With the assailant in jail, USC students in Five Points are still on guard after assault

Darius Nelson (Source: Columbia Police Department)
Darius Nelson (Source: Columbia Police Department)

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The Columbia Police Department has arrested a man accused of beating and sexually assaulting a woman in Five Points.

According to CPD, Darius Nelson, 26, is charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping, and assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.

Investigators released surveillance video of the suspect on Thursday afternoon.

The female victim told CPD that at about 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday the man forced her into a secluded area on the 700 block of Saluda Avenue before sexually assaulting her.

She had to receive medical treatment because the suspect hit her several times in the face causing facial injuries.

Now, people who frequent the area say they plan to be even more cautious at night.

"Walk in packs. Make sure you have your phone," USC student Zhane' Richburg suggests.

Chris Slade is a former USC Student and in town for this weekend's football game.

"I have a portable charger that I plan on bringing with me downtown to make sure, if anyone needs it, they can use it," Slade said. "The last thing I would want is one of my female friends to have their phone die on them so I can't get in touch with them."

"Stick together, stay in groups. Going off by yourself – male or female – there's always that small aspect of danger," Underwood said.

Bond has not been set for the suspect. Police say they will be increasing patrols in the Five Points area after the attack.

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