Westerville News & Public Opinion

Police beat

Westerville: Rape reported after officers leave scene of domestic incident

After a woman called Westerville police to report an altercation between she and the man living in her basement in the Hideaway Woods apartment complex in the early morning of April 14, she said the man -- an ex-boyfriend -- raped her.

Officers had left the scene after taking the first report, when the victim said the man held her down and forced himself on her, despite her pleas otherwise. The man, whose name was also on the apartment's lease, was instructed by police to stay downstairs and to not go upstairs, where the woman and her son live.

The woman had bruises on her elbow and shin and carpet burns on her knee. She said her assailant would have had scratches on his neck and chest, though some were from the first confrontation earlier in the day.

According to reports, police gathered evidence, but the woman was unsure whether she wanted to file a police report for fear of "ruining (the suspect's) life," and did not want to be "re-victimized" by having to recount the story in court.

She agreed to follow through with the investigation, but did not decide whether to pursue charges. Detectives will follow up with the woman to determine the next step in the case.

In other recent incident reports from the Westerville Division of Police:

* After an altercation on the road, two men pulled into McDonald's, 662 S. State St., on the evening of April 13, where one said he was assaulted.

The reported victim said the other driver had tailgated him and driven into oncoming traffic to cut him off prior to pulling into the lot. He attempted to take a picture on his phone of the other man's license plate once in the McDonald's parking lot.

Before the victim could get a photo, the other man got out of his vehicle and shoved him to the ground, where the man hit his head on the concrete and broke his cellphone.

The suspect -- described as a white man in his 50s -- then got back in his vehicle and drove off before photos could be taken.

Surveillance footage showed both men entering the McDonald's property, but did not capture the altercation.

* A forklift was reported stolen from a business in the 200 block of Old County Line Road on the night of April 16.

An alarm at the business rang just before 8 p.m., and officers arrived to see a door unlocked and ajar, and a garage door open. The garage was clear of vehicles.

The next morning, employees noticed the forklift was missing and notified the owner. Employees assured police the doors were locked and closed when they left the night before.

One employee recently was fired and another recently lost his keys to the business, but police are not naming a suspect and the investigation is ongoing.

* After a reported bout of road rage, a man followed three high school girls into the parking lot of Westerville North High School, 303 S. Otterbein Ave., on the afternoon of April 17.

The man claimed the girl driving the other vehicle had been driving recklessly, and the teenagers claimed he had made threats and confronted them in the parking lot of the school.

No arrests were made, and officers advised both parties their conduct was inappropriate.