Buckhead: mother survives attack
ATLANTA (WGCL) – An Atlanta mother and teacher fought a suspect who tried to rape and strangle her, police say.
He took off with his phone but that only made it easier to follow him. The victim’s family used an iPhone app to help investigators locate and then arrest a 31-year-old suspected homeless man.
Laquai Barrett faces multiple charges, including attempted rape, battery and theft, which stem from the incident on Thursday, May 20. But investigators also linked it to a similar case earlier this month.
âI grabbed a bottle of beer and hit him on the head from behind. I was trying anything.
I pleaded, I begged, I told him I had a family. At one point I grabbed his face and said ‘stop, stop, stop’.
You don’t have to see her face or hear her name to know she’s a survivor.
Breast cancer was a struggle long before this one – but the mother and teacher want to share her story anonymously.
“I saw him take a rope out of his pocket and as he tied it around my neck to strangle me,
I wrap it around my finger. Mom Buckhead continued, âI wrapped it around my finger, so it didn’t have enough length to choke me with it.â
The Atlanta Police Department report details how the suspect followed her home as she walked her dog.
Once she opened the door to enter her community of Peachtree Avenue, Barrett walked through it behind her.
The victim described him as homeless. He forced his way into and over her garage, the report explains.
âI can’t get it out of my head – the actual jumping and dragging myself into my garage by my hoodie. And then taking his hands, âshe said.
âHis hands were so rough he put them around my mouth and nose. I kept saying, âI can’t breathe, I can’t breatheâ. I kept trying to squeeze in so I could breathe.
For 25 minutes, she never gave up. But the mother says he slipped, at one point he stopped just long enough to give him time to escape and sound the alarm.
The suspect took off with his cell phone, so his family used the âFind My Friendsâ iPhone tracking app to show police where he was hiding.
Officers found him in the nearby park called Garden Hills.
According to the report, when police questioned Barrett, he admitted he wanted to do something to a young girl, but went with that victim instead.
The May 3 charges show he is suspected of another attempted rape and strangulation.
Although the victim says her body is tired, she has gained renewed strength to demand more from the town of Buckhead – saying she has had enough of the neighborhood crime. As a teacher, she decided to return to her classroom on Monday and talk with her students about security and self-defense.
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