MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - An Arlington man is in jail accused of trying to kidnap an eleven year old girl. He's the same man who was charged in December 2011 for attacking a female jogger in the same neighborhood.
His attorney says Roland Jean-Charles is a loving family man and has never been in trouble with the law. Witnesses and neighbors say there's no case of "mistaken identity" and they believe he's the one who's been attacking women in their neighborhood.
"Yea she ran, she was crying on the way too. She was like really scared,” said 11-year-old Julia Nguyen. She’s friends with the victim, the 11-year-old who told police Charles tried to grab her on October 3, 2012.
According to police, it happened around 6:30 p.m. in the 4900-block of Knob Creek in Arlington. The girl told police a man came out of the bushes wearing a black hoodie and black pants and started following her; that’s when the girl started running away.
"The man just came up to her and then touched her. She was near the stop sign and she ran all the way here to my house and then the man stopped following her,” said Nguyen.
Logan Moon was walking with the victim that night. She says they recognized 33-year-old Roland Jean-Charles from another incident.
“We saw him on the news because last year a girl was jogging and she got attacked by him,” Moon told ABC24 News.
Neighbors still remember that frightful December morning when the jogger was attacked.
“It was real early. It was before 6 o'clock in the morning. She went running and you could hear her out here. I was making coffee in my house,” said a neighbor Fred Sholder. “[Her screams] sounded like somebody was fixing to die, it really did."
Charles lives right around the corner from where both of these attacks happened. His attorney says he's innocent and the victims confused him in a police line up.
"He's an African American man who lives in a predominately white neighborhood. He may be one of the only African American who lives in that neighborhood and if the victim has seen him before walking down the street his image may be ingrained in her mind,” said Charles’ attorney Blake Ballin. “This man has been falsely accused not once but twice."
ABC24 News tried speaking with Charles' family but his girlfriend refused to open the door. Neighbors say the couple has one baby with another on the way. Ballin says Charles is a computer scientist, with a PhD and does not fit the profile of a predator - but friends of the 11-year-old victim say she still has nightmares of that October night.
"She's doing alright but she cries about it,” said Nguyen.
Charles is being held without bond. His lawyer says the case involving the jogger is still pending and may be set for trial in April.