Police release sketch of Tempe sexual assault suspect

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Tempe police have released a sketch of the suspect in a sexual assault near Baseline Road and Priest Drive Thursday afternoon.

Tempe police said the female victim had just gotten off a bus and was walking through a dirt lot toward Arizona Mills Mall between 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. when an unknown man approached her from behind.

The man pulled out a weapon and robbed the victim then sexually assaulted her, according to Lt. Mike Pooley.

"This was mid-afternoon, there was a lot of traffic, there were a lot of people so for the guy to do this, he's obviously very brazen," Pooley said. "He had no fear of getting caught and he did this in broad daylight."

At this time, police are not releasing the victim's age or the type of weapon the suspect was carrying.

The suspect is described as a black male, 22 to 25 years old, 6 feet tall or taller with a medium build. He is clean-shaven and has shoulder-length braids that were held back from his face by a black hairband. The end of each braid had a white bead.

He was wearing a plain short-sleeve black T-shirt, tan cargo shorts and black tennis shoes.

Tempe police have not had any reports of similar incidents in the area.

"It's a very violent crime, it's something that is unthinkable and we really need people's help to help us identify this guy," Pooley said.

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to contact the Tempe Police Department at 480-350-8311 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.

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