Police Arrest Rape, Kidnapping Suspect in UTA Student Attack

A man has been charged in connection with the kidnapping, robbery and rape of a University of Texas at Arlington student, police say.

Arlington police said the attack happened as the victim returned home to the Midtown Apartments on UTA Boulevard at about 3 a.m. She pulled into the parking lot and was confronted by a man she didn't know or recognize, police said.

The man had a gun and demanded cash, according to police. Investigators said he forced her back into her car and made her drive to an ATM off Matlock Road.

From there, police said the man took her to another apartment complex in Arlington where he raped her. He then drove to a convenience store where he purchased approximately $30 in miscellaneous items with her card.

Arlington Lt. Chris Cook said the ordeal lasted at least one and a half to two hours.

"We think it started at 2:30 or 3 and by 4:41 she was able to make it back safely to her apartment where she called 911 because the suspect had stolen her cell phone," Cook said.

Police identified the suspect as Joel Mambe. Arresting officers recovered a gun and property belonging to the victim, said Will Johnson, Arlington police chief.

Charges included aggravated kidnapping, robbery and sexual assault, Johnson said. He is being held in jail without bond.

Mambe, 20, did not cover his face during the crime, investigators said.

Police said detectives worked to retrace the route the attacker took in order to track down surveillance video.

"We've also driven the victim around the city," Cook said. "She did a very good job showing us the exact bank, showing us the convenience store, showing us the complexes she was at. There's a lot of detectives on this case searching for surveillance video at these other locations as well."

Wednesday, UT Arlington police put up paper flyers, warning students about the attack. An email blast also went out to students and staff.

"I checked my email and saw it and I was like, at 3 a.m.? I got off work at 2:30 a.m.," said Alyssa Walker, a UTA student. "That's so scary."

Walker lives in the same apartment complex as the woman who was kidnapped.

"I just got really scared because it was literally 30 minutes before or after I had gotten into my apartment," Walker said. "It's very scary."

No attorney information was listed for Mambe.

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