Thursday, January 9, 2014

Laurel Delaware Rape attempt - 1925

From The State Sentinel, Dover Delaware February 11, 1925

Levin J. Hitchens, 20 year old, the son of a farmer living about five miles from Laurel, was arrested on Sunday charged with assaulting Mrs. Hattie Waller, 35 years old, married and the mother of several children.  The assault is alleged to have taken place about 10:30 o’clock Saturday night on the causeway leading to Record’s Mill, one of the most isolated spots in Laurel.

When about midway of the causeway the assailant is said to have jumped from behind some bushes and seized the woman.  Being of medium size and strong, Mrs. Waller fought desperately to save her money, which she thought was what the man wanted.

Realizing that the man would soon overpower her she dropped her pocketbook together with the bundles of food.  The man then told her he wanted her and not her money, and Mrs. Waller then fought the harder.  In the battle her clothes were badly torn.  Finally the man drew a revolver and threaten to kill her.
Mrs. Waller screamed for help and was heard by George Coverdale, a negro chauffer, and another negro, who rushed to her aid.  As they neared the scene the man ran away.  Coverdale recognized the man and after assisting Mrs. Waller to her home, he and his companion notified Chief of Police Charles Hickman and soon a posse was formed and a man hunt was on.

Hitchens was captured at the home of his father.  He vehemently denied the charge, but later, after being jailed and identified, is alleged to have confessed to Hickman and Highway Officer Oscar James.

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