Some Richmond residents step up safety precautions after sexual assault

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Residents in one Richmond community near VCU are afraid after one of their neighbors was sexually assaulted. That attack happened in a parking garage on West Broad street nearly two weeks ago.

So far there have been no arrests, but police hope composite sketches of the attackers will spark leads in the case.

Since the attack, some women have gone out and bought mace. There's even a community safety meeting in the works.

As residents returned home to the Iron House Condos on West Broad Thursday, there was a sense of urgency. One woman stood at a parking garage door waiting for it to close behind her.

"General vigilance around here is useful right particularly with the access being in the back of an alleyway particularly at night," said resident Zaheer Ladak.

It was less than two weeks ago, that residents say one of their neighbors was attacked in the parking garage.

Police say the woman was both physically and sexually assaulted by two men just before two the morning of June 21. So far, police say the composite sketches of the attackers haven't generated leads.

Residents say they've bought mace even a taser and want management to put cameras and mirrors in the parking garage.

Brittany Forehand lives nearby. She says she's always on alert, especially when pulling into her complex parking garage at night.

"When I drive in when I'm in my car I'll stop and make sure it closes before I go and park," said Forehand.

Zaheer Ladak says he too makes sure no one follows him into the garage not only for his own safety but also for his female neighbors.

"When you can you look out for neighbors and folks who are in there nothing above and beyond I guess," said Ladak.

One resident says they're planning a community safety meeting next week to talk with police about crime prevention and starting a neighborhood watch group.

If you have any information that could help police, call Crime Stoppers at 780-1000.

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