NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A man accused of raping a 74-year-old woman in West Nashville has been arrested, Metro Police Chief John Drake announced on Thursday.
Metro Police Chief John Drake held a press conference on Thursday morning to announce the arrest. Watch live below.
Metro Nashville police said the woman was doing yard work on Saturday outside her home near Elmington Park when she believes the man went inside her home. She reported that when she came inside, the man attacked her.
A man matching the description of the suspect was recorded by a nearby resident's surveillance system.
On Thursday, Metro police identified the man as 46-year-old Phillip Hayes.
Police said he was arrested on Tuesday morning on charges of assaulting an officer, auto burglary, resisting arrest and possession of meth for an unrelated case.
Around 4:20 a.m., a homeowner on Gale Lane called police to report that a man who rang their doorbell for several minutes was going through a Jeep parked outside. Officers who responded could not find the man, but they did discover a vacant Chrysler Voyager that had been reported stolen earlier this month.
By 5:20 a.m., Metro police said Hayes returned to Gale Lane and was stopped by an officer who recognized him from the homeowner's surveillance video. Hayes reportedly ran once the officer attempted to take him into custody. He was caught less than two hours later on Eighth Avenue S.
"We know of no legitimate reason for Hayes to have been on Gale Lane Tuesday morning," said Chief Drake. "I believe that the citizen’s 4:20 a.m. call Tuesday set in motion a response from Midtown Hills Precinct officers that took a very dangerous man off our streets."
During questioning on Tuesday night, Metro police said Hayes acknowledged the Bowling Avenue surveillance photo was of him. However, when asked about the rape, police said he ended the interview.
Hayes originally refused to comply with a search warrant for a DNA sample, but ultimately provided one on Wednesday morning. Police said his DNA sample matches evidence that was taken from the rape case.
"This was a horrendous crime. I want to thank the victim for working closely with us, detectives in our Special Victims Division for following leads in this case throughout the weekend and this week, and scientists at our Crime Laboratory who were called in over the weekend to begin the analysis of evidence," said Chief Drake.
He has been charged with aggravated rape, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated burglary in this case. Metro police said Hayes was previously convicted of drug and assault charges in Virginia and indecent exposure in Florida.