Arlington

Arlington man accused in kidnapping, robbery and sexual assault of UTA student

UTA student kidnapped and raped: ‘She did what she had to do’

Lt. Chris Cook, Arlington police spokesman, gives an update on the case of a UTA student who was kidnapped and raped on Wednesday.
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Lt. Chris Cook, Arlington police spokesman, gives an update on the case of a UTA student who was kidnapped and raped on Wednesday.

A 20-year-old Arlington man was arrested early Thursday in the kidnapping and sexual assault of a UTA student, police said.

Joel Engobo Mambe, 20, of Arlington was arrested without incident at a Fort Worth home about 3:30 a.m., according to police.

Police also recovered the UTA student's property, including her debit card, at the Fort Worth home, Police Lt. Christopher Cook said in an email Thursday morning.

Cook said he could not go into details on how detectives tracked Mambe to Fort Worth, but he noted that surveillance video from an apartment complex proved invaluable in the case.

Mambe was being held in the Arlington Jail on Thursday without bail.

joel mambe.jpg
Joel Engobo Mambe, 20, of Arlington Courtesy: Arlington police

The University of Texas at Arlington student was confronted by a man with a handgun as she returned to her apartment complex from a night out with friends early Wednesday. When she told the gunman she had no money, he abducted her and sexually assaulted her over a period of two hours, police said.

The woman told police she arrived at her residence at the Midtown Apartments at 1121 UTA Blvd. between 2:30 and 3 a.m. Wednesday.

She said when she told the gunman she didn't have any cash, he forced her to drive to a nearby bank, where she withdrew as much as the bank would allow, Cook said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

The woman was then forced to drive to an apartment complex, where the gunman sexually assaulted her, Cook said. It wasn't clear exactly where the assault took place or for how long.

Afterward, the gunman took the wheel and drove to a convenience store where he warned the woman to stay in the car while he went in and bought $30 worth of miscellaneous items with the woman's debit card, Cook said.

The man forced her to to drive to an east Arlington apartment complex, where he got out of the vehicle and fled, police said.

The woman drove back to her home, where she called police.

Mambe faces three felony counts of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery and aggravated sexual assault, police said.

He has never been a student at UTA, according to UTA school records.

The Arlington man has a short criminal history in Tarrant County. In 2016, he served 15 days in jail for evading arrest in Arlington, according to Tarrant County criminal court records.

At the time of his arrest Thursday morning, Mambe was scheduled to have a pretrial hearing July 26 on a charge of marijuana possession and possession of a controlled substance. He was arrested in Arlington in April on those charges, according to court records.

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Arlington Police are looking for these 10 fugitives. Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest. Call 817-469-8477.

Fort Worth Police and the Tarrant County Sheriff's Office are looking for these 10 fugitives. Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest. Call 817-469-8477.

Staff writer Charlene Santiago contributed to this report.

Domingo Ramirez Jr.: 817-390-7763,@mingoramirezjr.
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