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Man arrested for blowtorch assaults in Detroit

Roderick Nealy

Police officers from Detroit’s 12th precinct responded to a 911 call reporting a home invasion on Dexter on the city’s west side and arrested two men who were still inside the home.

One of the men, Roderick Nealy, 23, is suspected in three sexual assaults that involved burning his victim’s with a blowtorch, according to Deputy Police Chief David LaValley.

Nealy was arraigned Saturday on charges of torture, unlawful imprisonment, assault with intent to maim, assault with intent to do great bodily harm, assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct, felon in possession of a firearm and felony firearm.

Nealy was bound over and is being held without bond; a preliminary exam was scheduled for Feb. 6.

In the most recent assault, Nealy allegedly attacked a woman around 2 a.m. Wednesday near Plymouth and Meyers. The victim told police the man ripped her clothes off and set her on fire with a blowtorch. The woman says she escaped by “grabbing a screwdriver and poking the man in the eye.”

The Detroit police department issued the following statement:

“It was the victim’s unwavering desire to survive that gave her the strength to overcome the attacker. Throughout the investigative process, the victim remained steadfast in her sense of duty to ensure that this criminal was taken off the streets, ending his rein of terror for all women in and around the city of Detroit.”

Since July, two other women were sexually assaulted by a man who then used a blowtorch to burn them.

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