DALLAS — More details have been released in the brutal attack of a teen who was grabbed by a stranger and then assaulted and stabbed behind a dumpster in Dallas.
The latest information reveals police recovered a weapon potentially used in the attack, as well as a cell phone that may have belonged to the victim upon arresting the suspect at a creek not far from the site of the crime.
It's hard to even think about: A teenager on her way to school being attacked by a stranger.
It happened early Wednesday morning in the 4700 block of Maple Avenue near a DART bus stop in Oak Lawn. Police said the 17-year-old girl crossed paths with a very dangerous man who has now been charged with aggravated sexual assault.
Investigators praised the girl's courage for being able to describe the assailant — even as she lay bleeding.
The high school student was found completely nude, covered in blood and critically injured around 7:30 a.m. near an industrial trash container behind Quintanilla Furniture Company.
Surveillance video from a nearby liquor store appears to show the girl being grabbed by a man before she was assaulted.
"She was nude, and she was just covered in blood," said furniture store employee Ivan Garcia who had gone to throw out the trash when he made the grisly discovery.
Police said the girl had apparently been on her way to a bus stop in front of the store when she was kidnapped. She had gone unnoticed for more than an hour after the attack.
"We were not sure if she was alive or not," Garcia said. "She was mumbling a little bit, trying to say something, but we couldn't really understand what she was saying."
The girl had been stabbed multiple times, sexually assaulted, then left for dead.
"She happened to cross his path at the wrong time and this individual is obviously very dangerous," said Dallas police Lt. David Pughes.
As the victim was being taken away by ambulance to Parkland Memorial Hospital, she was able to whisper some important information.
"She gave a very brief description to the officer before she was transported by Dallas-Fire Rescue," Lt. Pughes said.
Using that description, police launched a search on the ground with canine units and in the air with a helicopter. The canine unit was able to track a scent from the scene of the crime to a nearby creek, new information detailed. The suspect was found nude from the waist down, sitting at the edge of a creek with a pair of black boots and pairs placed by his side, police reported.
"The question becomes: Is he taking a bath, or is he trying to wash off evidence?" Lt. Pughes asked.
Authorities reported that bloody clothes, a black Apple iPhone and a knife were all recovered at the scene.
The phone matched a description given of one owned by the victim and was found in one of the black boots found next to the suspect, according to new information obtained by News 8. The information also revealed that the blade of the knife had blood and Styrofoam remnants, which was reported to be at the site of the assault behind the dumpster.
Investigators believe the assailant was a homeless man. He was identified as Tommy Robinson, 59, and charged with aggravated sexual assault. Police asked that his face not be made public pending a positive identification by his victim.
Jose Barrios said he saw a man lying on the road, upset, shortly after the attack.
"I seen that guy laying there crying with blood all over his face," he said.
Barrios said the man was also holding a purse or bag that he recognized as the victim's — a girl who was his neighbor.
"Every time she comes home from school, I see the same red purse, bag that she was carrying," he said
The 17-year-old is a student at Skyline High School. A teacher who spoke to News 8 called her "a good student" and said that the staff is sick over what happened Wednesday morning.
Witness Ivan Garcia was still shaken hours after what he saw behind his store.
"We're glad; we're glad that we found her, though, at a right time," he said.
The girl was last reported in critical condition.