at night.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 3:24 p.m.

Figured I'd give out warnings since I learned the hard way. Don't want anyone else feel like having to go to confession for saying something that isn't meant as it is interrpreted.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 3:21 p.m.

Sorry you're all upset from yesterday, redwingshero.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 3:19 p.m.

Told you Jennifer...


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 3:09 p.m.

So women are supposed to stop going to or coming home from their midnight or afternoon shift jobs, not come home from evening classes, etc? Can all area women with these circumstances contact you to act as a chaperon? Let's keep the blame squarely where it belongs - the perpetrator.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 3 p.m.

You will be accused of blaming the victim.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 2:48 p.m.

Careful now Jennifer. If you were a guy making that statement, you would have gotten eaten alive in previous discussions the other day (as I was). Gotta watch it or someone will tell you that 'not walking alone' can't stop assaults from happening.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 1:44 p.m.

That's a relief. With Garcia's hacking skills, the BAU should have this wrapped up in no time.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 2:27 p.m.

Hey, hacking skills and attractive. Can't go wrong with Garcia!