Camden serial-rape suspect arrested after trying to get cops to shoot him, chief says
WILLINGBORO — The suspect who was wanted for the rape of a woman in Camden was arrested Friday night hours after he was publicly identified by authorities.
Andre D. Wesley, 29, of Willingboro, a convicted felon with a history of sex crimes, was arrested at his home, Camden County police said.
Camden County Police Chief Scott Thomson told 6 ABC Action News the arrest came after a "tense standoff" with Wesley, who was armed with a butcher knife at his Elmwood Court home. Thomson said Wesley wanted police to shoot him, but police subdued him with a taser.
Wesley was sentenced to five years in prison in 2007 for endangering the welfare of a child. He had initially been charged in that case with raping a teenager, New Jersey court records show.
In 2011 he was was sentenced to another five years with two years of parole ineligibility for leading police on a high-speed chase. He also served short stints in prison for a 2005 weapons charge stemming from an assault, and a 2004 theft charge.
“The depravity and disregard for human life demonstrated by this violent repeat offender made him extremely dangerous," Thompson said Saturday in a statement, calling the suspect a "deranged and sick sociopath."
"Our detectives worked day and night, dedicating themselves to ensuring his capture, and tonight we can say that the community is safer with him in custody, behind bars," he said.
The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office and the Willingboro Police Department helped arrest Wesley, the county chief said.
Wesley was identified Friday by police as the suspect in Sunday's sexual assault in Camden. Days earlier, police had released a composite sketch and video of the white van believed to have been used in the attack.
Police said a woman got into the van at the intersection of Broadway and Pine Street. Wesley then drove her behind a vacant building on 3rd Street at Spruce Street.
Thomson said Wesley was a five-time convicted felon, a registered sex offender and the suspect in other South Jersey rapes, according to the 6 ABC report.
Wesley is charged with attempted murder, three counts of aggravated sexual assault, kidnapping, robbery, and three counts of aggravated assault with a weapon. He was being held at Camden County jail with bail set at $2 million.
Sergio Bichao contributed to this report.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
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