Detroit Police arrest man accused in sexual assaulting men met on social media
DETROIT (WJBK) - Detroit police say a man who carjacked and raped another man at gunpoint was caught after five days on the run and police believe this wasn't his only crime.
Police say 28-year-old Elazar Withers is a violent felon who carjacked a man and then sexually assaulted and robbed two others. But these weren't completely random victims. DPD assistant chief Steve Dolunt said he met them all online.
"During the investigation we determined all the victims had been in contact with this guy through a social dating Website called Jack'd," Dolunt said.
Police claim Withers created an appealing dating profile and used the site to connect with the men who believed they were meeting for a date.
"I believe the initial was to set them up and rob them. But then sexual assault comes into play and you see an opportunity and you take that opportunity," DPD Sgt. Marvin Jones said.
Police say Withers' crime spree began last Friday when he agreed to meet up with a man just before 2 a.m. near Schoenherr and 8 Mile. Dolunt said the 37-year-old victim was in his car when he was confronted and demanded that he get out of the car. The man did as he was told but then ran away from the suspect who police identify as Withers.
Police said Wither stole the man's car but then dumped it two hours later. That's when they say he approached a 30-year-old man walking on 8 Mile.
"The suspect called the victim over, pointed a gun at him and told him to get in the car or he'd kill him," Dolunt said.
Police said Withers drove to a secluded area near Reno and Fairmont and then robbed and sexually assaulted the man. Then they said he drove off and left the man there.
Not even four hours later, police say Withers set up a fake date with a 24-year-old man and met him at Alter and Mack. The man voluntarily got into his car but police say Withers took advantage by sexually assaulting and robbing him. He then left him near a home on Glenwood.
"You can see how fast this happened during the course of the night. if he wasn't apprehended, this would have continued on. It would've only gotten worse," Jones said.
After each victim called police and identified Withers, police say they were able to catch him and cuff him just 3 days later. He's now facing several charges and police believe there may be more victims. They're asking anyone who may be one to call police.