Charleston, S.C., Rape Suspect Injured in Chase
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) _ Police said today they think they have captured the ″Lowcountry rapist,″ who attacked as many as 27 women and girls, after a high-speed chase in which the suspect was critically injured.
The 29-year-old man was taken to the Medical University of South Carolina after the accident this morning about six miles north of Charleston. He was listed in critical condition.
″After day and night operation we’re confident to say that the serial rapist has been confirmed,″ said Capt. Chad Caldwell of the North Charleston police. ″It’s a great day.″ The confirmation was made by comparisons of fingerprints, he said.
Police did not release the man’s name, and he was not immediately charged.
Caldwell was part of a special police squad created to find the ″Lowcountry rapist,″ named for the region around Charleston. Investigators said one person was responsible for as many as 27 rapes during the past two years.
The women often were attacked in their homes. Last August, authorities said, the attacker returned to an apartment where he had raped a 13-year-old girl at knifepoint four months earlier. The second time, they said, he raped the girl’s mother at gunpoint.
Caldwell said police had been following the man for several days as a possible suspect. At a midday news conference, he did not give details on how the man was identified as a suspect.
The man apparently realized he was being followed and fled, firing shots at the police cars chasing him, Caldwell said. His car hit a tree.
The injured man has a family and has lived in the Charleston area for three years, Caldwell said.