Rape victim identifies attackers from television

Nearly a year after she was left for dead in Woodbridge, the victim of a barbaric 2003 rape and abduction saw her alleged attackers by chance.

Having risen by 6 a.m. on a summer day in 2004, the victim turned on her television and watched a story about the arrest of three men for the random shooting spree that had terrified New Haven.

She recognized two of them. Those details in the case were revealed last Friday with the release of an arrest warrant affidavit after the arraignment of one of her alleged attackers.

Alazaron Sargeant, 19, of New Haven, was arraigned in Superior Court in Milford on charges of kidnapping and robbery, both in the first degree, and conspiracy to commit both of those crimes. The charges stem from the portion of the case that occurred in West Haven.

A second adult suspect in the case, Clifton Foreman, also 19 and of New Haven, was arraigned on those West Haven charges Wednesday. Both men Wednesday were charged in the case by Woodbridge police with sexual assault and assault, both in the first degree and conspiracy to commit both those crimes.

Both also are charged in the New Haven shooting spree. Two juveniles, 14 and 15, also are charged in connection with the Woodbridge/West Haven rape and abduction. One of the juveniles told police that Foreman and Sargeant abducted the victim, then raped and beat her.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit West Haven police filed in the case last Friday, the victim called police to say she recognized Sargeant and Foreman from television news reports on the shootings and she was able to specifically identify each man by what he had allegedly done to her. During the news report on the shooting, "she recognized (Sargeant's) face," the affidavit says. The recognition came even before DNA evidence in late July 2004 conclusively linked Foreman to the case, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

The victim in the case, then a University of New Haven graduate student, told police she had to beg for her life just before 1 a.m. Sept. 26, 2003.

The victim was abducted when she stopped at a red light at West Haven's Spring Street and First Avenue; she was stuffed into the trunk of her own car at gunpoint and taken to a wooded area in Woodbridge where her attackers allegedly raped her.

Sargeant also allegedly choked her and Foreman allegedly hit her in the head with a rock, the warrant affidavit said. The victim pretended that she was dead and after her attackers left the area she was able to make her way to a nearby house to ask for help, police said.

She had tried repeatedly to get help by using her cell phone to call 911 from the trunk of her car; the calls connected with several police departments but police were unable to find her. Police officials across the region have said an intense amount of inter-departmental cooperation led to the arrests. West Haven police Detective Mary Canfield attended the arraignment; she did not comment.