Dallas police are still hunting for the serial rapist wanted in 9 rapes in South Dallas, a person of interest questioned Friday is not a suspect. Police say their investigation is far from over and they need people to continue calling in tips.
Despite questioning a person of interest Friday, Dallas police say the man responsible for nine sexual assaults in the Fair Park area is still on the loose.
"We still need community support and participation in finding this predator," Maj. Jeff Cotner said.
Officers blanketing the South Dallas area where the attacks occurred identified a person of interest Thursday. Alan Mason, 29, was taken into custody at about 3 a.m. Friday at the Arlington apartment complex where he lives. His car, glasses and physical description are similar to the attacker.
But after detectives talked to him, Mason was charged only with violating probation on a prior driving-while-intoxicated case and outstanding traffic tickets. He cooperated with investigators, and no additional charges are pending against him at this time.
"We don't know if our suspect or our predator is still active," Cotner said. "We don't know if he's moved to another part of the city. We thought it was very important to get the information out."
Police said a tipster told them Mason had said he needed to get out of town because he had done something wrong.
"That came from someone approaching an officer and talking to them one-on-one," Deputy Chief Mike Coleman said.
Police Chief David Brown tweeted information about the search for a person of interest Thursday night at about the time residents were voicing concerns at a community meeting at True Lee Missionary Baptist Church.
Resident Bennie Jeffery said he was upset that residents weren't made aware of the attacks until earlier this week even though the first rape happened in June.
"We get notified when there is a West Nile outbreak, we get notified when there was a measles outbreak, so it's just appalling that the citizens weren't notified earlier when this type of stuff was going on," he said.
Cotner said it was not clear the two attacks in June were connected and said there was a six-week gap before reports resumed in late August. Police only identified a clear pattern after the Sept. 1 attack, he said.
"Certainly, we're holding back information that's been reported so we can effectively prosecute this individual, and those details that you're not aware of, that I'm aware of, those are things that link these offenses together," he said.
Police said increased patrols in and surveillance of the targeted area will continue.
"You'll see visible resources such as bicycles, mounted, helicopters, our crime response teams, our uniformed metro squads, our gang unit, as well as some of those resources you don't see," Coleman said.
The attacker has been described as a black man between 5 feet 6 inches and 5 feet 11 inches tall and around 185 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes. He has been reported as wearing shorts and a T-shirt as well as oval-shaped prescription glasses with gold rims. Police said the attacker always covers his face. He's been seen driving a silver or gray four-door sedan, possibly a Honda or Volvo.
Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest and indictment. If you have information, you can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 214-373-TIPS (8477).
In addition to the Crime Stoppers reward, Oak Farms has also pledged $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the attacker.