Rape suspect held without bond
Posted: Friday, September 4, 2009 9:45 pm
Messenger Staff Reporter
A Gleason man remains in custody in Weakley County after being arraigned Thursday afternoon on a dozen charges stemming from Sunday’s home invasion rape at a home on Raven Street in Martin.
Bruce A. Tuck, 35, appeared before Weakley County General Sessions Judge Tommy Moore for arraignment on charges of aggravated burglary, vandalism, three counts of aggravated robbery, two counts of aggravated rape, aggravated sexual battery, three counts of especially aggravated kidnapping and employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony.
He was ordered held without bond and remains in the Weakley County Detention Center. District Attorney General Tommy Thomas requested no bond since the suspect is the subject of investigation into four other sexual assault cases in Weakley and Shelby counties.
“For the safety of the community and your safety as well, I am ordering you held without bond,” Judge Moore told Tuck.
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the detention center.
“I understand that date is not that far away and your attorney may request the date to be pushed back. Your attorney can also request a bond hearing at any time,” Judge Moore added.
The judge appointed public defender Joe Atnip to represent Tuck, who told the judge he had worked at Walmart Supercenter in Martin for only a short time and could not afford to hire an attorney.
The charges against Tuck were announced by authorities during a press conference Thursday morning at the Martin Police Department, where Martin Police Chief David Moore read from an official affidavit of complaint. Tuck had been taken into custody Wednesday evening at his parents’ home at 340 Phelps St. in Gleason, where he apparently had been living.
According to the affidavit, investigation revealed Tuck allegedly entered a home in the 400 block of Raven Street on Sunday by breaking the glass of a door at the back of the residence. Once inside, he came in contact with three victims, who allegedly were threatened and bound by Tuck, who brandished a small black semi-automatic handgun.
During the incident, the suspect allegedly forced one of the female victims to engage in both vaginal and anal intercourse on a bed where the other two victims were tied, according to the affidavit.
Afterward, he allegedly stole several items of personal property.
The affidavit indicates that DNA recovered at the scene was matched to Tuck by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s crime lab. A search warrant was conducted at both the home where Tuck was residing and a storage building, with items recovered from the incident that occurred on Raven Street, authorities said.
Tuck’s arrest came as the result of an ongoing investigation by numerous area law enforcement agencies in the wake of a string of sexual assaults that have occurred in Martin and in Shelby County since June. Investigators are continuing to work diligently to see if there is any connection to four other incidents — two additional home invasion sexual assaults in Martin, one in Cordova and one in Memphis.
Each of the victims described their attacker as a white man with a large belly, wearing a mask and carrying a black handgun.
Tips from the community were also reported to have played a key role in the investigation. During Thursday’s press conference, TBI Special Agent in Charge John Mehr urged citizens to continue to report any tips they think may be helpful as the investigation continues.
Anyone who has any information is asked to contact the Martin Police Department at (731) 587-5355, Crime Stoppers at (731) 587-2611 or the TBI hotline toll-free at 1-800-TBI-FIND (824-3463).
Editor’s note: Weakley County Press Editor Sabrina Bates contributed to this story.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com.
Published in The Messenger 9.4.09