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Buckhead mother survives attack, family uses phone to track suspect


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    ATLANTA (WGCL) — An Atlanta mother and teacher fought off a suspect who tried to rape and strangle her, police say.

He took off with her phone but it only made tracking him easier. The victim’s family used an iPhone app to help investigators locate then arrest a 31-year-old man believed to be homeless.

Laquai Barrett faces multiple charges including Attempted Rape, Battery, and Theft which stem from the Thursday, May 20th incident. But investigators also linked him to a similar case earlier this month.

“I grabbed a beer bottle and hit him over the head with it from behind. I was trying anything.

I pleaded, I begged, told him I had a family. At one point I grabbed his face and said ‘stop, stop, stop.'”

You do not have to see her face or hear her name to know she’s a survivor.

Breast cancer was a fight long before this one– but the mother and teacher wants to share her story anonymously.

“I saw him grabbing a rope out of his pocket and as he’s tying it around my neck to strangle me,

I am wrapping it around me finger.” The Buckhead mother continued, “I was wrapping it around my finger so he didn’t have enough length to strangle me with it.”

The Atlanta Police Department report details how the suspect followed her home as she walked her dog.

Once she opened the gate to enter her Peachtree Avenue community, Barrett ran through it behind her.

The victim described him as a homeless man. He forced his way into her garage and onto her, the report explains.

“I can’t get it out of my head– the actual jump and dragging me into my garage by my hoodie. And then taking his hands,” she said.

“His hands were so rough, he put them around my mouth and nose. I kept saying ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.’ I kept trying to claw my way so I can breathe.”

For 25 minutes she never let up. But the mother says he slipped up, at some point he paused just long enough to give her time to escape and hit the alarm.

The suspect took off with her cell phone so her family used the iPhone tracking app “Find My Friends” to show police where he was hiding.

Officers found him at the nearby park called Garden Hills.

According to the report, when police interviewed Barrett, he admitted he wanted to do something to a younger girl but went with this victim instead.

Charges from May 3rd show he’s suspected of another attempted rape and strangulation.

Although the victim says her body is tired, she’s gained renewed strength to demand more the city of Buckhead– saying she is fed up with the area-crime. Being a teacher, she decided to go back to her classroom Monday and talk with her students about safety and self-defense.

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