CROWN POINT — A Griffith man was charged Wednesday with raping a 17-year-old girl July 31 after offering to give her a ride home.
Garland E. Hughes, 26, was identified as a suspect after the girl showed police the building at Park West Apartments where he lived and said she remembered thinking about Garfield the Cat after he told her his name, court records say.
Police searched a database for men with a name similar to Garfield and learned Hughes lived in the building, records state. The girl subsequently identified Hughes in a photo lineup.
The girl told detectives she was walking from a friend's house when Hughes stopped to offer her a ride and she accepted. He told her he had to stop at his apartment in the 1800 block of North Arbogast Street, and she went inside to use the bathroom, records state.
After they returned to the man's car, the girl got into the backseat and the man got in next to her and raped her, records allege. The girl told police the man then told her, "Put on your shorts and get out."
Hughes was charged with one count of rape, a level 3 felony.
An arrest warrant for Hughes was issued Wednesday. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call their local police or 911.