BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Women in Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood say they’re a little more at ease now that a 16-year-old charged with rape has been connected to a second case.
Dionte Cooper has been in jail for the past seven weeks after being charged with a July 5 rape near Allen and Elmwood Avenues.
Buffalo Police charged Cooper on Wednesday with a rape three days earlier on Delaware Avenue near Virginia Street, where a woman was pushed into a storage shed and raped.
Sources told News 4 that Cooper is also linked to a third attack that same week on June 29, when a woman was sexually assaulted on Allen near Elmwood, very close to the first attack he was charged with.
These three violent attacks had Allentown residents on edge, but it looks as though the teen is linked to all of them and News 4 knows of no similar attacks since he’s been in jail.
Women who live in the area say they’re happy to hear that the suspected rapist is facing charges.
“I mean, it makes me feel better. There’s just bad people out there that are always going to be bad. You always have to watch everything you do no matter where you are, not just Buffalo, if you’re in Williamsville, whatever. You just have to be cautious and it does make me feel better. A 16-year-old…that’s just awful,” Therese Forton-Barnes said.
But not everyone News 4 spoke to is completely at ease.
Anna Marie Depalma said “A little bit, but it’s still going to take a while before you can really feel safe again.”
Lydia Beinhauer added, “I’m more comfortable but there still could be other people out there that they just haven’t found yet. Well obviously there are but I’m more comforted knowing he’s behind bars and I’m safe.”
Molly Krauza noted, “I guess it makes me feel a little safer but at the same time there’s lots of other people I’m sure are capable of the same thing so it’s important to always be on your guard and not just let it down because one man is put away. If anything it should teach us all to be a little more safe.”
Buffalo Police are not commenting on the case other than to say they’re making progress.