Older Women Are Targeted In Assaults - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/3/05-Mt. Pleasant

Older Women Are Targeted In Assaults

Older women, who live alone have been the targets of multiple attacks in Mount Pleasant. Police say three separate attacks have taken place over the last couple of months in a federal housing development, two of the women were sexually assaulted.

The development is bordered by four streets in Mount Pleasant; North Jefferson, Arkansas, Lide and Ferguson. The latest attack happened on Christmas eve.

The population at the housing development is primarily elderly and handicapped. Cleo Kidwell has lived there for two years. Like many of the older women there, Cleo lives alone.

"For someone as old as I am, it's pretty terrible. But I'm not afraid really. I can lock my doors good and everything," says Cleo.

Cleo may not be afraid, but many there say news of the recent sexual assaults have forced them to change their way of life. "We used to go for walks in the evening after dark. We don't do that anymore," says Ellie May.

Police Chief J.C. Burch says the suspect has preyed on older women who live alone. In one attack the suspect simply walked through the front door, that had been left unlocked. "No evidence that he's stalking maybe just a crime of opportunity. He's checking doors and windows to see if there's access," says the chief.

Police believe all of the assaults were perpetrated by one suspect. He's described as a black male, in his 20's with a medium build. He stands 5'7" to 5'9".

Many of the residents are still shocked that someone is preying on the older and frail. "We don't have much as it is and they want to take what little we do have. It's just sad," says Cleo.

Mount Pleasant police have beefed up patrol. But until the suspect is captured residents like Ellie will continue to stay inside behind locked doors.

Police say in two of the cases the suspect displayed a pistol.

There is also a fourth assault that happened last year, in the same neighborhood. Mount Pleasant police are investigating whether that case is also related.

Amy Tatum, reporting. atatum@kltv.com

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