Police investigating sexual assault in Deep Ellum

- Dallas police are investigating a sexual assault that happened near heart of Deep Ellum early Sunday morning.

The revitalized area has been experiencing an increase in violent crime for over a year now.

It was after last call, at 2 a.m. Sunday, when the bartender at Wits End came across the crime scene on his way home. Dallas police were investigating the assault at Malcolm X and MLK Boulevard, about a block from the bar where Josh Hendry works.

“It's a troublesome area. You know, a lot of people, instead of walking the quick way around will stay where the lights are and it's a problem,” said Hendry.

Police said about 15 minutes after 1 p.m. a 29-year-old woman called 911, saying a man offered her a ride in his car. When she got in, he beat and raped her then let her go. She was taken to the hospital.

Police searched the area where it happened near the DART train tracks but did not find a suspect. Violent crime in Deep Ellum is a problem police have been trying to fix, even stepping up patrols in the area last fall.

“When I get off work, I see cops directing traffic, cops maybe like on every other corner, always driving around,” said Adam Kaszuba, who also works in Deep Ellum.

Last month, police said three men carjacked, beat and robbed the general manager of The Door, a music venue in Deep Ellum, as he was leaving work. No arrests have been made.

“With the sudden influx of money coming into the neighborhood, there's just way more opportunity for crime,” said Hendry.

The Deep Ellum Foundation, a non-profit that aims to improve Deep Ellum. says that businesses, residents and the foundation have paid to dramatically increase the number of off-duty officers to ten, who are mostly foot patrol, on Saturdays and Sundays. Also, there will be additional private security Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Locals appreciate the effort.

"I think it's a lot safer than it used to be," Billy Ott, a Deep Ellum regular, said. "I know Deep Ellum had their whole bit where it was really unsafe but it's really cleaned up a lot from what it used to be."

This most recent sexual assault reminds people to remain vigilant.

“I don't even like taking an Uber ride after 2 a.m. I just call my brothers, and I shouldn't have to feel that way,” said Dallas resident Carla Castagna.

Police have not said whether the victim was able to give them a description of the car, but they are looking for surveillance video of the incident and pursuing other possible leads.

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