Police: Employee stops alleged rape in progress at Florence grocery

Source: Florence County Detention Center
Source: Florence County Detention Center
The employee who allegedly stopped a rape in progress in Florence. Source: Ken Baker
The employee who allegedly stopped a rape in progress in Florence. Source: Ken Baker

FLORENCE, SOUTH CAROLINA (WMBF) - Police say a man on the verge of committing rape is behind bars in Florence, and the grocery store manager who helped stopped the crime is being called a hero.

"What's going on with that lady? I was concerned because this woman was screaming at the top of her lungs, like her life was at stake,"said Atrhurmus Dillah.

Arthurmus Dillah is a manager at Food Lion, on North Cashua, in Florence. He is being hailed as somewhat of a hero, after police say he helped a woman escape from being raped.

"I was right here changing out this display," said Dillah.

Dillah says that's when an employee came from the stock room and said he needed help, because he heard something strange happening outside.

As Dillah got closer to the door, he says he heard it too.

"I heard this woman screaming from the back door, the trash cans are in the back. So I opened the door and I seen this young gentleman attacking this woman," Dillah said.

Florence Police say the woman saw 20-year-old Prince Gurley coming toward her and she tried to get into her car to escape, but Gurley, with knife in hand, forced her to the ground and tried to remove her clothes.

Dillah says Gurley took off running through a wooded area. A Florence County Deputy working a few blocks over saw Gurley running through the woods and caught him.

"I thought about all that last night, what could have happened to this woman. She could have been raped, killed, dead, stabbed right in the back. And it wasn't even dark or anything," said Dillah.

Gurley was arrested and booked into Florence County Detention Center on charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, and possession of a weapon during a violent crime. He is being held on a $100,000 bond.

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