Thursday, March 24, 2011

East Coast Rapist Suspect Aaron Thomas Screwed Up Jail Cell Suicide Attempt

East Coast Rapist suspect Aaron Thomas.

By Nicholas Stix

According to law enforcement officials, Aaron Thomas had no problem pulling off “17 rapes and other attacks in Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island and Virginia that began in 1997,” and continued at least through Halloween night, 2009, but he couldn’t get a lousy hanging right.

Thomas’ live-in girlfriend and her two sons, 15 and five, are all broken up over the suicide attempt. Now that he’s behind bars, she’s “scared to walk out [her] door.” Apparently, when Thomas isn’t allegedly raping females, he’s a real nice guy. Well, at least as long as you don’t complain about him illegally parking his loud tractor-trailer in a residential neighborhood, in which case he’ll clock you.

Police: Serial rape suspect tried to hang self
By John Christoffersen, Associated Press – Sat Mar 5, 7:27 pm ET

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Authorities say the man they believe is the East Coast rapist tried to hang himself in his cell and is in a Connecticut hospital.

New Haven police Officer Joe Avery said Saturday night that Aaron Thomas is expected to survive his suicide attempt and undergo a psych evaluation. Avery said it's not clear how long Thomas will remain hospitalized. [A psych eval? Where have I heard that before? Oh, yeah, it was from Pat “Crazy Card” Aydelott, defense attorney for accused mass and serial murderer Sam Conway).

Authorities say Thomas, an unemployed truck driver, is the East Coast rapist, suspected of terrorizing women with sexual assaults from Virginia to Rhode Island over 12 years.

New Haven police say DNA linked Thomas to the assaults. He is charged in both Connecticut and Virginia.

Thomas could not be reached for comment; it was not clear whether he had legal representation. [NS: Since when do you reach a defendant in jail for comment?! But what do you expect from the AP’s John Christoffersen (also also here) who depicted thieving, racist, black mass murderer Omar Thornton as a victim of white racism?]

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Some neighbors considered Aaron Thomas an odd nuisance, a man who lifted weights in the front yard, parked a loud tractor-trailer in their residential neighborhood and ran or rode his bike unfathomable distances. His girlfriend's son called him laid back.

But authorities say the unemployed truck driver is the East Coast rapist, suspected of terrorizing women with sexual assaults from Virginia to Rhode Island over 12 years. New Haven police said Saturday that DNA confirmed Thomas is the East Coast rapist.

"It's just shocking to me," said 15-year-old Dashawn Golding, who said his mother is Thomas' girlfriend. "She's crying a lot," he said of his mother.

A woman who answered the phone where neighbors said Thomas lived with his girlfriend said she was devastated.

"I almost died," the woman told The Associated Press before she hung up without giving her name. "I'm scared to walk out my door. I'm just as innocent as the next person."

The woman, who said she met Thomas outside a hospital where she works, said Thomas' 5-year-old son was crying when he learned of the charges. There was a heavy police presence Saturday as investigators searched the house, a yellow colonial with blue shutters and a security sign on the front lawn.

Lt. Julie Johnson said DNA was collected and subsequently matched by the state police forensic lab confirming 39-year-old Aaron Thomas was the East Coast Rapist. Investigators reportedly got Thomas' DNA off a discarded cigarette….

The East Coast Rapist is wanted for 17 rapes and other attacks in Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island and Virginia that began in 1997. The cases were linked by DNA….

A neighbor said Thomas was living with a woman in at the house in a desirable neighborhood not far from where the mayor lives. The woman, who refused to give her name, said Saturday that Thomas is a truck driver and parked his tractor-trailer in the residential neighborhood, but he seemed to be unemployed and would offer to paint or rake leaves for neighbors.

The woman said Thomas once punched her husband in the face after they got in an argument over his truck.

Another neighbor said Thomas would ride his bicycle as far as Hartford and jogged many miles.

"He liked working out," said the neighbor, who would only give his first name as Jason. "He could run all day long and never stop."

Thomas was not entirely unknown to law enforcement: He had been arrested in September in Woodbridge, Conn., on a larceny charge and was released on $1,000 bond, according to public records….

In some instances, the attacker wore a mask or hooded sweat shirt to conceal his face. He typically approached women outdoors on foot and threatened them with a knife, screwdriver or a handgun, investigators say.

The only attack in New Haven came on Jan. 10, 2007. Police said the suspect entered a 27-year-old woman's bedroom through an open window and threatened to kill her sleeping infant son before assaulting her.

The last known attack occurred on Halloween night in 2009, when two teenagers on their way home from trick-or-treating in Woodbridge, Va., were raped, authorities say.

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