Detroit furniture store helps escaped sex assault victim

DETROIT (WXYZ) - The quick thinking of workers at a local furniture store kept a victim of sexual assault safe from her attacker. Police say she was kidnapped and chained to the basement of a home on the 7200 block of Woodmont while being sexually assaulted for hours.

The victim was given the chance to dress, when she noticed her attacker, Anthony Rice, 50, had fallen asleep. That's when the victim ran from the house and looked to a local business for help.

“Whoever comes here, we open our arms just like family,” said Ahmad Charara, whose family operation - Detroit Furniture - is usually focused on business. But on May 1st, it wasn't a customer who needed help, but a woman who escaped her attacker.

“She was telling us, ‘I’ve been raped, kidnapped,’” said Charara.

“And I said, ‘What’s going on?’" recalls Hussein Charara, "She said, ‘I’ve been raped, and he tied me up and hit me on my head.’”

Hussein Charara recalls unlocking the front security door and calling 911.

“Opened the door, let her into the store," said Hussein. "Told her not to worry, since I’m an armed citizen with a CPL. Told her she was safe now.”

“She came to the right place," said Ahmad. "No one could get in after she came here. She felt secure. We gave her some water, she sat down.”

Police charged Rice with sexual assault and kidnapping. Rice is alleged to have raped her multiple times over several hours, all while chaining the victim to a pole in the basement. Her decision to escape and run to the nearby store may have saved her life.

“We just did what anybody would do," said Hussein Charara.

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