Updated 4:34 p.m.: Vernon Lamont Reed, who was arrested on Monday, asked the judge for a public defender at his first court appearance Tuesday. He remains in Orange County Jail under a $500,000 secured bond and cannot go onto UNC campus or Shortbread Lofts property.
Reed appeared in court via video chat Tuesday. His next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 7.
Chapel Hill Police arrested and charged Vernon Lamont Reed in connection with the sexual assault that occurred on Sept. 13 at the Shortbread Lofts parking deck, according to a statement the Town of Chapel Hill released Monday.
Reed, age 46 and from Chapel Hill, was charged with first degree forcible rape, robbery with a dangerous weapon, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and kidnapping.
He remains in the Orange County Jail under a $500,000 secured bond, and his first court appearance will be on Tuesday.
“We would like to thank the community for the many tips that we’ve received in this very difficult case,” Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue said in a statement. “And, our investigators have worked around the clock for more than two weeks to run those tips down. The tips, the immense amount of community interest in this case, and the hard work of our investigations team are what have led us to the arrest today.”
UNC Police Chief David Perry said in a previously emailed statement that UNC Police were assisting Chapel Hill Police in investigating the incident, as well as providing additional patrols on foot and by vehicle.
Many students and community members learned about the incident, which occurred at about 3 a.m., when an Alert Carolina message went out that afternoon. The message asked for help identifying the suspect, who was described as a Black male wearing dark clothing and about 5 feet 8 inches tall.
Additionally, the Alert Carolina message said people with information about the incident could call Crime Stoppers and may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to an arrest.
Assistant City & State Editor Jamey Cross contributed reporting.
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