A Miller County jury got a first-hand look Wednesday at the disguise worn by a man who allegedly raped a woman at gunpoint after forcing his way into her Texarkana, Ark., home in 2015.
Vasquez Dominique Hayes, 22, is allegedly the man seen in video surveillance footage from an ATM recorded in the early hours of Nov. 22, 2015. The man wearing a tightly drawn hoodie, gloves, sunglasses and something covering the lower half of his face can be seen in the driver’s seat of the woman’s black 2010 Nissan Altima as she withdraws $500 in cash and hands it over.
The video was played as the jury heard testimony from Texarkana, Ark., Detective Jason Haak about the investigation into allegations the woman was attacked at her home on Dudley Street in Texarkana, Ark. Tuesday the woman gave a gripping account of how she was met by a masked man with a pistol when she opened her door to let her dog out at about 1 a.m. The woman said she was raped twice before the man forced her to ride in her car as he drove her to an ATM where she withdrew cash.
The woman said the hood of her car was damaged and her windshield shattered when the man ran into a metal barrier. After having her life repeatedly threatened, the man released the woman on Fairview Street and drove away in her car. The car was recovered a couple of days later at the Links Apartments.
Haak testified Wednesday that he and other officers found the wrecked gate in a parking lot on Old Post Road. Photos shown to the jury showed a white bar lying on the ground painted the same color as paint transferred to the woman’s hood. Crime Scene Detective Tye Whatley testified he found a pair of sunglasses in the center console and an airsoft pistol capable of firing pellets in the car’s glove box. Whatley said the car appeared to have been wiped down with Armor All wipes and showed the jury a photo of a tub of wipes found in the back seat.
The jury also watched video footage from SpeedX convenience store on State Line Avenue where Hayes allegedly used the woman’s credit card a few hours after she was released. In the video, Hayes can be seen pulling up to the store in the damaged Altima with no one else in the car. In the store, Hayes makes two purchases of a hoodie, candy bars, and a soft drink. A pair of gloves can be seen in his back pocket and Hayes is wearing a hoodie. Haak testified Hayes signed the credit card receipts with the name “Dale” before leaving the store alone in the woman’s car.
The name Dale is mentioned as well in a videotape of an interview of Hayes with Haak in police custody. At the beginning of the interview Hayes tells Haak he came into possession of the car after he goes for a ride in it with an acquaintance named Dale. Hayes claims that he and Dale visited the SpeedX together and that Dale later leaves him with the car after telling him it is stolen.
When Haak confronts Hayes with the convenience store footage which shows he was alone, Hayes’ story changes. Eventually Hayes tells Haak he was under the influence of the drug ecstasy when he found himself in the woman’s backyard on the way to a friend’s house. Haak told the jury Hayes claimed he was adjusting his clothing and moving a BB gun pistol from his pocket when the woman opened her back door to let out her dog. Haak said Hayes claimed the woman’s fear caused him to enter her house in a panic and that she later encouraged him to have sex with her.
The woman testified Tuesday that she was pushed into her home by the armed, masked attacker and forced at gunpoint to have sex against her will. In the interview, Hayes claimed the woman offered to get him cash from her bank and the two left together in her car.
Haak testified that while he believes some of Hayes’ testimony was truthful, he believes he was lying about the rape and robbery. Under cross examination, Little Rock defense attorney Lawrence Walker asked Haak if he considered the alleged rape to be “violent” or “outrageous beyond the pale.”
Walker’s questions of Haak brought objections from Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Connie Mitchell.
“There is no good rape. If that’s what he’s searching for he’s not going to find it,” Mitchell said.
Haak found it difficult to answer Walker’s questions about the level of severity of this case as compared to others he’s faced in his 18-year career.
“They’re all violent,” Haak said. “I believe this was the worst, most traumatic thing that has ever happened to (the alleged victim).”
Tuesday the woman testified that she was shocked to learn Hayes was the man police identified as her attacker. She said she taught Hayes as a 12-year-old when he attended a faith-based school affiliated with the Apostolic Lighthouse Church that closed in 2009.
DNA analyst Joseph Hof of the Arkansas State Crime Lab testified that Hayes’ DNA was found on swabs collected from the woman during a sexual assault exam performed hours after the attack, under questioning from Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Chuck Black.
Hayes has pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape, two counts of theft of property, kidnapping, aggravated robbery and aggravated residential burglary. He faces multiple life sentences if convicted. Testimony is scheduled to resume Thursday morning. Circuit Judge Carlton Jones is presiding.