MIAMI (WSVN) - Police have arrested a man accused of sexually assaulting a woman and attempting to kidnap another in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood.
Miami Police confirmed they arrested 34-year-old Tavares Anthony Canty, Wednesday morning, near Northwest 67th Street and 24th Court.
They caught him in a matter of days, and police said that while they were searching for Canty, he tried to strike again.
Canty is accused of trying to kidnap a woman as she was outside her home on April 26. The woman was able to get away.
Officials said that, about an hour later, Canty broke into a nearby home and sexually assaulted another woman.
Police believe Canty is involved in four separate cases. He faces charges of armed sexual battery, kidnapping, attempted kidnapping and voyeurism.
“If not for the help of the public, we would have not been able to make this arrest,” said Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina.
7News spoke with the 29-year-old woman who could be seen on surveillance camera fighting off Canty, Wednesday.
“I couldn’t believe it, but when I saw him, it was him,” she said. “I cried. I did cry. But now I’m relieved, so hopefully I will sleep tonight.”
Canty was seen riding his bike in the area before he was arrested. A woman in the area said she and others recognized Canty, so they stalled him until police arrived.
“We just know him from being around,” the woman said.
One witness said police responded to the scene in record time.
“They already had police in the area, and somebody spotted him already,” said a man named Dee.
The 29-year-old victim described in one word what the past week has been for her. “Hell,” she said.
Residents of the area are now breathing a sigh of relief after hearing of Canty’s arrest.
“People [are] scared. Being raped? That’s nasty. It’s too many females out here to be going around and try to rape somebody and take it away from them,” said resident Charles Braddock. “That’s a big relief. It’s for the kids’ relief too, because he can go take one of these little kids and take them behind the bushes.”
“I feel safer, honey. Feel safer, and I am glad and I’m just grateful,” said resident Gwendolyn Foster. “Thank you Jesus, we have good police officers out here.”
The attempted kidnapping victim who said she was once so afraid to leave her home is now grateful to everyone who called in with tips. She also thanked Miami Police for making an arrest.
“I’m so happy what can I say? I just hope that he stays in jail forever,” the victim said.
Police also said Canty has an extensive criminal history with 23 felony arrests and nine felony convictions.
Investigators said there may be additional charges, and other possible victims.
“Everyone was aware that he was out there and looking for him, and he was aware of that,” Colina said, “and yet, he was still trying to victimize more people.”
If you believe you may be a victim, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.
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