Brentwood Police Chief: Sexual Assault Was Isolated Incident
Chief Steve Disbennett is confident that Brentwood police will solve the crimes surrounding a March 9 incident where a woman was abducted and sodomized in Brentwood.
On April 20, St. Louis police released information about a case involving the suspected rape of a 52-year-old woman that had occurred four days earlier.
Not long after that, the Brentwood Police Department released information about the suspected sexual assault of a 20-year-old woman in Brentwood Park on March 9. Police noted similarities in the two incidents, including the description of the suspects.
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Chief Steve Disbennett called the suspected assault an isolated incident, noting that it happened in the middle of the night.
"We have, obviously, patrtol cars out there 24-7. That’s just an unfortunate thing that it happened," he said. "The lady, when she pulled up, she was only sitting there litereally only five minutes when this happened."
He said an officer would have had to have been lucky to be there at just the right time.
Disbennett made a distinction between the St. Louis and Brentwood cases. The St. Louis incident was rape, while the Brentwood incident was sodomy, which the state doesn't classify as rape, Disbennett said. It had been incorrectly reported in the news, he said.
“The definition of rape is sexual intercourse, and sexual intercourse did not occur,” he said.
Residents remain confident in Brentwood police
Following the news, Brentwood residents expressed confidence in the police department and their community.
Bob Baker stood outside his home near Brentwood Park on Monday afternoon while watering his lawn. People in his neighborhood are concerned, he said, but he maintained that Brentwood police are protecting his community.
“Those guys get right there when something happens,” he said. “Brentwood has a good police department. I’m sure they’ll come up with a good conclusion."
Long-time resident Kelly Goodwin also expressed confidence in the authorities, but said she realizes that Brentwoodians don't live in a bubble.
“Stuff happens everywhere,” she said. “We always have to take reasonable precautions.”
The three men who were arrested in connection to the St. Louis incident are only considered "people of interest" in connection with the Brentwood incident, Disbennett said.
“They haven’t been charged,” Disbennett said. "We’re pursuing that direction, but at this moment, there are similarities, but that’s all we can say.”
He said the department is pursuing different leads, including DNA evidence and phone records.
Receiving lab results from DNA tests can take three to four months, and retrieving phone records also requires a lot of time.
"We firmly believe that the evidence that we have at this time shows that the suspects that we’re looking at do not reside in this town," Disbennett said. "[Residents] should feel quite safe in the neighborhood. And we feel confident we’re going to resolve this case eventually.
For informational purposes, below is crime data from Brentwood's website. There are no statistics for rape in Brentwood on the city's website.