Reporting Derek Valcourt
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A West Baltimore man is under arrest after police say he attacked and raped a woman inside her apartment in the historic Mount Vernon neighborhood.
Derek Valcourt has more on the arrest and reaction from the community.
Police say swift action in the case helped to catch the suspect.
The attack happened in the 900-block of St. Paul Street, a neighborhood full of young 20-something renters– many of them single women.
“It can happen to anybody, anywhere, so it’s really kind of scary,” said Lauren Remenyi.
“It’s a shock,” said Chelsea Schields. “It’s an awful tragedy.”
Police say the man behind the attack was Karreim Mason, 37, now locked up, charged with rape and sexual assault.
The victim, a woman in her 20s, may have left the door propped open as she was moving items into her apartment Tuesday afternoon.
Police say the suspect pushed her inside and raped her, then forced her to take a shower.
Rebecca Potter lives in same the building where it happened.
“Clearly there was a way that this man got in as the girl was moving in and out,” Potter said. “He took an opportunity and you really have to protect yourself. You really have to be very vigilant.”
Thanks to emails from the neighborhood association and several of the landlords in the area, word of the attack spread quickly.
“We have a very vigilant community,” said one neighbor.
Shortly after the crime, Mount Vernon Belvedere Association president Jason Curtis fired off an email to hundreds in the area with a description of the suspect.
Police say that helped produce tips.
“This is a great example of how the police and the community can work together just to help get the information out to help solve problems in the city,” Curtis said.
Many women who live in the complex say the crime is a reminder to be vigilant as they move about. It comes just as Rebecca Potter plans a move to the county next month.
“After this has happened, it kind of makes my decision a lot easier,” Potter said.
The suspect does have some prior drug arrests. Police say they’ll be looking to see if he could be connected to other sexual assaults.
Police say they arrested Mason at his home on McKean Avenue in Baltimore’s Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood.