Overbrook rape suspect identified

August 16, 2009 10:02:16 AM PDT
The rape suspect arrested after being detained by citizens in Overbrook has been identified. Authorities identified the man as Jamil Harper, 19.

Action News was the only one there as officers escorted Harper to the Special Victims Unit after his arrest on Saturday. He was carrying a shirt tattered and torn after he was beat up by Overbook residents before being handed over to police.

Harper is suspected of raping a 22-year-old woman.

According to her mother, the victim was walking to work around 5:30 Saturday morning when she was sexually assaulted in an alley near 56th Street and Lansdowne Avenue.

"She was approached by a man with a gun. He dragged her in an alley after taking her pocketbook and her cell phone and he asked her to take her clothes off and he sexually assaulted her," the victim's mother told Action News.

After word spread about the incident, a number of residents in the neighborhood began looking for the alleged assailant and then, on Saturday afternoon, they spotted the man.

"They beat him up and then he ran. The community came together. Really good. Everybody chased him, made sure he didn't get away. Everybody called 911," a resident told Action News.

Lou Colzie was one of about 20 residents who got involved. He's been living on the block for 40 years.

"We take justice in our own hands if we have to," Colzie said.

Police officers arrested the suspect and took him into custody.

Meanwhile, the victim's mother says the assailant chose the wrong neighborhood to do what he did.

"I have no idea who they think they are, but he's messing with the wrong mother's child," the mother told Action News.

Harper is facing multiple charges.

This incident comes more than two months after vigilante justice was taken to capture Jose Carrasquillo at Front and Clearfield Streets on June 2.


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