ST. LOUIS – A man charged with attacking random women reportedly wore a mask and rushed up to his victims with a gun.
The latest attack was on Jan. 17, 2023. Court documents indicate a 30-year-old woman left Gene’s Bar to get something out of her car when she was approached by a masked man with a gun and raped her.
Court documents indicate the victim in this case had the presence of mind to give a detailed description of what the suspect was wearing and where he went after the attack. She said he walked west down St. Louis Avenue, where police gathered surveillance video, including a clear shot of him as he was lit up under a streetlight.
Prosecutors say police captured other shots of the suspect from the bar’s camera, and another camera near where the suspect reportedly forced his victim into an alley.
Police report also connecting the suspect to a couple of attacks about two weeks earlier. One was just a mile from the St. Louis Avenue attack. The suspect reportedly forced a woman into an apartment on Preservation Place near North 16th in St. Louis. But another person was inside that apartment – and it spooked the suspect who took off – leaving the woman.
He then reportedly drove about seven miles to Arlington Avenue and Natural Bridge. Police found video of the suspect moments before court records say he pulled a gun on a woman out walking, and then forced her into an alley where raped her.
Three separate St. Louis police investigations led the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office to charge 31-year-old Octavius Andrew Whittaker with 14 felony charges, including rape, kidnapping, and armed criminal action.
Court records also show Whittaker was convicted in 2017 for felony aggravated battery in St. Clair County, Illinois.
Whittaker was arrested at his girlfriend’s apartment on North 17th Street. Court records indicate he was also driving his girlfriend’s car during the attacks, but there’s no evidence she suspected anything until police had her boyfriend cuffed.
“It makes us feel a lot safer now,” said one concerned citizen.
Pudden Cooper, who works near one of the reported rapes, added, “You know, I walk from my car to my home, and it could just happen.”
Cooper remembers hearing about the assault and is thankful police put together the elaborate pieces of the puzzle.
“With everything going on in our communities, just hearing that you guys were on it were to catch this guy,” she said.
Whittaker is scheduled for a detention hearing next week.