PDT Staff Writer
A West Portsmouth man has been arrested in the attempted sexual assault of a woman near Greenlawn Cemetery Saturday night. Jeffrey Swick, 24, was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon when he left his job at around 2 p.m.
“We met with the victim today,” Portsmouth Police Detective Sgt. Jim Charles said. “Because of the incident she has been with her family. She was able to give us enough information that led us to consider Jeffrey Swick as our suspect. We knew where Jeffrey Swick worked and that he got off work today at 2 o’clock (p.m.), and Detective Andy Dawes and I went there and asked him if he would follow us down here to the Police Department. He agreed. He drove himself down here to the Police Department. We interviewed him and he subsequently confessed to the crime that he is charged with.”
That charge, according to Charles, is kidnapping, a first degree felony. He was placed in the Scioto County Jail, where he was incarcerated under a $20,000 bond, pending an arraignment hearing this morning in Portsmouth Municipal Court.
“This is the only one he is charged with right now,” Charles said. “We’re looking into other incidents, and other charges may be forthcoming.”
According to Interim Portsmouth Police Chief Rob Ware, Shortly after 8 p.m. on Saturday, a woman was jogging alone, and was attacked by a male who tried to sexually assault her.
“The victim in this case was very aware of her surroundings. She took notice of him before the attack, and took steps to prepare for an attack before it happened,” Charles said. “So she helped herself out a lot. Her actions probably prevented her from being seriously hurt.”
“It probably saved her,” Dawes said.
Ware said a lot of what women can do to be prepared for an attack comes down to common sense.
“It’s being aware of what’s happening around you,” Ware said. “When the hair is raised on the back of your neck that is usually a good sign that there’s something you need to pay attention to. And in this case she got that feeling, and she reacted and responded in a way that helped her protect herself and to minimize the attack. It could have been a very tragic situation.”
Ware urged women to run or walk in pairs and to always be alert and aware of their surroundings.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org