Decatur Police said Monday that a man has come forward who was walking on Erie Avenue in Decatur on Feb. 21 and identified by a 17-year-old girl as possibly being the suspect wanted in a string of attempted sexual assaults and rape on or near the Emory University.

Sgt. Jennifer Ross said the male remembered seeing a young lady a short distance in front of him who seemed somewhat nervous as he made his turn. He was going to cross the street and walk on the other side because the young lady seemed apprehensive, but she left the area before he had a chance. He did not think anything else of it until he later read the alert.

Investigators have followed up with the both the male resident and the original complainant and based on the location, time frame, physical and clothing descriptions and details provided, believe this is the male the complainant encountered. “We want to thank the complainant for being alert and the resident for coming forward to clear up the misunderstanding,” Ross said.

The search for the real suspect continues.

The original story:

A 17-year-old girl was followed by a man fitting the description of the suspect in a string of attempted sexual assails and rape on or near the Emory University campus. According to a report from the Decatur Police Department, the teenager was walking on Erie Avenue around 2 p.m. on Friday and noticed an unknown male walking toward her in the opposite direction. As she passed the male, he immediately turned around and started walking behind her. The male was walking approximately two feet behind her. She felt uneasy, left the sidewalk and walked up to a nearby church and waited before continuing home. The male did not follow her and continued east on Erie Avenue. The male never spoke or made physical contact. The male was described as white, late 50’s, unshaven, with a slight hunch in his posture, wearing an orange beanie cap, hoodie and blue jeans. The complainant located and viewed the forensic sketch from the recent Emory University rape investigation and stated the suspicious male she encountered on Erie Avenue appeared to be the same male depicted in the forensic sketch. Decatur Police have been in contact with Emory University Police and DeKalb County Police to share information. If you have any additional information, contact the Decatur Police Department at (404) 373-6551.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.