Volunteers canvass Detroit neighborhood where 63-year-old woman was raped

The Detroit News

Detroit – The police already canvassed the neighborhood. Now it was the citizens’ turn.

On Saturday several dozen volunteers and community activists spread throughout a west side neighborhood where a woman was sexually assaulted.

The canvassers distributed flyers and asked residents if they knew anything about the attack.

“We need to see if the streets are talking,” said one of the volunteers, Martin Jones, vice chairman of the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners.

Martin Jones, vice chairman of the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners

On Sunday a 63-year-old woman was sexually assaulted near a vacant church at Joy Road and North Martindale Street, said police. The woman, beaten and partly clothed, was discovered by a passerby who heard her cries for help.

On Saturday the volunteers assembled next to the vacant Full Truth Fellowship of Christ Church in a light drizzle on the cold afternoon.

The vacant church at Joy Road and North Martindale Street.

Another volunteer, Eric Ford, president of the Detroit 300, said the crime was reprehensible.

“It’s sad. We all have family members. This could have been our mother, our auntie,” he said.

Ford said he and the other canvassers were resolved to catch the rapist.

“We need boots on the ground,” he said. “We’re going to go house by house, block by block.”

Jones said everyone in the city should join together to fight such crime.

“I’m outraged on behalf of the entire community,” he said. “No one should have to go through what she did.”

Some canvassers learned from neighbors that, while the church is vacant, neighbors sometimes see lights on in the building at night.