A Florida man was arrested Thursday after he allegedly tried to rape a woman three years ago while at a residence on Ira Drive in Tifton.
According to the original incident report filed a the Tifton Police Department, the incident occurred on Christmas Day in 2010. Officer Melissa McCulley had reported she was sent to a residence on Ira Drive at approximately 6:30 a.m. for a possible rape attempt.
She reported the then-26-year-old female victim, her husband and her family were standing outside, and they all pointed to a nearby trailer where the suspect had ran inside. She and another officer went to the trailer to make contact with the subject.
The residents said the suspect, Luis Bermabe Morales, had come in but then ran back out in an unknown direction. Officers checked inside but were unable to locate the suspect. The residents said Morales would stay with them sometimes but didn’t live there.
After checking the trailer, McCulley returned to speak with the victim and her husband. A friend translated. The report states Morales, the victim’s husband, and her brother were all outside the home drinking together when Morales went inside the trailer and grabbed the victim, forcing her into one of the bedrooms where he threw her down on the floor. She was able to get away and ran into another bedroom, locked the door and attempted to call 911 while she yelled for the suspect to leave.
The victim said Morales forced the door open and took away the phone. This led to an altercation in which Morales attempted to have intercourse with the victim who yelled for help and for the suspect to stop. Her husband came in the home and Morales ran out of the trailer.
There were no physical bruises on the victim other than what appeared to be marks on her right wrist where she said Morales grabbed her. There was visible damage to the door that was forced open and other evidence that an altercation occurred.
The suspect was described as being 19 years old, 5’06” and 160 pounds, long black hair, brown eyes and clean shaven. He was last seen wearing a white T-shirt, dark jeans and black and white shoes. The vehicle he drove, which was a 2001 silver Pontiac Grand AM GT, was left at the residence.
Morales, now age 23 and a resident of Plant City, Fla., was arrested Thursday and charged with criminal attempt at rape. Lt. Lee Dunston with the TPD said Morales was arrested in Florida and extradited. The original investigator on the case was Len Moore, and the warrant for Morales’ arrest has been in the system since shortly after the crime.
To contact reporter Latasha Ford, call 382-4321.