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Man Charged with Wednesday's Sexual Assault of a Woman Beneath Interstate Underpass



Sex Crimes detectives Wednesday evening charged Christopher Wheeler, 31, who is homeless, with aggravated rape and aggravated assault for Wednesday’s sexual assault of a 50-year-old woman, who is also homeless, beneath the I-40 underpass near 6th Avenue South and Mulberry Street.

Officers responded to the area after a passerby reported hearing a woman screaming. They saw Wheeler fleeing from the underpass on foot and the victim also emerging from the underpass with obvious injuries to her face.

Wheeler was taken into custody at the Greyhound Bus station, 705 5th Avenue South. He was in possession of a bus ticket to Dallas, Texas. Witnesses positively identified Wheeler as the man who ran from the underpass. The victim reported that he grabbed her as she was walking northbound on 6th Avenue South and forced her to walk to the underpass where he allegedly punched and choked her into unconsciousness. She was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for treatment.

During an interview, Wheeler admitted that he punched the victim and ran from the area when she screamed. He said he moved to Nashville from Texas in 2017.

Wheeler received a misdemeanor citation on October 10, 2018 for vandalism for reportedly kicking and damaging the door to the Nashville Rescue Mission, 639 Lafayette Street, after he was told he could not enter until 4:30 a.m.

Wheeler’s photo is being withheld pending potential lineups in other cases.