Person of interest in Detroit serial rapes arrested

Ursula Watson
The Detroit News

Detroit — A person of interest is in custody in connection with six sexual assaults committed on the city's west side, police said.

Sgt. Cassandra Lewis of the Detroit Police Department confirmed Saturday that a man was arrested on a different offense Friday night.

Lewis said more information will be released early next week.

Joya Porties, who was sexually assaulted last month, went public to fight a culture of violence.

"I just couldn't take it anymore; my dissatisfaction outweighed my fear," she said April 8 at a Crime Stoppers press conference aimed at getting tips to lead to a arrest.

Porties was with her seven children around 10:50 p.m. March 24 when a man approached and fired a gunshot into the air, she said. The man forced her back into her vehicle and ordered her to drive to a remote area, where he assaulted her.

"My five-year-old was calling the police from a cellphone," she said. "So they were all involved; they were all traumatized."

Another victim told investigators the man's face was covered, and that he looked like an artist's rendering of the suspect released by police after Porties' assault near Livernois and Seven Mile.

The suspect in the assaults is described by police as a clean-shaven male, 25- to 40-years-old, who weighs 275 pounds and is between 5-foot-10 and 6-foot. He has a stocky build and light complexion.

He was wearing a black knit hat, black-hooded sweatshirt, black zippered mask and faded blue jeans, police said. He was armed with a long barrel revolver and was last seen driving a late-model white Ford Fusion.

Tipsters can call Crime Stoppers, which are routed to a call center in Canada and will remain anonymous, said John Broad, president of Crime Stoppers of Michigan.

Anyone with information on these cases is asked to contact the Detroit Police Department at (313) 596-1950 or Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) SPEAK-UP.

HFournier@detroitnews.com

(313) 223-4616