JACKSON, MS (WLBT) – A suspected rapist is off the streets and behind bars.
Jackson police arrested a man believed to have been prowling a Belhaven park for victims.
Beth Batton loves to meet friends and walk her dog at Laurel Park in Belhaven, but said more police presence is needed.
"I'd like to see more patrolling of this area," said Batton.
She was relieved that on Sunday Jackson police officers captured a man believed to have attempted a rape in the park. JPD investigators said the alleged attack happened on February 11. The attacker got away, but the woman gave a description to police.
Ten days later, around 9:00 in the morning, a man fitting that profile was seen in the Belhaven area. Officers picked him up, and following an interview of the suspect and previous information, he was taken into custody.
Ronald Bryant, 40, of Jackson is charged with attempted rape. Police are conducting a criminal background check to determine if Bryant has any prior related charges.
His arrest brought some comfort to Batton, who was a victim of a strong-armed robbery in front of her Belhaven home on November 23.
"When I was attacked, I just screamed and kicked, and if I hadn't done that I think they would have abducted me," she said. "Everyone was inside they couldn't hear me."
Her attack happened at night.
The recent alleged attempted rape victim told police she was in the park around 8:30 in the morning with she was approached.
Authorities have not released Bryant's picture as their investigation is still underway.
"Since I heard about the -- I believe it was an attempted rape -- last Thursday, I felt very frightened and not safe here," said Batton.
The Jackson resident said Belhaven residents have been keeping up with the news of the case through emails. She is now much more cautious about her comings and goings but would like neighbors be get more notice from police about crimes in their community.
Ronald Bryant is being held at the Raymond Detention Center. There is no word on bond.
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