EAST ST. LOUIS, IL (KPLR) - East St. Louis Police are looking for a man they believe raped a woman just minutes after she left a Metrolink train.
Officers say she was walking home from the Emerson Park Station, just before one Tuesday morning. They explained she was just a few blocks down the road, at 17th Street and Parsons Avenue, when a man stuck a gun in her back and demanded money. They say she begged for her life before he took her to a secluded area, beat her and raped her.
Police chief Michael Floore said Metro Transit was providing surveillance video, to find if the suspect was on the train or already at the stop at the time of the attack. Until detectives could answer that question, Floore encouraged women to ask for help anytime they are walking alone.
“Get somebody to meet you, if it's a brother, uncle, dad or somebody,” he urged. “If you're walking or you just don't have a car, have somebody meet you there -- maybe two people."
Mayor Alvin Parks said he was “disgusted and frustrated”. He said women should feel free to come and go, without being afraid. He noted that a new city-wide surveillance camera system would be installed in a few weeks. But, he admitted the cameras had drawbacks.
"Whatever the situation happens to be, we are looking to protect life and property in the city,” Parks explained. “Surveillance cameras are a very big part of that. Unfortunately, surveillance cameras don't stop the act. They only help us to determine who did what."
The suspect is still at large. That is why East St. Louis Police are asking for help. If you know anything about this case, you are being asked to call police at (618) 482-6700. They can also call Crimestoppers at
(866) 371-TIPS (8477). You can even leave a tip online at http://stlrcs.org.
If you or someone you know has survived a rape, there is help.
RAINN (Rape Abuse and Incest National Network) https://ohl.rainn.org/online/ or (800) 656-HOPE (4673)
Illinois State Crime Victims Assistance Line http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/women/index.html or (800) 228-3368
Safe Connections http://www.safeconnections.org/GetInfo/AboutSexualAssaultandHarassment.aspx or (314)531-2003