Sterling Heights, WarrenSeptember 30, 2013
Man arrested after woman raped, robbed on Van Dyke
By Brian Louwers
C & G Staff Writer
WARREN — A stolen credit card used at a gas station in Sterling Heights led Warren police to the man who allegedly beat, robbed and raped a woman behind a business on Van Dyke Sept. 25.
Naqunn Blount, 18, of Sterling Heights, was arraigned in the 37th District Court Sept. 27 on charges including first-degree criminal sexual conduct and armed robbery.
According to Warren Police Detective Lt. Heidi Metz, Blount was arrested at a home in Sterling Heights Sept. 26 after an investigation that began less than 12 hours earlier.
Metz said a woman reported that she was raped and robbed by a knife-wielding suspect on Van Dyke after she got off a bus at Eight Mile Road at 11:30 p.m. Sept. 25.
“She got off the bus at 8 Mile and Van Dyke. She began walking northbound along Van Dyke. She was heading to a friend’s house on Jackson,” Metz said. “She said she heard someone walking up behind her. The then-unknown black male grabbed her by the hair and put a knife to her neck.”
The suspect, later identified by police as Blount, allegedly took the 26-year-old Center Line woman into an alley behind a business.
“He beat her up and raped her behind the building, took her phone and he took her credit card, and he took her license out of her wallet and told her, ‘Now I know where you live,’” Metz said.
Deputy Warren Police Commissioner Louis Galasso said the victim was treated at the hospital for injuries sustained in the assault and that she was left very emotionally shaken.
A check of her credit card showed it was used shortly after the assault at a gas station near Van Dyke and 18 Mile Road. Metz said Blount borrowed a friend’s Kia van to drive to Warren and that he used the victim’s stolen credit card to put gas in the van before he returned it.
The owner of the Kia knew nothing of the assault and was not charged, police said.
Metz said Warren Police Detective James Wolfe used video surveillance from the gas station to identify the van. Wolfe located the Kia during a search of the neighborhood near the gas station after a clerk reportedly told police the driver was a regular customer.
“I think we had over a 50-50 chance that this person lived in that general vicinity,” Galasso said. “Detective Wolfe just began driving randomly through the subdivision and came across a van that happened to be the one that was in the video.”
Galasso said detectives went to the house where the Kia was parked and knocked on the door. That’s where they found Blount.
“He came out and he was complying with the interview terms. His story just completely fell apart,” Galasso said. “They developed probable cause to arrest him based on statements he made.”
A search warrant was obtained for the house in Sterling Heights, where Galasso said investigators recovered a prescription pill bottle bearing the victim’s name. The woman’s credit card was also reportedly found there, cut up in a garbage can.
Galasso said the Warren Police Department dedicated the majority of its available resources to investigating the case including patrol officers, detectives and Special Operations Unit personnel.
“It was just a fantastic, exhaustive effort on the part of the detective, Detective Jim Wolfe,” Galasso said. “I believe this demonstrated the tenacity and the resources that this Police Department has. I’m very proud of all the detectives that stopped and selflessly put whatever they had on hold that day and went and hunted down this violent felon.”
Galasso said Blount made “very incriminating statements” about the case after he was arrested and transported to the Christopher M. Wouters Warren Police Headquarters.
Blount reportedly has a juvenile criminal history that included charges of armed robbery in Warren and Detroit. He remained held in the Macomb County Jail on a $750,000 cash bond at press time.
First-degree criminal sexual conduct and armed robbery are punishable by up to life in prison.
Blount requested a court-appointed attorney at his arraignment before Judge Dean Ausilio. He was scheduled to appear before Judge Matthew Sabaugh in the 37th District Court for a preliminary examination at 8:45 a.m. Oct. 10.