AUSTIN (KXAN) — Police are asking for the community’s help to find a man who they said raped a teenage girl after approaching her in a parking lot in north Austin.
Officers said they responded on Dec. 13 to a convenience store near the intersection of North Lamar Boulevard and Payton Gin Road to check on a teenage girl who’d been knocking on apartment doors nearby. When police spoke to her, they said she told them a man raped her.
Police said the suspect approached the victim in a parking lot and then ordered her into the back of his SUV, where he sexually assaulted her.
Police said they have yet to locate the suspect, but they shared surveillance camera photos and the following description of him in hopes of someone recognizing him.
- White man, about 30 years old
- Height: 5’10” to 6’1″
- Short, dark brown or black hair and beard
- Last seen wearing a light, pale green t-shirt with a design on the front, blue jeans, brown shoes and a black zip-up jacket
Police described the suspect’s SUV as a 2013-2019 four-door Jeep Wrangler with black rims.
“Stranger attacks whether it’s on an adult or children are very rare. Stranger attacks on children are even more rare,” said Sgt. Michael Crumrine with APD’s child abuse unit. He adds the department has only investigated about half a dozen cases like this, this year.
The intersection of North Lamar Boulevard and Payton Gin Road is home to things like gas stations, convenience stores, walk and bike lanes, a small park and a laundromat.
It’s also near where Adriana Montecillo works at Simply Barber Shop.
“The area has grown, it’s become more popular,” she said. “And for us to hear things like this happening around the neighborhood, it’s pretty scary.”
Especially, she said, because there is a high school about a half-mile away.
“We have a lot of young teenagers that I see walk every day, and I don’t think these things should be happening here,” she said.
Police released the surveillance footage after exhausting their initial investigative leads.
“We wanted to make sure we reached out to the public, to ask for the public’s assistance,” said Crumrine.
He said these cases are particularly sensitive, especially when they involve young victims. A victim services counselor, as well as an advocate with the Center for Child Protection, are working with the teen involved.
Anyone with information about this sexual assault is asked to call the APD Child Abuse tip line at (512) 974-6880, Crime Stoppers at (512) 472-TIPS or use the new Crime Stoppers App.