About 200 Como residents searched the west side neighborhood into the wee hours Wednesday to find a mentally challenged 23-year-old woman who had been kidnapped, the woman’s mother said Friday night.
When the search party found the woman locked inside a man’s apartment, police had to take the man away to keep the neighbors from attacking him, a police spokesman said.
The man, identified as Dewayne Rusk, was arrested and is facing aggravated sexual assault and kidnapping charges, a police spokesman said Friday. His age and a booking mug were not available Friday evening.
The mother said that her daughter had gone to a store two minutes from their home to buy snacks on Tuesday. When she did not return within a few minutes, family members began searching for her.
The small group of relatives grew into a small army after several hours, the mother said.
The Star-Telegram generally does not identify accusers in sexual assault cases, and in this case is not identifying the mother to avoid identifying her daughter.
A 911 call was received Tuesday afternoon from the mother, who said her daughter had last been seen about 1 p.m., said Sgt. Steve Enright, a police spokesman.
While the neighbors, relatives and officers went door to door searching for the woman, other investigators reviewed video surveillance footage from the store, Enright said.
Searchers used social media to keep one another informed, Enright said. At some point, one searcher saw what she believed to be the victim in a passing car and contacted the parents. The parents posted a vehicle description, and searchers found the car about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.
The driver got out and tried to run into an apartment, Enright said, but residents caught him.
Officers arrived and took the man into the apartment to prevent the crowd from attacking him, Enright said.
Those officers found the woman in the apartment, Enright said.
The mother said her daughter told her she was sexually assaulted during the 15 hours she was held. She was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital for an examination.
Many of the people who searched for her daughter donated food and entertainment for a barbecue Friday night to celebrate the woman’s return.
“A lot of people have purchased clothes and gifts for her,” the mother said. “There were so many people looking for her and helping to chase this guy down. I could not tell you who. I had more than 200 people going door to door.”
Tabrica Burnett, 36, of Fort Worth, who helped search, said that everyone knows and loves the victim and that people knew something had gone wrong when she did not come right back home after going to the store.
“That just wasn’t like her to be gone so long,” Burnett said.