Police: Officers rescue woman being raped in back of van in Attleboro

ATTLEBORO, Mass. — A man is accused of kidnapping a woman with disabilities and raping her in a van in an MBTA parking lot in Attleboro, police said.

David Rogers, 63, is facing several charges including kidnapping, aggravated rape, and indecent assault and battery on a disabled person.

Police say they caught Rogers in the act, and it was thanks to an alert bystander who saw him throw the victim in a van, and called 911.

“She could’ve been dead today and I saved her so I’m very grateful and thankful,” said the quick-thinking witness, Dawn, who asked not to use her full name. “Was there at the right time and right moment.”

Dawn called police just before 6 a.m. saying she was walking her dogs in the area of South Main and Wall streets when she saw a suspicious van. She told police that she saw a woman being forcibly thrown into a van near Riverfront Drive, police said.

She said the area was completely desolate Friday morning. The 530 train had just came and there was not a soul in sight waiting yet for the 6 o’clock train.

She says even if people came out, they wouldn’t see the attack because it was happening in this secluded part of the parking lot.

Her dogs are used to their walk before dawn every day, at that hour between 5 and 5:45 a.m. every morning.

That walk makes their owner Dawn very astute to what goes on in the neighborhood.

“I see her in the bus station getting warm having coffee, I see her downtown,” Dawn said of the victim.

But this time, when she saw a 57-year-old woman who police say has a disability, things were a little different.

“I see her walking and she’s walking fast and looking behind her. I go, ‘That’s strange,’” Dawn said.

“Then I walk to the end of the empty lot and ‘Where is she?’ and I see a van. I see someone shoving something into the van and I see her jacket in there. And I said,'No way,'” she said.

Police say what Dawn saw was Rogers forcing the 57-year-old woman into a van.

“I didn’t bring my phone with me,” Dawn said.

No phone, but she took good enough notes.

She walked her dogs back home and accurately described the suspect, the victim, the van and even the remote location where the van ended up.

Police say when they showed up, they stopped Rogers in the middle of sexually assaulting the woman and arrested him.

Police say he confessed to the crime. Still, he pleaded not guilty.

Defense attorney Josh Werner said it would appear that his client knew the complaining witness.

“And I’m gonna go on the record and say the allegations which you may have heard in court are just allegations,” Werner said.

Police said if it were not for Dawn calling 911, the situation could’ve ended much worse.

“You see something, you say something. I saw it, I said it,” she said.

Medics took the victim to Sturdy Memorial Hospital.

The woman reportedly gave police a description of the woman, the suspect and the van. Police say they found the van shortly afterward in the Riverfront Drive MBTA parking lot.

Police said they found the victim, a 57-year-old local disabled woman, being assaulted by 63-year-old David Rogers, inside the van. Police say he confessed to having forced the woman into his van against her will and driving her to a secluded area of the parking lot.

He was arrested and charged with aggravated rape, kidnapping, assault and battery, and indecent assault and battery on a person 60 years old or disabled.