(KATV) A difficult story to tellyou about out of Searcy. A mother was injured while trying to protect herdaughter from a sexual attack. Tuesday, the mother and 12-year old girl ran toa neighbor's apartment at about 5:30 p.m. to call police after both were attacked by an armed man.
At about 4:40 p.m.Wednesday, the suspect, Aaron Ray Rash was arrested without incident for felonyrape and battery. Warning, this story is stomach-turning.
Neighbor, JacquelineArnold says, "Searcy is a quite place, no gangs, stuff like that. It's a goodplace to retire. It's a good place to raise your children."
Arnold moved to Searcy 18years ago to raise her kids and has lived here at the Ridge apartment since itopened nearly 10 years ago because it makes her feel safe. She points, "We havepolice on this end that live here and we have police on that end."
When Arnold heard aboutpolice dispatched to the complex, she had no idea it was for a woman who wasstabbed while trying to protect her daughter from a rapist. "I just thank Godthat both are alive."
Brittany Eacret with the SearcyPolice Department says it was a heartrending scene. "We found a woman seatingon the ground bleeding profusely. She had multiple stab wounds to her hands,chest and her daughter was close by."
The mother is expected tolive. She told investigators she knew the man and let him in the apartment. Atsome point he attacked her daughter and she tried to intervene and he stabbedher. Just when she thought he might leave, he turned to her terrified 12 yearold girl.
Police say the suspect rapedthe girl within eye sight of the mother bleeding on the floor, helpless.
Arnold says she has addedthe mother and daughter to her prayer list at church. "It's a sad time for Christmaswhen we should be happy."
The mother told police shehad a mutual friend in common with Rash and did not met Rash until the day ofthe attack.
Aaron Ray Rash is a level 3sex offender, among the most severe.