Tommy L. Kerley, Jr. 28, of Manila has been charged with terroristic threatening, aggravated assault, kidnapping and rape. He appeared in court on Friday where bond was set at $500,000.
Officers made contact with the victim, a 29 year old female. The victim reported as she exited the mall she observed a van parked beside her vehicle with the hood raised. As she entered her vehicle, which was parked along the passenger side of the van, a white male attacked her, forcing her inside her vehicle.
The victim reported the suspect had a knife and held it to her throat, continuously threatening to kill her. The victim reported she struggled with the suspect; he then forcefully pulled her from her vehicle into the back seat of the van. She reported she continued to struggle and escaped but was caught and forced back into her vehicle.
The victim reported the suspect told her he had been watching her, knew all about her and knew where her babies slept, and if she wanted to see her babies again, she would quit fighting and yelling.
The victim continued to struggle with the suspect and when he partially released his hold to retrieve the knife, she was able to flee into the mall where she contacted security and called police.
The victim told officers she thought the attacker looked like a person from high school she knew as "Kerley." Simpkins said she called someone and got a full name.
Immediately following the reported offenses, Craighead County Deputy Chris Kelems initiated a traffic stop on Highway 18 east of Lake City for speeding. The driver of the vehicle was identified as Tommy L. Kerley Jr.
Deputy Kelems said he noticed the driver started to pull over to the side of the road before he activated his lights. Deputy Kelems advised dispatch of the license and then the vehicle turned onto CR831 heading south. Deputy Kelems then activated his overhead lights as the vehicle came to a stop. A shirt in the van matched the description given by the victim.
According to the probable cause affidavit, the suspect admitted attacking the victim. The victim also identified the suspect from a six person photo line-up.