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'She woke and found the suspect over her': Community on edge after latest sexual assault case

Clayton County Police said the man broke into one of the units at the Park at Tara Lake Apartments complex on July 29 around 1 a.m.

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — Residents in Clayton County say they’re worried a serial rapist will continue to strike after a man broke into a woman’s apartment, sexually assaulted her and then violently attacked her roommate as they tried to fight him off.

The community has been on edge since earlier this year, when police officially announced there was a serial rapist targeting women in the area.

Police said there is no direct evidence linking the suspect in the early Monday morning attack to the serial rapist at this time, though they are aggressively analyzing all of the information they have pertaining to this crime.

For residents, however, the fear is all the same. Virginia Bailey said she was afraid of allowing her young teens to walk to the mailbox.

“I come home late at night, being a single parent, it’s just scary,” she said. “With the gates being broken, it’s just scary."

Clayton County Police said the man broke into one of the units at the Park at Tara Lake Apartments complex on July 29 around 1 a.m. According to a police report, the victim said “she was asleep on the loveseat when she woke and found the suspect over her with his hands over her mouth.”

RELATED: Roommate helps victim fight off attacker during sexual assault, police say

The suspect then reportedly told her “not to make a sound and threatened to pistol whip her and kill everyone if she did” before sexually assaulting her.

Bailey said she was notified of the brutal attack through a letter placed on her door.

11Alive reached out to the apartment complex, who sent a statement expressing their "deepest concern and condolences" to the victim of the "unfortunate event."

"The safety of our residents is our top priority," a spokesperson said, "We have hired on-site, overnight security to enhance security in our community and are working with a third-party provider to ensure the property gate is in working order. We urge our residents and all community members to remain aware of their surroundings at all times, and to keep all doors and windows locked at all times.”

The also noted that they are cooperating with the Clayton County Police Department.

But this is not the only rape case Clayton County Police are investigating. Back in March, a woman was assaulted in the 7000 block of Southlake Parkway, where the suspect held the victim at knife point before her boyfriend came in to help.

In the Monday assault, the victim and her roommate described the suspect as an African-American man with a dark complexion, low haircut, thin mustache, about 5-foot-10 or 6-feet with a slim build and defined abs.

Police said a sketch is not yet available. They said they may have more information later in the week, and have already increased patrols in the area.

“Hopefully they’ll catch these guys or this guy,” Bailey said.

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