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Locals Beat Detroit Man Blamed in Teen's Rape

Neighbors say cops too slow; victim, suspect had disabilities
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2013 4:05 AM CDT

(Newser) – After a teen with Down syndrome was allegedly raped in Detroit, residents felt police were acting too slowly—so they took matters into their own hands. Using a baseball bat, several neighbors pursued and beat a man whom the victim's family and other locals accused of the sexual assault, CNN reports. He hadn't been charged, but they knew who he was based on posters around the neighborhood. A relative of the victim had posted the story on a community list-serve.

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"It was way too long for (authorities) to do something. All we wanted to do was get him away from our neighborhood," said a man who knows some of those involved. Locals also broke into the man's home. Police say they investigated a rape in July, but there were delays in processing a rape kit for reasons that remain unclear. The suspect is said in court papers to have a "developmental disability." "Because (of) the victim and suspect being significantly handicapped, there are rules and guidelines that we have to follow that we cannot treat the situation as a normal assault," says Jerome Warfield, part of a civilian group overseeing police. Click for the full story. (Read more Detroit stories.)

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