Reggie White Blvd. rape suspects arrested - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Reggie White Blvd. rape suspects arrested


CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- Through tears, the mother of Devontavious Bryant, 18, utters but one sentence before shutting the door to their apartment in College Hill Courts.

"I don't believe he could have done it."

But Chattanooga Police say they've gathered evidence to charge him with Aggravated rape, Aggravated Robbery and Aggravated Assault for an attack on a young woman jogging near Finley Stadium October 10.

A 16-year-old student at Washington Alternative School faces the same charges, as a juvenile.

"I hate to label it as this," Chief Bobby Dodd says, "but it was a crime of opportunity."

Investigators maintain that Bryant and the 16-year-old were sitting on bicycles by the side of the City Cafe, at ML-King Boulevard and Carter, when they saw the woman jog by, wearing headphones from an Ipod.

She never made eye contact.

"They began trailing behind her," Chief Dodd says. "About ten blocks down Carter."

Once Carter becomes Reggie White Boulevard, police believe one suspect cut in front of her--to steal her Ipod. She spun around, only to confront the other.

"They dragged her down one of the embankments and attacked her," Chief Dodd says.

"Thanks to security cameras from businesses all the way down the route, with the exception of the actual robbery and rape, the rest of the contact is on video."

City Cafe' shift manager Matt Derrick is grateful that his restaurant's security precautions played a role in the suspect's capture.

"We have a lot of joggers, cyclists coming through here," Derrick says. "But in our parking lot which is connected with the Days Inn, not they would get noticed, I would say."

Monday, police released surveillance pictures of two young men inside City Cafe', dressed similarly to the description the victim gave of her two attackers.

"One of them had what we thought was hair that stood out, but it was an Afro wig," Chief Dodd says.

"But that information prompted new information to come forward."

Police heard from the mother of another juvenile one of the suspects knows.

"The article that he brought home, from one of the suspects, she was concerned about enough to call us," Chief Dodd says.

Asked, point blank, whether the evidence was the victim's Ipod; "I can't go into that," Chief Dodd responds.

Police say they have no reason to believe the incident was gang-related.

"It's more isolated," Chief Dodd says.

"We want people to be reassured. But they need to know there's safety in numbers."

Michelle Brown and Nolvy Taylor work downtown, often crossing the Walnut Street Bridge to exercise or to grab lunch along the North Shore.

"I don't listen to music when I'm doing it,"Taylor says. "I like to be aware of my surroundings. I don't want to be surprised."

"She (the victim) was walking, they were on bikes so they had an advantage to catch up to her," Brown says.

"It should be a wake up call, to be aware of your surroundings and have a backup plan."


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