Story Summary

Tacoma day care attack

A woman was brutally attacked as she was opening a daycare center shortly after 6:30 a.m. March 18.

Story Timeline
Previous Next
This story has 3 updates

TACOMA — A suspect in custody for a sexual assault at a Tacoma day care facility has been linked through DNA to four other victims and is facing a total of 12 criminal counts, Pierce County prosecutor Mark Lindquist said Thursday.

Andrake Morris, 18, was arrested Tuesday morning.

In charging documents filed Thursday, Morris was arraigned Thursday on attempted rape and is facing charges that include first-degree robbery, second-degree assault, possession of a firearm, theft, second-degree kidnapping and other charges.

tender heart daycarePolice had been looking for Morris after he allegedly attacked an employee early Monday morning at the Tender Heart Learning Center in Tacoma. The victim was opening up the day care facility shortly after 6:30 a.m. when Morris approached her and said he wanted to register a child at the day care, charging documents said.

The victim was suspicious of Morris and texted her mother. Her mother drove to the day care where she saw Morris standing over her daughter, apparently striking her with something. When Morris saw the victim’s mother, he fled.

The victim suffered serious injuries and was transported to the hospital. At the hospital, the victim’s husband reported that her wedding ring and cell phone were missing.

Court documents state that when detectives began investigating the incident, they discovered several other unsolved reports of sexual assault that had occurred in the area. Victims in those incidents gave a similar description of the suspect. At the scene of one of the incidents, detectives were able to recover DNA evidence that matched Morris.

When detectives search Morris’ home, they located the victim’s wedding ring and cell phone, along with other items related to reported robberies that police believe Morris was involved in.

A fund for the Tender Heart victim has been set up — donations are being accepted at any area Columbia bank.

TACOMA — Police arrested a suspect Tuesday in a violent and sexual assault at a Tacoma daycare that left an employee fighting for her life.

The Tacoma Police Department announced the arrest Tuesday morning. The suspect, 18-year-old Andrake Morris, was named by Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist Tuesday.

tender heart daycareThe arrest follows an assault around 6:30 Monday morning at the Tender Heart Learning Center in the 8200 block of Pacific Avenue South. According to police, a man approached her and asked to use a phone in the day care building. She complied, and Morris hit her several times in the face and also sexually assaulted her, police said. Another employee arrived at the scene and chased away the suspect.

The victim was severely beaten and taken to the hospital for extensive injuries, including those consistent with a violent sexual assault, police said.

Tacoma Police Detectives worked to compile witness information and possible DNA evidence left at the scene. They were able to develop a possible suspect and probable cause late Monday night, and and arrested Morris at his home without incident.

Police believe that Morris has committed other crimes that are violent, sexual and predatory in nature. Morris was in court Tuesday and was being held in lieu of $1 million bail. Formal charges are pending Thursday.

Lindquist asked a 72-hour hold be placed on Morris, saying his arrest could illuminate more crimes.

“We will keep the community posted on the progress,” Lindquist said.

TACOMA — A woman was brutally attacked as she was opening a daycare center shortly after 6:30 a.m. Monday.

The woman was opening the Tender Heart Learning Center in the 8200 block of Pacific Avenue South when she said a man wanted to use the  phone in the building. She complied, and the man hit her several times in the face and head before another employee arrived and stopped the attack.

The woman sustained fairly severe injuries and was taken to the hospital. Police have been unable to talk with her as she is being treated for her injuries.

tender heart daycareK-9 units looked for the suspect, but they were not been able to locate him.

The suspect is described as a black male with a short Afro and narrow face and is 5-feet, 6-inches tall. Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to contact police.

The attack prompted another nearby daycare to make changes to its policy when they open up in the morning. Parents of children who usually use the daycare were in shock when they heard about the alleged attack.

“We pulled up to the daycare, and we saw it was completely surrounded by police and blocked off with tape,” said local parent Katelyn Royer.

Parents said they’re still nervous about the attack happening where their children learn and play.

“It’s very unnerving,” Royer said. “I mean, I don’t know if I’m going to be prepared to take my daughter back at the end of the week.”