A Buckhead woman fended off a rape attempt in her Garden Hills home May 20, according to the Atlanta Police Department, whose officers later arrested a suspect in a restroom of a community park.

Laquai Barrett, age 31 or 32, of Atlanta was jailed on charges of attempt to commit rape, battery, burglary, theft by taking and aggravated assault (strangulation).

According to a preliminary APD report, the attack happened around 7:25 a.m. on Peachtree Avenue, when the woman was returning to her gated townhome after walking her dog. The woman told police that a man leaned against a post while she opened the gate, then began walking toward the opening. She told him he was not allowed on the property, after which, she said, the man ran at her, grabbed her and dragged her into the home’s garage. The attacker assaulted the woman and “produced a string or twine-type material from his pocket, which he attempted to wrap around her neck,” according to the report. 

The woman struck the suspect with a beer bottle and fended him off from entering the home by agreeing to kiss him before fleeing to a neighbor’s house, according to the report. The suspect left with the woman’s phone. The woman’s daughter used a GPS tracker on the phone to locate it at 335 Pinetree Drive, the address of the Garden Hills Pool and park. According to the APD report, officers went there and found Barrett in a restroom with the phone. 

According to the report, the woman had some visible injuries and declined to be taken to a hospital. 

This story is based on a preliminary police report that does not include all the information APD might have. Anyone accused of a crime is considered innocent unless proven guilty in court, and details may change as the investigation continues.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.