An 18-year-old man suspected of beating a woman as she opened a Tacoma day care Monday is believed to have sexually assaulted another woman and robbed a third over the past seven months, authorities said Tuesday.
Police arrested Andrake Morris late Monday at his uncle’s house in South Tacoma.
Pierce County Superior Court Commissioner Meagan Foley ordered Morris jailed in lieu of $1 million bail at the request of deputy prosecutor Heather de Maine. Prosecutors delayed a formal charging decision until Thursday to give police time to sift through other possible assault cases linked to Morris.
The day care worker is recovering in the hospital.
Police said she was opening Tender Heart Day Care, 8018 Pacific Ave., when a man later identified as Morris knocked on the door about 6:40 a.m. and said he wanted to enroll his child. Though the worker reportedly sent text messages to her husband and mother about the “creepy” man at the door, she let him in to start the paperwork, authorities said.
Police said he beat and sexually assaulted the woman before her mother arrived and interrupted the attack, court records show.
The victim was unable to provide details of the assault, but her mother and husband, who drove to the day care after receiving the text message from his wife, were able to provide police with a description.
Police worked through the night, canvassing the neighborhood, interviewing possible witnesses, collecting evidence and scouring databases with a description of the suspect.
“The severity of the attack on this poor woman brought out the full forces of our department,” police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said. “We took it very, very seriously. Who does this to someone? This attack was beyond violent and he needed to be arrested.”
Police said Monday’s attack is similar to at least two other recent incidents. Cool said those assaults were “violent, sexual and predatory in nature.” She declined to provide details, citing the ongoing investigation.
A SWAT team, assisted by patrol officers and a K-9 unit, arrested Morris without incident about 10 p.m. Monday at a home in the 100 block of South 84th Street.
Tuesday at the home, a man who identified himself as Morris’ uncle but declined to give his name, said his nephew had been stopping by his house recently after a falling out with his mother. He said he didn’t know much about his nephew’s alleged crimes, just that he hadn’t been following his mother’s rules at home.
“I was his last chance,” the man said, adding that if the allegations against Morris are true, he deserves whatever he gets.
Police and prosecutors believe Morris also is the man who broke into an apartment complex in the 8200 block of Pacific Avenue in August, ejaculated on a woman sleeping on a couch and stole a laptop, court records show. Morris allegedly admitted to that burglary when he was arrested Monday, prosecutors said.
Authorities also think he is the man who robbed a woman at a drugstore in the 8400 block of Pacific Avenue in October. The woman told police she and her children, ages 2 and 4, were outside the store using a movie-distribution machine when someone came up behind her, court records show.
“The suspect had one hand at her upper arm and his other hand held what she believed was a gun to her neck,” prosecutors wrote in court papers. The man ordered her to drop her wallet and checkbook, which she’d been holding under her arm. She complied put sneeked a peek over her shoulder, court records state.
On Monday, she picked Morris’ photograph out of a montage as the person who robbed her, the records state.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653
Staff writer Alexis Krell contributed to this report.