Rape witnesses are taking heat for not calling 911 - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Rape witnesses are taking heat for not calling 911

By Erica Shaffer - bio | email

Posted by Dave Dykema - email

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Another witness is speaking up about a rape they saw in broad daylight.

It happened Tuesday at the corner of Lyman and Royalton. That's where police say a 15-year-old teen walking home from school raped an autistic woman.

Police also say the teen confessed to putting a pair of scissors to the 26-year-old woman's throat, and then raping her on the sidewalk.

There's been some outrage against people not breaking up the attack or being slow to call 911. But the whole issue begs the question: What would you do if you saw two people having sex on the sidewalk in broad daylight?

One woman who didn't want to be identified said it's a split second decision, and that she didn't even realize she was witnessing a crime.

"You just have so many things going through your head," the witness said. "Rape didn't even come to our mind. We didn't even think of it."

She says she didn't see any signs of the woman struggling so she thought it was just two teens having sex.

"I laid on my horn and the guy looked up and she didn't move."

She says if she knew it was rape she wouldn't have stopped it, but she would have called 911. The reason for not stopping is, "When I have my babies in the car and you don't know if he has a gun. You don't know if he has a knife."

Someone else did call 911, but they sound uncertain too. Here's a portion of the call:

DISPATCH: You're on the cell phone. Toledo 911.

CALLER: Yes. I think there's someone, um, either taking advantage or raping somebody on, um, Royalton by Birchall. It's a black guy and he's taking off the pants of a white woman and they're laying on the sidewalk.

The witness who didn't call 911 says she did the interview with News 11 for the woman who was raped.

"I don't want her to think that anyone did not care. Because if I didn't care I would have not had tried to help the police catch this guy."

Prosecutors say they have filed a motion to certify the teen as an adult.

Copyright 2010 WTOL. All rights reserved.

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