A 23-year-old Olney man was charged Thursday with raping a 41-year-old woman in LOVE Park as she was walking to work last month, Philadelphia police said.
Capt. Mark Burgmann of the Special Victims Unit said at a news conference that Quindell Campbell — who had never been arrested before — was a stranger to the woman he assaulted early on the morning of Jan. 25.
Burgmann said investigators recovered surveillance video showing Campbell wandering around Center City for hours before his alleged crime, then following the woman inside the famed plaza before punching her and knocking her to the ground.
The assault happened around 5:20 a.m., and people nearby heard screams and called police. Campbell initially avoided arrest by running away from responding officers and into the 15th Street SEPTA station.
Police then released surveillance video and images of Campbell fleeing, and the officers’ union offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
A flood of tips followed, Burgmann said, and that helped investigators from the Philadelphia Police Department, the FBI, and SEPTA police to identify Campbell as a suspect. He was taken into custody Wednesday night at the home he shares with his mother on the 5200 block of North Howard Street, Burgmann said.
Burgmann said investigators found clothes at Campbell’s home that appeared to match those worn by the offender during the assault. He also said Campbell had cut his dreadlocks since the incident, but appeared to be suffering from a leg injury similar to one the suspect had sustained while running away from police.
Burgmann said investigators were reviewing unsolved rape cases to determine if any might be linked to Campbell. As part of his arrest, he must submit a DNA sample to authorities.
District Attorney Larry Krasner said in a statement: “This is a horrifying crime — the type of crime that tells women they are not safe in public in a free society.” But he pointed out that the number of reported rapes in the city has been declining and was down 28% in 2019 compared with 2015.