NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - A man was arrested for an attempted sexual assault that allegedly happened in Audubon Park on Saturday (June 8) morning, according to New Orleans police. But he said he was attacked.
An arrest warrant obtained by Nola.com | The Times-Picayune on Wednesday said the woman was thrown to the ground and almost strangled during the attack.
Ate’ Dumas, 30, was located and arrested at Fountainbleau and Audubon streets on Saturday, police said.
Dumas was arrested and booked into the Orleans Parish Justice Center for attempted first degree rape, aggravated assault, battery of a police officer and resisting arrest.
The arrest warrant said the woman noticed a man outside the women’s restroom before she went inside. When she tried to leave, he grabbed her by the neck and chest, according to the report.
Dumas allegedly pushed her to the ground and began to strangle her as he tried to remove her shirt and pants. The victim kicked the man in the groin until she could escape, she told police.
The report said Dumas was also carrying some type of sharp object, like a box cutter.
After the woman escaped, she said she saw the man a second time and he threw a water bottle at her, the report said. The woman ran to several places in the park before finding help.
Police were investigating another aggravated assault that day near Audubon and Grees streets when they identified Dumas as a suspect. His description also matched the one given by the victim in the earlier attack, police said.
Dumas was arrested after a short chase and allegedly punched an officer in the face.
According to the report, Dumas told police he was at Harrah’s casino and headed home around 2 a.m. He made several wrong turns and “found himself in Audubon Park,” according to the warrant.
He said he was trying to get a drink from the water fountain when the he unknowing entered the women’s restroom, the report said.
Dumas said the victim asked why he was in the restroom as he was washing his hands. That’s when he got into a “fight for his life” while the woman attacked him.
After he left the bathroom, he spotted the woman again and threw a water bottle at her. He then left the area, the report said.
Dumas’ bond was set at $50,000 dollars. He remains in jail as of Thursday morning.
Dumas was booked into the Orleans Justice Center jail around 4 p.m. Saturday. His bond was set at $50,000 after a Monday court appearance.
His next court hearing is on July 9. He will be required to wear an ankle monitor if he posts bond. No criminal history was provided about the defendant because prosecutors were not present at his first appearance.