CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Police have charged a man they previously described as“extremely dangerous” with a carjacking and attempted sexual assault at a Charlotte shopping center in November.
According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, 30-year-old Travis Lamont Blakley has been charged with with first degree attempted rape, first degree kidnapping, armed robbery, assault by strangulation and common law robbery.
On Friday, Nov. 16, officers say Blakley carjacked a woman and tried to sexually assault her while she was using an ATM at a popular shopping center in Charlotte.
The woman was using the ATM at the Park Road Shopping Center in the 1600 block of E. Woodlawn Road around 2 a.m. when Blakley reportedly used a weapon to force himself into her car, drove her to another spot, and tried to sexually assault her.
Security cameras caught his image, but his face was covered with a cap and mask.
The woman was able to escape after a struggle and Blakley drove away.
On Saturday, police say they found the woman’s stolen vehicle - a 2009 Hyundai Sonata - unoccupied.
“You think it’s a safe area, I’m very surprised,” shopper Tanisha Roberts said.
Friday night, the lot at Park Road Shopping Center packed with people shopping and dining.
“There’s usually not any issues in this area,” Janet White says.
“It’s a heavily trafficked area,” shopper Tibor Ban says. “Seems pretty secure to me. Holiday time though, I guess stuff like that happens. It’s alarming.”
White says her young daughter works at a business inside the shopping center.
“So, yeah that is a little disturbing,” she says.
It’ll mean extra caution for those out Friday, and in the days ahead.
“Walk with a friend to our cars, or just watching that no one is coming up behind me,” Roberts says.
“It’s a great place to shop, typically,” Ban says. “Maybe they need more security, I don’t know.”
During the investigation, detectives received information that provided a name for the suspect involved in these cases.
Officials were able to positively identify the suspect and determine that he had an outstanding warrant.
Detectives located and arrested Blakley Friday afternoon for the unrelated felony probation warrant and took him to police headquarters where he was interviewed, charged and taken to the Mecklenburg County Jail.
Anyone with additional information is asked to immediately call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or 911.