Accused ‘Blow Torch Serial Rapist’ Arrested After Victim Escaped by Fighting Back With Unlikely Item

A Michigan woman who was stripped of her clothing, beaten and burned with a blow torch last week after being ordered into a man’s car at gunpoint managed to escape her attacker when she found an unlikely weapon: a screwdriver.

roderick neely
Roderick Neely faces several charges and is being investigated in two other cases where women reported being raped and burned. (Image source: Detroit Police Department via MLive)

According to MLive, the unnamed 43-year-old victim was allegedly abducted and tortured by Roderick Neely on Wednesday. Neely was served several charges in the case after being accused of forcing the woman, who prosecutors said he didn’t know, into his car as she walked by a Detroit gas station. The woman was burned with a torch on her feet and legs.

Neely is accused of being a serial offender. WDIV-TV labeled him the “blow torch serial rapist” and reported that he is being investigated in similar cases that occurred last summer.

Deputy Police Chief David LaValley said in a press conference after Neely’s arraignment last week that the “MO matches this case,” but given that the other cases are six months old at this point, “it requires more follow-up.”

MLive reported that the latest victim escaped when she found a screwdriver and stabbed her attacker. Asia Murray told WDIV she saw the victim Wednesday morning running naked and burned.

“Bad. Like, both her eyes like this big, like she was messed up, beat up,” Murray told the news station of the victim’s condition. “She had no clothes on, buck naked in this weather, running down the street, legs were burned up.”

Watch WDIV-TV’s report:

Neely was arrested Friday as a suspect and arraigned Saturday. He is being held without bond.

“It was the victim’s unwavering desire to survive that gave her the strength to overcome her attacker,” Detroit police said in a statement, according to MLive. “Throughout the investigative process the victim remained stead fast in her sense of duty to ensure that this criminal was taken off the streets, ending his rein of terror for all women in and around the city of Detroit.”