Newark Po­lice ar­rest sus­pect in at­tempted abductions


Special from the Newark Post

— The man ac­cused of try­ing to abduct two women from down­town Newark park­ing lots last week is now behind bars.

Joseph B. Rudge, a 35-year-old homeless sex of­fender, was taken into cus­tody last week­end when a Newark Po­lice Depart­ment SWAT team raided a home in the 1200 block of North Clay­mont Street in Wilm­ing­ton, Lt. Bill Har­grove said.

Rudge was charged with two counts of sec­ond-de­gree at­tempted kid­nap­ping, two counts of of­fen­sive touch­ing, at­tempted theft, sec­ond-de­gree at­tempted car­jack­ing, at­tempted theft from a vic­tim over 62 years of age and fail­ure to re-reg­is­ter as a sex of­fender. He was com­mit­ted to the Howard R. Young Cor­rec­tional In­sti­tute in lieu of $48,700 se­cured bond.

The charges stem from two in­ci­dents that oc­curred in down­town Newark, the first of which came at 11:20 p.m. July 3 at Colo­nial Gar­den Apart­ments, lo­cated at 334 E. Main St.

Newark Po­lice Depart­ment spokesman Cpl. James Spadola said a 28-year-old Univer­sity of Delaware stu-


dent had un­loaded items from her car when a man en­tered the apart­ment build­ing and grabbed her from behind.

He put a chem­i­cal-soaked rag around her mouth and at­tempted to drag her out­side, but the woman fought back and es­caped, Spadola said.

The sus­pect left on foot but struck again four hours later at Main Tow­ers, a se­nior cit­i­zen apart­ment com­plex next door to Colo­nial Gar­den, po­lice said.

Spadola said the man at­tacked a 61-year-old woman as she was get­ting out of her ve­hi­cle in the park­ing lot just af­ter 3:30 a.m. July 4. He grabbed the woman’s neck and mouth and at­tempted to force her back into her ve­hi­cle.

She, too, fought off the at­tack, and the sus­pect ran away.

Both women med­i­cal at­ten­tion.

Af­ter the in­ci­dents, po­lice re­leased a de­scrip­tion of the at­tacker as well as video taken from two sur­veil­lance cam­eras at Main Tow­ers, and it didn’t take long for some­one to rec­og­nize him.

Har­grove said last week that NPD re­ceived a tip that Rudge fit the de­scrip­tion de­clined of the per­son seen in the video. Through an ex­haus­tive in­ves­ti­ga­tion, in­clud­ing serv­ing a search war­rant at his last known ad­dress, de­tec­tives were able to iden­tify Rudge and ob­tain an ar­rest war­rant.

Har­gove said Rudge is con­sid­ered homeless but had a few be­long­ings at the ad­dress.

“I don’t think he had been there in quite a while,” he said.

Af­ter po­lice re­leased Rudge’s name and photo, more tips led in­ves­ti­ga­tors to the home in Wilm­ing­ton where Rudge was stay­ing.

Har­grove said po­lice are still in­ves­ti­gat­ing to find out why Rudge al­legedly tar­geted the two vic­tims.

“We don’t know at this point ex­actly what his mo­tive was, so any­thing at this point would be pure spec­u­la­tion,” he said, not­ing that Rudge did try to force one of the vic­tims back into her car, which led of­fi­cers to be­lieve he was try­ing to steal her car.

In Au­gust 2001, Rudge was con­victed of fourthde­gree rape for sex­ual in­ter­course with a vic­tim un­der 16 years old. He is la­beled a Tier 2 (mod­er­ate risk) sex of­fender.

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