On Friday morning in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, an 85-year-old nun was raped and beaten in a church parking lot. The police believe they have the perpetrator in 18-year-old Andrew Bullock. Here's what you need to know:
1. The Nun Was Approached From Behind
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the nun was leaving St. Titus Church around 11:30 a.m. Friday morning, when a young man approached her from behind, asking if she needed help. When she replied that she did not and thanked him, he gestured for her to look down at his exposed genitals. According to police, when the nun then turned to walk away, the young man grabbed her neck, choking her to the ground, punching her head and face, breaking her jaw, and sexually assaulting her, before fleeing the scene.
The nun was unable to speak because of the injury to her jaw, but wrote to police that she had been raped.
2. Police Identified Bullock Based On His Clothing
According to the Post-Gazette's report, area witnesses told police they'd seen Andrew Bullock in the neighborhood of the church in the days before the incident, wearing clothing similar to the description obtained from the victim: a black-hooded sweatshirt, dark pants and workboots.
Police say the tread pattern, size and width of of Bullock's boots match a footprint left in the snow by the church. At first Bullock denied being in the vicinity of the church on the morning of the attack, but eventually admitted to having been in the area.
3. Bullock Told His Brother He is Innocent
According to UPI, Bullock has been identified by the nun, and Detective Sgt. Steven Roberts claims Bullock confessed to the attack after questioning. However, Bullock's brother Zach Hauser says Andrew told him he is innocent. Hauser told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
"I don't know what to believe. He said that he had been walking by the church, but he didn't do it."
4. Bullock's Facebook Photos Show Signs of Gang Affiliation
Heavy has identified three Facebook profiles registered to the suspect. All profiles are under the name of Andrew Bullock, listed as living in Aliquippa, and feature pictures of Bullock with his brother Zach "mr.lightskinned" Hauser.
The separate Facebook profiles are sequential rather than contemporary. The earliest lists Bullock as a high-school senior, and features several photos of Andrew with his brother Zach. Zach is in military uniform, and Andrew is clean-cut, formally dressed in shirt and tie.
Even in this early profile though, there is one photograph of Bullock flashing what appear to be gang symbols:
In the second profile, the name of Bullock's high-school is replaced by the phrase "I didn't go to college yet." The profile features several more photos of Bullock displaying gang symbols:
In the third, Bullock describes himself as "working at the block." Photos from the profile include two photos of plants resembling marijuana:
Timeline posts from this past November imply Bullock's involvement in illegal activity:
5. The Crime Rate in Aliquippa Is Below the National Average
Aliquippa is a town in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, with a population of under 10, 000, located about 30 miles outside of Pittsburgh. According to citydata.com, in 2011, Aliquippa reported only 1 rape per 100,000 people, and a total yearly crime rate of 209.0, significantly below the national average of 307.5
Despite horrifying stories like this one out of Aliquippa, and recent headlines about the "Knockout Game," the crime rate in The United States is steep decline. In the past 20 years, the murder rate has been cut in half. In 2010, the number of reported robberies was 10% lower than in 2009, which was 8 percent lower than in 2008.