Collegedale Police Department apprehends suspect in sexual assault case

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Collegedale police have apprehended the suspect who had been wanted on several charges connected with a sexual assault on Southern’s campus Tuesday night, according to Collegedale Police Department (CPD) Lieutenant Jamie Heath in an interview with the Accent.

Heath said police arrested Claude Abran Finch III Wednesday afternoon in East Brainerd, and they currently have him in custody. 

Earlier in the day, the CPD had identified Finch as a person of interest in the sexual assault case, which involved the fondling of a female student on Tuesday night.

On Tuesday night, Isaac James, director of Marketing and University Relations, informed students that Campus Safety had received a fondling report of an unknown male approaching and groping a female student in a campus parking lot at 7:51 p.m.

According to a CPD press release, police had two warrants out against Finch for evading arrest and reckless endangerment.  

A press release by the CPD Wednesday referred to another female victim on Southern’s campus in addition to the victim assaulted Tuesday night.

“While speaking with the victim, officers learned that another female victim had a similar run-in regarding a vehicle matching that description on Monday night and again on Tuesday evening,” the press release stated. “However, her reports were given to the Southern Adventist University Campus Safety Department and not forwarded to the police department.”

In an interview with the Accent, Heath clarified the incident with the other female victim.

“No attack occurred, but there was an incident involving the car and the other potential victim,” Heath said. “ … But I can confirm that it was not an attack like [the] sexual attack that occurred last night.”

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