Man Throws Caustic Liquid at Woman Who Refused Marriage: Police

Police in New Haven are searching for a man who is accused of attacking his ex-girlfriend with chemicals when she turned down a marriage proposal.

The suspect, Derek Lee Rawls, 50, of New Haven, is believed to be on the run, possibly in the Atlanta, Georgia area, NBC Connecticut reports. 

Police responded to a Spring Street home at 7:45 p.m. on Friday to investigate the report of an assault and found the victim, whose face, neck, chest and arms were discolored and peeling from the attack, police said.

She was rushed to Yale–New Haven Hospital to be treated for the injuries.

The victim told authorities she has a restraining order against Rawls, who she dated in the past, and he threw the liquid chemicals at her after she told him she wouldn’t marry him.

Police said they recovered a plastic cup that contained some of those chemicals.

Police are asking for help to find Rawls, who is 5-foot-8, weighs about 220 pounds, and has brown and gray hair and brown eyes.

He’s clean shaven and has a small scar on his cheek, beneath his right eye, police said.

Rawls has two tattoos – one on his upper right arm which depicts praying hands, and one on his right forearm that depicts a portrait of his two children’s faces.

Police said Rawls is a convicted felon with a criminal history that includes convictions for robbery, first-degree escape, unlawful restraint in the second degree and felonious assault in Ohio.

The victim said Rawls told her he has a handgun, but she’s never seen it.

He drives a champagne colored Ford Taurus and the victim provided the Connecticut license plate AB9-3711, but police said they have no information on that plate, so the number might be something similar.

The victim has been released from the hospital.

Anyone with information on where Rawls is should call detectives at 203-946-6304.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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