NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Residents near Elmington Park are breathing a sigh of relief after Metro police arrested a man accused of raping an elderly woman inside her home.
For three days, police and neighbors searched for a man wanted for a stranger rape of a woman in her 70s inside her home on Bowling Avenue.
The suspect, 46-year-old Phillip Hayes, is now behind bars and police say lots of credit goes to the neighbors in two communities.
“I live in a home now with three woman. I mean that’s your worse nightmare,” said David Raih, who lives near where police first encountered Hayes.
Police say surveillance images were key in this case.
“We don’t get a lot of stranger rapes that have good surveillance like this,” said Chief John Drake.
Police stepped up patrols, but it was another resident, this one on Gale Lane near Sevier Park, that called police Tuesday morning after a man had rung her doorbell several times and was going through their vehicle. That call ultimately led police to Hayes.
“We kept doing patrols in the neighborhood because we felt he would strike again. I was worried personally and I talked to my team about it, about this potentially becoming a serial type guy,” Chief Drake explained.
Police believe that was Hayes’ intent Tuesday morning, grateful that technology and neighbors were able to assist in putting Hayes behind bars.
“You take precaution, like we have surveillance and an alarm system and locks, even signs outside all for precaution, but just knowing the community is proactive and law enforcement is also doing their job…let’s you rest at ease,” said Raih.
Police say they found a stolen van on Gale Lane also connected to Hayes; insider were several stolen, new purses.
Hayes is facing a number of charges, including aggravated rape, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated burglary.