Wiggins, Azarez

A Gallatin burglary, rape and kidnapping suspect is behind bars after initially escaping police custody last week.

Officers responded to a home break-in and rape that occurred in the 700-block of Lackey Circle on Thursday, May 30, according to an arrest affidavit written by Investigator Jamie Helson with the Gallatin Police Department.

“(The victim) stated that shortly after midnight she heard her dog barking and woke up to find a black male standing near her bed,” Helson wrote in the affidavit. “(She) advised that this subject jumped on top of her and pulled the covers off her. She attempted to fight this subject off, at which time he began to strangle her.”

Police conducted a canvass of the area and found security video, which led them to identify the suspect as 31-year-old Azarez Latron Wiggins of Gallatin.

Wiggins was eventually located and taken to the Gallatin Police Department’s annex on South Water Avenue where he admitted to removing the screen from the back window of the victim’s home, unlocking the back door, walking upstairs and jumping onto her bed, according to the affidavit. He also confessed to fighting with the victim but denied raping her.

Following the confession, Gallatin Police Chief Don Bandy said the investigator stepped out of the interview room briefly to update a lieutenant about what had happened when Wiggins escaped.

“He kind of eased out, peeked around the door and went out a side door,” Bandy said describing building security footage of the escape. “He hadn’t been placed in handcuffs or anything like that.

“It was not one of our greater moments.”

Police launched a city-wide manhunt Thursday for Wiggins that involved “a lot of recourses,” according to Bandy. He eventually turned himself in to police Saturday.

Wiggins is charged with aggravated burglary, aggravated rape and aggravated kidnapping. He was still being held in the Sumner County Jail on $250,000 bond as Monday.

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