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Police arrest suspect in mall abduction

BUFORD - Investigators arrested a 28-year-old man early Thursday morning who allegedly assaulted a 16-year-old girl he abducted outside the Mall of Georgia.

Roddrick Dwayne Mayberry, who apparently managed a Starbucks before his arrest, was apprehended at his home at 2070 Whitebluff Way in Buford by Gwinnett County officers, Special Victims Unit investigators and members of the Crime Suppression Unit. He made his first court appearance inside the Gwinnett County jail Thursday evening and bond was denied.

Police started searching for the man Tuesday after a 16-year-old girl was abducted outside the Mall of Georgia. The man blocked her path with his car and drew a gun on her while she was walking through the parking lot near Barnes and Noble, according to Darren Moloney, spokesman for the Gwinnett County Police Department.

He threatened the victim and told her to lie down and be still. Then he blindfolded her and took her to his house, where investigators believe he physically and sexually assaulted her. About two hours later, the man released the victim, who was still blindfolded, at a store off Buford Drive near the mall.

Though she did not know the man, the victim told police Mayberry said he had been watching her before the abduction. Moloney did not know for how long Mayberry had done this.

The suspect's roommate may have arrived at the house during the assault but not have been aware of what was taking place.

"The victim's statements led investigators to believe that a second individual, a male, entered the residence after the victim was taken there," Moloney said.

A local television reporter relayed information to the police that led to Mayberry's capture. While she was interviewing patrons in the Mall of Georgia area, the reporter spoke to some who recognized the offender from the sketch police released. Gwinnett County police later received calls confirming his identity from other residents. The victim identified Mayberry as the offender from a photo lineup.

Many of the tips identifying Mayberry as the suspect came from mall retailers, who also recognized him from the sketch, according to Kitsy Rose, spokeswoman for the Mall of Georgia. She praised the investigation team for quickly apprehending and arresting him.

"Today our thoughts and prayers remain with the victim and her family in this situation," Rose said. "Mall of Georgia remains committed to providing a safe and quality shopping environment to our shoppers and our retailers."

Mayberry is currently incarcerated at the Gwinnett County Detention Center on felony charges for aggravated sodomy, kidnapping and possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime. In May, he was also charged on two felony counts of criminal attempt to commit a crime.

His neighbors were shocked when they heard about Mayberry's arrest and the crimes he allegedly committed.

Marissa Diaz, 20, said she used to feel safe on her street, but after hearing about the abduction and sexual assault, she didn't anymore. She was concerned about her brother and her cousin who like to play outside.

"Oh my God," she said. "I really never heard of anything happening like that here in our neighborhood."

Valerie Ramirez, an 18-year-old student at Mill Creek High School, said she knew there were police cars parked across the street early this morning, but didn't know the reason why. Though she didn't know Mayberry, Ramirez said she was concerned that something like this happened in her neighborhood to a girl two years younger than her.

"I've seen him outside a lot but I've never really talked to him," she said. "I never saw him as any threat, but I don't know."