FIRST ON 3: Attack victim says CPD showed little concern on scen - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

FIRST ON 3: Attack victim says CPD showed little concern on scene

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- New information is surfacing in an alleged attempted rape case in North Chattanooga that happened Sunday night.

Elizabeth Southall claims officers investigating her reports of a man breaking into her home and trying to rape her, showed little concern.

Following Channel 3's story on Eyewitness News at 6 on Tuesday, Chattanooga Police confirmed another similar case happened the same night at Southall's attack.

In addition to her reported attack on Glenroy Avenue, another woman says she was at home when someone broke in and tried to rape her. The suspect ran off once she started screaming.

Channel 3 has been digging for answers on why the information was not released sooner. Police are being very tight-lipped about the break-in attacks. They say they are not releasing where that second attack happened for the safety of the victim.

In the meantime, we sat down with Elizabeth Southall to talk about how her case has been handled.

"It wasn't what I expected. I expected them to be concerned," she says.

Two days after being attacked and almost raped by a man in her apartment, Elizabeth Southall is speaking out on how the responding officers treated her call for help.

"I was walking around being like, 'I don't want to touch anything. I scratched him. I don't want to touch him, or I don't want to touch anything,' hoping that I would get some DNA or something."

She says her quick-thinking actions were met with little attention.

"He took a flash light and looked at my fingernails, and he was like, 'You have too short of fingernails, we're not going to be able to get anything.'"

After talking to a few neighbors, officers told Elizabeth and her boyfriend the man was not coming back and they could clean up their apartment.

"The condom wrapper was still there. They didn't care," says Southall.

She says their lack of caring was made obvious by their actions after taking the report.

"They were just in the streets smoking a cigarette, just, 'Sorry, we've had two shootings. We've had other stuff to do.'"

She says the next day an investigator came by and collected evidence, apologized for their actions, and said that she should have been processed for DNA on the night of the attack.

"It wasn't until the next day that I was told to go to the crisis center. And when I told the crisis center about that, they were appalled," says Southall. "You know, I understand that their job's hard and that they have to deal with a lot of stuff, but then again, that is their job."

We put in a request to talk to Chief Dodd about what happened. He declined our invitation for an on-camera interview.

"I just really want it to be a learning experience for the cops, for the community as well," she says.

Chief Dodd says he is not commenting on these cases, citing the fact these are ongoing investigations.

Southall and her boyfriend have since moved from where the attack happened.

Channel 3 will continue to push for answers in these cases.

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