Teenage girl escapes attack in Phoenix; suspect arrested

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Robert Lawrence Allaire By Jennifer Thomas Robert Lawrence Allaire By Jennifer Thomas
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- Police arrested a man they say attacked a 15-year-old girl in South Phoenix Wednesday morning.

Phoenix police spokesman Officer James Holmes said the teen was walking in a neighborhood near Fifth Avenue and Dobbins Road at about 6:15 a.m. and crossing an alleyway when a man grabbed her in a "bear hug" from behind.

The victim struggled with the suspect as he attempted to pull her into the alley. Holmes said the girl was able to break free of the suspect's grasp, but he hit her in the face, knocking her glasses to the ground.

The victim managed to escape and ran home. She told her mother what happened and police were called, but officers were not able to find the man.

A composite sketch of the suspect was completed and an officer spotted a man who matched the sketch. He was put under surveillance.

Holmes said the man appeared transient and officers saw him wandering aimlessly in the area. He was also seen talking to young females at bus stops.

On Thursday, police saw the suspect leaving a home about three streets from the original scene and close to the victim's residence.

While the suspect was still under surveillance, a photo lineup was shown to the victim and she identified the suspect as the person who had attacked her. He was identified as Robert Lawrence Allaire, 23.

Allaire was arrested by police and during the interview with detectives, he reportedly made admissions connecting him to the offense.

Detectives believe the attempted kidnapping was sexually motivated.

Allaire was booked into jail on suspicion of attempted kidnapping, attempted sexual assault and aggravated assault.