Bay View residents on alert for assault suspect
MILWAUKEE - It was a cry for help that rocked this normally quiet neighborhood. It still haunts Shannon Mattner.
"It was a blood curdling scream", recalls Mattner. "A very loud scream which was not normal."
That woman screaming was the latest victim of sexual assualt in the Bay View area.
In the last 18 months, 9 women have been attacked in Milwaukee's 6th police district.
The most recent one was in the 2500 block of South Howell Avenue.
The attack has Billy Castillo's wife worried. She makes him get out of bed before she walks to the car. "I'm up in the morning standing on the porch with her while she leaves for work," said Castillo.
"My wife use to like to go to the store with my daughter, you know, just to grab an ice cream and she's totally diverted from that now," he added.
Wednesday night police spoke candidly to a crowd of concerned Bay View residents. Captain Diana Rowe reminded Mattner and others of four simple ways to protect themselves.
"Know where you are going. Know the path that you are taking. To walk in pairs whenever possible. To not be on their cell phone to not be distracted," said Milwaukee Police Captain Diana Rowe.
Mattner, like many of the woman in the crowd, took heed to those tips.
"I'm going to be careful you are not going to find me walking home alone at night. Even with my dogs."
While Mattner is now on alert, she says she won't let one pervert taint her neighborhood.
"The guy was right next to my house and I still feel safe. We have great neighbors, a great neighborhood. We will be diligent to make sure we know what is going on."