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End of semester slows down SEMO assault investigation
The investigation of a home invasion and assault of a Southeast Missouri State University student is going slowly due to difficulties locating potential witnesses or suspects as the fall semester ended, Cape Girardeau Police Department spokesman Cpl. Adam Glueck said Friday.
The student, Blake Carlton of St. Louis, and his family are frustrated by the delays. Carlton was sleeping at about 4:30 a.m. last Sunday on the couch in a friend's home on Dunklin Street when he was awakened as he was being flipped off the couch onto a coffee table. Carlton, a 21-year-old junior, said four men held down his arms and legs while other attackers beat him into unconsciousness.
He was found by the residents of the home when they returned from breakfast. The residents reported seeing a crowd of males on the lawn and stayed away from the home out of fear until they and the attackers who came inside had left.
Carlton has identified to police two of his attackers, and the residents of the home gave police a partial license number of a car that was seen near the home shortly after police arrived, according to the family statement given to the Southeast Missourian by his mother, Julie Carlton.
"While this attack occurred days ago and attackers have been positively identified by the victim and a witness, the Cape Girardeau Police Department has not made an arrest," Julie Carlton said.
Police detectives worked on the case all week and will continue to pursue it, Glueck said. Many students leave Cape Girardeau as soon as they finish course work for the semester, which has slowed things down, he said.
"We have to base an arrest off of facts," Glueck said. "We have to have enough information to charge someone with a crime."
Police do not doubt Carlton's account of the attack and his injuries were serious enough to require hospital treatment, Glueck said.
"We are taking it seriously, but it does take time," Glueck said. "We want to do it right."
Blake Carlton's injuries included a black eye and a blow to the head. He said he understands some people may be more difficult to locate with classes over but added that he believes he has provided the police with enough information to make at least one arrest.
"We had eyewitnesses there," he said. "There is no reason why the person I saw and others saw hasn't been arrested and charged by now."
While his instructors allowed him to finish final exams in private due to his injuries, he is dismayed by what he considers a lack of concern from school officials.
"The teachers helped me out a lot," he said. "But I haven't received any other calls from anyone at the university checking how I was or what my state was."
Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO