Richmond residents talk safety with police following sexual assault

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - We have new details about a sexual assault case near VCU. Residents spoke with police about the attack.

Detectives say they have received a couple of tips through Crime Stoppers about last month's attack inside a parking garage on West Broad Street. Police are still canvassing the neighborhood for leads. Residents say even though they're frightened, they're not giving in to that fear.

"It's been really scary around people have been on edge," said Autumn.

So she stepped up her game when it comes to personal safety.

"I have this little alarm on my key chain so I can pull the chain out to make a lot of noise," said Autumn.

She joined her neighbors Wednesday for an update on the sexual assault in the parking garage below Iron House Condos.

Detectives discussed little about the ongoing case, but handed out copies of the composite sketches of two men believed involved. Officers reminded residents to pay attention to their surroundings and their intuition if they sense something wrong.

Police also suggested to residents to talk to their property management about installing security cameras in the alleyway to act as a deterrent. Autumn says it couldn't hurt.

"I think if they had some signs that said there were cameras and there were cameras that capture anything that might happen," said Autumn.

"We're just more vigilant you should feel safe in your home and around your neighborhood," said Barrett Hardiman who organized the community safety meeting.

Hardiman says the area has had its problems and wants to turn it around first by starting a neighborhood watch block.

"What we're hoping is to rebrand the neighborhood and create a new neighborhood where everybody knows each other they know how to take care of themselves and their neighbors," said Hardiman.

Residents also want cameras installed inside the parking garage. The property management is working with security specialists and plans to talk to residents later this month about it.

Again, if you have information that could help detectives, call Crime Stoppers at 780-1000.

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