Suspect charged in Orland Park sex assault

September 25, 2011 4:39:48 AM PDT
Police arrested and charged a suspect in the rape of an 83-year-old woman in southwest suburban Orland Park on Saturday.

Dennis D. Dodson Jr., 34, was charged with one count of aggravated criminal sexual assault.

Dodson was arrested by Tinley Park police Friday evening at 170th and Harlem. He was then turned over to the Orland Park Police Department, where he was charged.

The victim was reportedly assaulted behind a Home Depot store in Orland Park. According to authorities, the woman had tried to help the man because she believed he was homeless.

The suspect allegedly knocked her to the ground and sexually assaulted her before being scared off by a passing Orland Park patrol car, police said. The suspect may have fled the area on a black bicycle that was near the scene, police said.

The victim was transported to South Suburban Hospital and treated for minor injuries.

Residents expressed relief at the quick arrest.

"They did their job, there were on it, they were active," Orland Park resident Edward Hiller said.

That the victim may have been trying to help the suspect, gave pause to resident Cathy Niemeyer.

"As much as you try to help people sometimes you never know what is giong to happen," she said.

Resident Merrilee Agnley said people should be cautious no matter where they are.

"If you're in the Loop, you have to be careful. If you're in the suburbs you have to be careful," she said.

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