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Dalton man arrested after deputy stops rape of woman inside bathtub

Written by: E. George

Published September 25, 2023 @ 7:20 PM ET

MURRAY COUNTY, Ga. – A 33-year-old Dalton man was arrested on September 8, 2023, after a Murray County Sheriff’s deputy witnessed him “actively trying to rape a female and physically assaulting her.” He told the 29-year-old victim to run as he subdued the attacker.

On August 27, 2023, the deputy responded to a domestic disturbance call at a Hwy 225 S residence in Chatsworth, where a male suspect was attempting to break in. The caller said the intruder had hit her mother.

As he approached the rear of the property, he heard a male and female screaming from inside. An elderly female pointed towards the bathroom, and he saw Jeremy Richard Rowell “in the bathtub, and he was sexually assaulting a female.”

“He was dry humping [the victim] and biting her on the face. [She] was screaming, ‘Help me!’”

The deputy drew his duty weapon and yelled for him to show his hands. Rowell refused to comply, and the deputy deduced that he “was not in his right state of mind.”

Concerned for the victim’s safety, he secured his weapon and deployed his Taser into Rowell’s torso. Unaffected, Rowell screamed, “Oh yeah!” while being shocked.

Rowell pulled down his pants, removed his penis, and stated, “F*ck you, pig.” He thrusted violently against the victim, slamming her into the bathtub.

The deputy deployed his Taser again, to no avail. He grabbed Rowell’s hair and pulled him out of the tub and onto the floor.

Rowell grabbed his leg and tried to bite him, so he “drive-stunned him in the side of the face” with his Taser once more. He was finally able to remove his foot from Rowell’s tight grip.

Rowell continued to attempt to bite him, so he placed his foot on the side of his face to protect himself. It was at this moment he yelled at the victim to run.

Another deputy arrived and assisted with detaining Rowell. As the other deputy ran to the backyard, she observed the victim running out the back door with blood on her face and heard the first deputy calling for help.

She ran into the home and saw him on the bathroom floor with the suspect. She witnessed Rowell “actively resisting by biting and kicking,” so she helped detain him.

Together, they placed his hands behind his back and handcuffed him. Rowell refused to stand and flung himself around the bathroom.

The deputy and a sergeant carried him by his arms while the other deputy “attempted to carry his kicking feet.” They maneuvered him to the back porch, and while they awaited EMS, he screamed, “F*ck you!” and other vulgar comments.

When the first deputy to the scene explained to the arriving deputy that he witnessed the suspect attacking and trying to rape the victim, Rowell uttered, “Hell yeah, I was.”

His aggressive nature forced the deputies to use shackles to restrain him. It was determined that the suspect needed to visit a medical facility “due to his behavior and possible drug use.” Rowell was transported to the emergency room at Advent Health Murray.

City officers were waiting at the hospital when they arrived to help transfer him to a hospital bed. He continued to kick and scream vulgar statements throughout the hospital until staff members sedated him.

A deputy interviewed the neighbor, who said she had seen the victim in her backyard. The victim knocked on her door and asked to use her bathroom.

While she was in the bathroom, the neighbor noticed Rowell outside, “acting strangely.” He attempted to open her back door, which was locked.

He maneuvered it open and searched the home for the victim, screaming and cursing at her. The neighbor told him to leave, “but he shoved her multiple times.”

She saw him force his way into the bathroom, and although she could not see inside the room, she “could hear him hitting her.”

Another deputy searched for the victim to ascertain her condition and located her inside a house with the door locked. When she emerged, he noted “visible injuries to her face from the assault and possibly a broken nose.”

EMS evaluated her, but she refused further treatment. The deputy learned the victim had a felony probation warrant out of Whitfield County, and the department wished to collect her, so he told her she would be arrested.

The victim stated she wanted to visit the hospital “if she didn’t have to go to jail.” The deputy explained that she could go to the hospital, but she would still need to go to the Whitfield County Jail for the warrant.

She was transported to the jail without incident.

An Advent Health Murray employee informed the deputies that “Rowell had medical issues that would require him to be transferred to a different hospital” and that it was a “life-threatening situation.”

A blood sample from Rowell was ordered for submission to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab. When the deputy and other officers entered the emergency room, hospital staff told them Rowell had been violent, and they were forced to sedate him to prevent him from harming others and himself.

An ER doctor explained, “Rowell was beating his head in the room, and it caused a brain bleed.” He said they would need to transfer him to a larger hospital.

The deputy traveled to the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office to interview the victim, and upon meeting, she stated she “was hurting all over, her nose felt broken, and her left thumb also felt broken.” He noticed several additional injuries to her face and arm and photographed them for evidence.

She explained that Rowell had visited the house “she was staying at, and it was not uncommon for him to stop by.” She said he typically visits and leaves.

On this occasion, however, he “ate a lot of mushrooms.” She told them she only ate a few because “she was scared to eat a lot.”

She said he “started grabbing all over her and touching her, and she told him to stop.” She started walking away and told him she was going next door to use the phone.

She was “extremely scared” because she “had never seen him like that before.” The deputy asked her if they were romantically involved, and she said no.

She explained that she entered a neighbor’s home and told her she needed to escape a man outside. She locked herself in the bathroom.

Rowell, yelling, gained entry to the home and “busted in the bathroom door and came after her” as she cowered in the tub. She said he jumped on top of her and hit, strangled, and bit her.

She was “scared for her life and then realized Rowell was trying to get his penis out of his pants and rape her.” It was at this moment the deputy entered the bathroom and witnessed the attack.

Once Rowell was released from the hospital, he was charged with aggravated assault, aggravated battery, simple battery, burglary – forced entry into a residence, criminal attempt to commit a felony, criminal damage to property (business), and felony willful obstruction of law enforcement officers. This case is currently pending in court.