The state Department of Environmental Protection is stepping up security at his headquarters in Hartford after a 24-year-old seasonal employee was sexually assaulted while walking to her car after work Monday afternoon, according to Hartford police and the DEEP.
Police have arrested 26-year-old Allen Oakes, a convicted felon who has been on probation and lives in a halfway house on Collins Street in Hartford. He's charged with first-degree sexual assault and second-degree breach of peace.
According to the incident report, Oakes had been smoking K2, a synthetic form of marijuana, at the bus stop at Constitution Plaza when he began to wander through the downtown area around 2 p.m. Monday.
Oakes told police he sat down outside 10 Clinton Street, which once housed the Connecticut Department of Health laboratory, now located in Rocky Hill, the report says.
The victim, who was going to retrieve her car from a state employee lot on Capitol Avenue, had just finished her last day with the DEEP on Elm Street and cut through lab property on her way to the parking lot, according to the incident report.
She was passing a church when she was grabbed from behind and thrown to the ground, the report says. The victim told police she was raped and started screaming, then elbowed Oakes in the face.
He ran off in the direction of Bushnell Park, where he was chased and tackled by two of the victim's coworkers, including an environmental conservation officer, a fellow employee said. One of them held him down until police arrived, according to the incident report.
Oakes gave a different account of the incident. He told police he noticed a beautiful woman walk by while he was sitting outside the lab and heard voices in his head telling him to grab her. According to the incident report, Oakes said he squeezed her buttocks and took off running when she yelled.
The victim, who was distraught and visibly shaken up, was taken to Saint Francis Hospital for medical treatment, the report says.
The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection sent a letter to its employees Tuesday in the wake of the incident, informing them of what had transpired and offering security escorts to and from employee parking lots.
“In the meantime, continue to be cautious concerning your surroundings and report any suspicious activity to security personnel or law enforcement,” the letter says.
Hartford police and the Department of Administrative Services, which is responsible for security at DEEP headquarters and state employee parking lots, are conducting separate investigations into the attack.
Oak’s bond was set at $100,000. Police say he has an extensive criminal history spanning several towns. Court records for an Allen Oakes born in 1987 show convictions out of New Britain, Enfield and Manchester.