While he was escaping, police said he dropped his iPhone at the scene, allowing detectives to track him down.
On April 29, a 44-year-old woman was about to go for a jog around the perimeter of Mayflower Hill Cemetery in Taunton when a man, later identified as 21-year-old William Perez, approached her near the entrance, the Taunton Police Department said.
According to officials, Perez, who was wearing a backpack with hedge clippers sticking out and was allegedly holding a box cutter in his hand, told the woman, “You’re coming with me.”
Perez dragged the woman to a nearby shed, tried to sexually assault her, and punched her in the face when she resisted, officials said.
He also made threats to bring her deeper into the woods, but people arriving at the cemetery saw what was happening and the suspect ran off, court records state.
The woman was treated at a local hospital and released, police said.
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One eyewitnesses handed over a phone to the police, claiming they saw the device drop out of the suspect's pocket while he was escaping, according to authorities. Investigators said they determined the phone allegedly belongs to Perez.
Officers arrested Perez at his home on April 30 and one of the witnesses positively identified him as the suspect, police said.
Perez was charged with indecent assault and battery on a person over 14, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault with intent to commit rape, and kidnapping, officials said.
He was ordered held without bail and is due back in court on May 19.
Amit Singh, Perez’s attorney, claims police have the wrong man, citing discrepancies in the description of the suspect.
Singh told WPRI, “Looking at the police report, there’s been three descriptions … one says he’s 5 feet 5, one says 5 feet 2.”
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