Attempted rape case near UTC sent to grand jury

Attempted rape case near UTC sent to grand jury

December 18th, 2017 by Zack Peterson in Breaking News

Thomas Carr

Thomas Carr

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A man charged with following a woman into her downtown apartment and trying to rape her has his case heading to a grand jury after a hearing Monday in Hamilton County General Sessions Court.

Thomas Lee Carr, 28, remains in custody but will be placed on GPS supervision if he makes a $75,000 bond, records show. Judge Lila Statom listened to almost two hours of testimony about the Dec. 12 incident before sending the case to the grand jury. Carr faces one count of attempted rape.

Prosecutors called the alleged victim, a roommate, an investigating Chattanooga police officer, and an acquaintance who worked at Amazon with Carr and initially identified him for authorities. Much of their testimony reflected what police spelled out in an affidavit earlier this month.

Police said they received a call from the victim that a white male wearing a blue tank top followed her into her apartment building on Douglas Street around noon.

As she went into her room, the man began attacking her, tried to take her clothes off and pushed her head toward his crotch, according to testimony and court records.

One of her roommates, Sharhea Bell, said she ran into the room when she heard the commotion, causing the man to flee. The Times Free Press does not identify alleged sex crime victims.

From there, officers found surveillance footage that showed a man running down the apartment hallway around the time of the incident. Investigators released a picture to the public, encouraging tips from people.

Chattanooga police are asking the public for help identifying this person suspected of an attempted rape in the Martin Luther King neighborhood Tuesday, Dec. 12. The suspect, shown here on surveillance video, was described as a white male with short blond hair, wearing khaki pants and a navy blue tank top.

Chattanooga police are asking the public for help...

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

A piece of information developed: The man's name was "Tom," police said.

But Christopher Talley's information brought the case one step forward: Talley said he knew Carr and worked with him at Amazon, police said. Using that information, officers put together a six-person lineup for the victim.

She picked out Carr, saying he "most resembled the suspect who attacked her," courts show.

From here, a grand jury will decide whether to indict Carr on his one count of attempted rape. If he is indicted, Carr will proceed to Criminal Court and work toward a plea agreement or trial.

According to the county's website, a grand jury next meets Jan. 8.

Contact staff writer Zack Peterson at or 423-757-6347. Follow him on Twitter @zackpeterson918.

This story was updated Dec. 18, 2017, at 11:22 p.m.