published Friday, October 26th, 2012

Security cameras help Chattanooga police nab rape suspects (with video)

Chattanooga Police Chief Bobby Dodd announces Thursday the arrests of two suspects in connection with a rape last week on Reggie White Boulevard. Police have arrested an 18-year-old and 16-year-old man for the rape and robbery of a jogger on her morning run.
Chattanooga Police Chief Bobby Dodd announces Thursday the arrests of two suspects in connection with a rape last week on Reggie White Boulevard. Police have arrested an 18-year-old and 16-year-old man for the rape and robbery of a jogger on her morning run.
Photo by Allison Love.
Two teens face rape, robbery charges in jogger attack
During a news conference Thursday, Chattanooga Police Chief Bobby Dodd announced that officers arrested and charged two teenagers with rape and robbery following an Oct. 10 attack near Finley Stadium. The victim, a 30-year-old woman, was jogging when the teenagers initially confronted her to steal her iPod.

Chattanooga police used footage from security cameras to help identify two teens accused of raping a woman jogger Oct. 12 near Finley Stadium.

Police on Thursday announced the arrests of Devontavious "Skeelo" Bryant, 18, and a 16-year-old on charges of aggravated rape, aggravated robbery and aggravated assault. The Times Free Press is not identifying the younger suspect because he is a juvenile.

Police Chief Bobby Dodd said the rape appears to be a "crime of opportunity" and there is no indication the attack was gang-related.

"This was an isolated incident, but we wanted to let everyone know we have the two suspects in custody," Dodd said at a news conference.

Dodd said half a dozen officers worked around the clock on the case.

Images from the security camera show the woman jogging south near Finley Stadium on Reggie White Boulevard with two people following her on bicycles.

According to the police report, the woman said one attacker grabbed her from behind and demanded money. She told him that she had none, but only had an MP3 player. She gave it to him and turned to run away when the second attacker took off a yellow jacket and wrapped it around her neck. He choked her until she passed out.

When the woman came to, she was lying in the dirt and the second attacker threatened her with his hand and said he had a knife. Both teens raped her, according to the report.

Police who searched the area found condom wrappers, the victim's panties and the MP3 player and a plastic bag containing her chewing gum. Three officers remembered seeing teens matching the description of attackers — eating inside City Cafe an hour or two before the attack.

Both suspects live in College Hill Courts. A third teen who lives there was given the yellow jacket by the younger suspect. His mother recognized the jacket from news coverage and urged him to call police.

When police interviewed the 16-year-old, he admitted to attacking the woman with Bryant but claimed only Bryant raped her, according to the police affidavit.

Bryant confirmed to police that he was in the restaurant but said he came straight home after eating his meal. When asked if the woman saw his face, he said, "She might have, I mean she couldn't have," according to the affidavit.

Bryant remains in jail on a $450,000 bond pending an Oct. 30 court date before Hamilton County General Sessions Court Judge Christine Sell.

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