On June 22 at approximately 2 a.m., a woman was kidnapped and raped at gunpoint just feet from UNC Charlotte’s campus at 49 North Student Apartments, according to a press release from the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department. 

The 21-year-old woman was in the parking lot of 49 North Apartments, located in the 1200 block of Rebecca Bailey Drive along University City Boulevard, when a suspect forced his way into the victim’s car. He then told her to drive to several ATMs before raping her.

The victim was able to escape her attacker near the intersection of North Tryon Street and University City Boulevard; however, the suspect stole the victim’s vehicle and used it to flee from  Charlotte Mecklenburg Police. After a short pursuit, the suspect ditched the stolen vehicle and escaped police on foot.

On June 24, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department arrested a 15-year-old suspect in relation to this incident. The suspect was not immediately identified but was charged with three counts of first-degree rape and first-degree kidnapping as well as robbery with a dangerous weapon. The suspect had already been released on bond with an electronic monitor for an unrelated felony charge.

This incident is the latest in a series of off-campus violent crimes troubling University City. One week prior to the kidnapping and sexual assault, Charlotte Mecklenburg Police responded to a shots-fired call at the Panera Bread just 250 feet from campus. 

On Memorial Day weekend there was a shooting at the Flats at Mallard Creek, an off-campus student housing development. A gunman fired multiple rounds into a crowd of hundreds of people at a pool party while asking the crowd “if they want to die.” 

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department announced they would increase patrols at local student housing developments in light of the recent violence, effective June 1. It was not immediately clear if police were conducting patrols at 49 North during the night in question. Student housing complexes Haven49, University Crossing, University Walk and Boulevard98 all have had a regular police presence since June 1.

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Jacob is the Assistant News Editor for the NinerTimes, as well as involved in the Student Government Association at UNC Charlotte.

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