Police say a man arrested for grabbing a woman in Washington Park has also been linked to a rape case in Gresham.
Kenneth Wayne Couch, 24, appeared in court Tuesday afternoon on charges of rape, strangulation and robbery in the third degree.
The district attorney's office said, in both cases, he's accused of grabbing the women by the neck. According to court documents,the rape occurred June 24, more than a month before the alleged attack in Washington Park, over the weekend.
Portland police tell Fox 12 it wasn't until Couch's arrest Monday that detectives learned he was suspected in the Gresham case.
Police say the woman attacked along a popular trail near Hoyt Arboretum was not sexually assaulted, but the victim told Fox 12 the man attacked her from behind and put her in a neck hold.
She screamed and managed to fight back, and the suspect ran off, according to police.
Police said Couch told detectives his intention was to steal, which is why he was charged with robbery. However, the victim was concerned he was after something else.
"I was afraid that he didn't seem to want money," said Michele Dickson shortly after the attack. "I thought he was going to do something to me physically … I'm concerned this is a man who will do it again."
Couch was arrested on Monday morning, after a team of Portland park rangers, acting on a tip from the Oregon Zoo security manager, found the man and his campsite, and called Portland police.
Police say he's not believed to be linked to any other recent attacks, but anyone with information about the suspect or case is urged to call Portland police.
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