Woman kidnapped, assaulted at Niles park

Published 11:18 pm Monday, October 11, 2010

A woman was the victim of a kidnapping and attempted rape near the French Paper Dam Saturday. (Daily Star photo/KATIE JOHNSON)

A woman was the victim of a kidnapping and attempted rape near the French Paper Dam Saturday. (Daily Star photo/KATIE JOHNSON)

A Niles man has been charged with kidnapping and attempting to rape a woman at Riverfront Park Saturday.

Mark Weiss, 58, is charged with kidnapping, a life felony; unlawful imprisonment, a 15-year felony; criminal sexual conduct in the 2nd degree, a five-year felony; assault with a dangerous weapon, a four-year felony; and assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, a 10-year felony.

At approximately 6:03 p.m. Saturday, Niles City Police Dispatch received a call from a female subject who claimed she was held against her will and was the victim of an attempted rape while at Riverfront Park near the French Paper Dam on Bond Street.

According to police, the victim reported to police that while visiting a local bank, she was approached by Weiss, who knocked on her window and asked for directions to another local business. After providing the subject with directions, Weiss allegedly asked the victim if she could give him a ride to the business. The victim agreed and upon arriving at the business the male suspect stated that the friend he was looking for was not there, and asked if she would give him a ride to another location. The female agreed and the suspect gave her turn by turn directions until they arrived at Riverfront Park.

Once there, Weiss reportedly attempted to obtain sexual favors from the female, who resisted even after threats of violence from the suspect. The female was ultimately able to get away from the male suspect and after exiting her car, she ran over to another male who had just arrived in the park.  As the victim was telling this other male what had happened, Weiss began fleeing the area on foot. The victim returned to her car and called the Niles Police Department.

The victim was able to give a detailed description of Weiss, who was located by responding officers.

Weiss was identified and taken into custody and lodged at the Niles Law Enforcement Complex.

He was arraigned in Niles’ 5th Dist. Court Monday on charges. He was lodged in the Berrien County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bond.

His preliminary exam is scheduled for Tuesday. Oct. 19 in Niles.

The Niles City Police Department is asking that the male subject who was in the park and was confronted by the victim as the suspect fled to please call the Niles City Detective Bureau at 683-0404 or contact Capt. Jim Millin at 683-3282.