A 25-year-old Anchorage-based soldier is in custody after being arrested in connection with a series of sexual assaults at gunpoint in Anchorage since July, Anchorage police said.
Tony Earl Bullock Jr. was arrested on Monday and charged in a nine-count felony complaint with multiple charges of sexual assault and assault with a weapon after police served search warrants on locations where Bullock lived, including his barracks room on the Army side of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and a Mountain View apartment he shared with his girlfriend, police said.
Police said Bullock's arrest stems from three reported sexual assaults. A young woman reported being abducted off the street in Mountain View on July 16 and forced at gunpoint into a secluded alley, where the suspect forced "multiple sex events" on her, police said. On July 17, a young woman was abducted at gunpoint on Bragaw Street and subjected to "multiple similar sex acts," police said.
The two victims were asked to help police produce computer-assisted composite sketches of their attackers, Det. John Vandervalk said Wednesday. The drawings, first released by police in July, were eerily similar. They also closely matched the mugshot of Bullock released by police Wednesday.
That was all the more remarkable considering the circumstances, he said.
"When you got a gun in your face, you're probably thinking about other things than what their hair, lips and eyeballs look like," he said.
In July, the sketches drew multiple tips from the public, police said.
Then, on July 20, a person matching the suspect's description was seen following a lone woman on foot at 3 p.m. in Mountain View "under suspicious circumstances," police said. The man was contacted by APD and identified as Bulluck. At that point, police said, he became a "person of interest" in the prior assaults.
Then, at about 4:30 a.m. on Aug. 11, a woman reported a black male attempted to rape her in Mountain View, police said. After he punched her, she got away while he was trying to open a condom package, according to an affidavit by Vandervalk accompanying the criminal charges. The victim got her assailant's license plate number. It matched the one registered to Bullock's vehicle.
Bullock, contacted again by police, "denied assaulting and/or any sexual events with this female but did admit to meeting her on the streets of Mt. View," APD spokeswoman Jennifer Castro wrote in a statement Wednesday.
The police investigation subsequently yielded leads that confirmed Bullock as the suspect in the first two incidents, police said.
Police served multiple search warrants on Monday. Bullock was arrested on base that day, said U.S. Army Alaska spokesman Lt. Col. Alan Brown.
Bullock had been confined to the base since APD notified the Army that he was "a person of interest," Brown said. That was just after the Aug. 11 attempted rape, Vandervalk said. Until then, police had several possible suspects in the July sexual assaults, including Bullock.
It was only after the attempted rape that police could positively say Bullock "was definitely involved," Vandervalk said. "Up until then, it was just suspicious circumstances."
Police also asked the Army to confine Bullock because they wanted to protect him from Mountain View residents who might know his license plate number and take vigilante action against him, the detective said.
Bullock, who is from Virginia, joined the Army in February 2011 and was assigned to Fort Lee in his home state, according to Army spokesman John Pennell. He came to Alaska in March 2012 as a specialist with the 2nd Engineer Brigade at JBER. His job was small arms repair. He deployed to Kuwait from April until December 2012.
Members of his unit were assigned to supervise Bullock 24 hours a day after APD told the Army to confine him at the base, Pennell said.
Army officials said Bullock's military status will be determined by his legal proceedings.
"The outcome of his trial will determine what happens, as far as whether he stays on active duty or not," Pennell said.
Vandervalk said APD is reviewing reports of similar crimes in other places where Bullock lived to see if they might be related.
Vandervalk said the Army's support for the investigation "has just been fantastic." He said the victims also helped the investigation by calling 911 as soon as they could, enabling police to find clues before they perished.
"In these three cases, all the victims did that and we were able to get some very good evidence from the scenes," Vandervalk said. "Especially in open-air settings, evidence degrades over time -- shoe prints go away, trash goes away, security video footage goes away, biological evidence goes away."
Daily News reporter Richard Mauer contributed to this report. Reach Zaz Hollander at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4317.
By ZAZ HOLLANDER