RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Richmond Police arrested two people who they say abducted a woman in Shockoe Bottom last summer, forced her to withdraw money from several ATMs, then sexually assaulted her.
Bradford Gaskins, 43, and Tina Marie Hancock, 42, have been charged in the robbery, abduction and sexual assault.
Detectives say on August 14 around 2:30 a.m. Gaskins and Hancock took the woman at gunpoint near 25th and East Cary streets, forced her to drive them around and withdraw money from several locations before Gaskins sexually assaulted her.
Police had released surveillance images of the two suspects, which helped identify them. Gaskins has been indicted on robbery, abduction and sexual assault. Hancock has been indicted for robbery and abduction.
Residents living in this traditionally quieter part of Tobacco Row were relieved upon hearing news of the indictments.
"It makes me feel better," Hilary Wilson, who has lived in The River Lofts for over a year, reacted. "It definitely makes me feel safer."
The events of August 14, 2013 had put many residents on edge.
"It was definitely surprising," Wilson said. "I never felt unsafe in The River Lofts until that point. I think my parents were probably more concerned than I was. I'm living down here by myself as I think a lot of people at The River Lofts are."
The victim, who was terrorized for about an hour and a half, allegedly at the hands of Bradford Gaskins and Tina Marie Hancock was also alone that night. Her scary ordeal started around 2:30 in the morning.
Police say the woman had just parked her car when the couple approached with a gun and forced her back into it. They then made her drive around and withdraw money from several locations before Gaskins allegedly sexually assaulted her.
The victim was able to give police detailed descriptions of her attackers. A month later, investigators put out surveillance images and asked for the public's help to figure out who the suspects were. Once detectives had the names, they got indictments from a grand jury and charged Hancock with robbery and abduction. Gaskins is facing the same charges, along with sexual assault.
The arrests have taken the edge off residents' fears, but the changes in behavior made when their sense of safety was shattered will remain.
"Things can always happen again," Wilson added. "I'll definitely continue to keep the pepper spray."
Hancock was in court this morning. Gaskins is expected back before a judge in April.