Deonta Branch, arrested in connection with the alleged sexual assaults reported in and around the Felker Park area, is from the Monroe area, according to Walton County Sheriff’s Office. He is currently being held in the Walton County Detention Center charged with several counts of aggravated sexual battery, sexual battery, criminal attempt to commit rape and sexual battery. He was arrested in Felker Park by Monroe Police Department after Walton County Sheriff’s Office advised he was on location. He was identified from a composite sketch made by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. At least one of the victims confirmed the identification. Police were aware of at least three victims.
Deonta Branch, 37, was taken into custody in Felker Park today after reports of three alleged sexual assaults, two of them in the park. City of Monroe Interim Police Chief RV Watts said one of the suspects has made a positive identification.
Watts said the Georgia Bureau of Identification has produced this sketch of the suspect from the victim who reported the attack on Sunday evening. Her screams alerted a couple who ran to her defense, causing the suspect to flee.
“She was walking on the back side of the park when this happened and he ran back into the woodline,” Watts said. “We put the report out on social media to alert the public. We didn’t want anyone to not be aware.”
Watts said he went to the park this morning and spoke to a woman, urging her to be cautious. As a result, she kept to the front of the park.
“And it’s a good thing she did because she was assaulted in the front part of the park and again, a couple came to her rescue and he ran off,” he said.
Watts said a local business owner reported another alleged assault that had taken place on Saturday near the Mills, and the suspect ran off when the victim screamed. It was just by chance that Watts was meeting with a crew from WSBTV 2 2 around 12.30 p.m. today to inform them of the situation when the suspect was spotted and taken down.
Branch is currently in custody facing several charges ranging from sexual battery, aggravated sexual battery and attempted rape.
“I am so proud of my officers in resolving this case,” Watts said. “And the District Attorney’s Office. They worked with us and we were able to get this person off the streets so quickly.”
WSBTV Channel 2 was on hand and got video footage of the arrest.
The City of Monroe Police Department is currently investigating an alleged sexual assault that occurred today in the area of Felker Park. Interim Monroe Police Chief RV Watts said police were dispatched to Felker Park at 725 S Madison Ave just before 6 p.m. on Sunday evening, Oct. 28, 2018.
“A middle-aged woman walking at the park reported that she was sexually assaulted by a tall, skinny black male between the ages of late teens to early twenties. He was wearing a black and white shirt with dark pants. The victim was allegedly forced to the ground and physically assaulted,” MPD reported in a Facebook post. “The attacker was scared away by witnesses coming to the victim’s aid after hearing her screams for help.”
Watts said the attacker ran in the direction of Young Pine/Monroe Estates. MPD is asking if anyone has any information about this crime, to please contact Monroe Police Detective Chris Cannon immediately at 770-266-5183 or 678-357-1939. If you see someone matching this description in the Monroe area, you are asked to call 911.
Editor’s Note: A charge or arrest does not constitute a conviction.