Teen girl wards off suspected sexual predator with stun gun

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published November 18, 2020

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HAZEL PARK — A man stands accused of trying to rape a Hazel Park teen near Hazel Park High School, but the girl allegedly thwarted her assailant by deploying a Taser stun gun.

Darryl Deshone Tellis, of Hazel Park, was arraigned in Hazel Park’s 43rd District Court by Judge Brian Hartwell Nov. 13 on charges of criminal sexual assault — sexual assault with penetration intent, which is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. His bond was set at $450,000.

At press time, Tellis had not yet been appointed an attorney.

The incident allegedly occurred around 9 p.m. Nov. 9, as the girl, 17, was walking home on Hughes Street, near Hazel Park High, northwest of Dequindre and Nine Mile roads.

A suspect reportedly approached her after she sat down on a bench to talk to her friend on the phone. He ordered her to be quiet, and then told her “I only want sex” before leading her down the sidewalk to the baseball field, near the dugout, where he ordered her to kneel before him.

That’s when the girl pulled out a Taser and deployed it on the suspect, shocking him twice as a struggle ensued. She screamed for help, and the suspect fled. The girl incurred a mild injury in the form of a scratch during the struggle to break free.

“The victim kept her composure for being so young,” said Brian Buchholz, the police chief of Hazel Park. “She was very brave to be able to ready her Taser for the right time to use it on the suspect.”

After the attack, the girl went across the street and asked a resident for help. The homeowner called police, and a neighboring city’s K-9 unit was dispatched, but it was unable to locate the suspect. Police detectives also checked video surveillance from nearby businesses and schools.

The next day, a man matching the description of the suspect was identified, and found living with a relative at an apartment complex in the area. He allegedly confessed after being arrested and taken in for questioning, telling police that he saw the girl walk by and he acted impulsively.

While Michigan residents must have a concealed pistol license to carry or use a Taser, police will not be seeking charges against the girl.

“The Taser stun gun was directly involved in stopping this assault,” Buchholz said. “If she did not have it, the circumstances could have been very different.”

The chief said people should always let loved ones know where they’re going and avoid walking by themselves in unlit areas at night. He also advises people to keep a phone handy and be mindful of their surroundings.

He again commended the girl for her actions.

“We are glad this young woman was so brave to defend herself from the attack and only suffered a very minor physical injury,” Buchholz said. “We understand the mental anguish could be a factor now and in the future. She was offered services to treat that — we hope she can recover totally from this.”

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