Man who led police on chase last year now charged with rape in attack on teenage girl


Isabel Hughes

A Wilmington man who made headlines last summer for leading police on a 16-minute chase from New Castle to Wilmington has been charged with rape and robbery in connection with a Monday morning attack in Canby Park.

Nijir Lee, 22, was also jailed on two firearms charges following his arrest Wednesday night. He's accused of attacking a 16-year-old girl at about 6:40 a.m. Monday as she walked in the park.

New Castle County Police responded to a home near the park after receiving a 911 call about the sexual assault. There, they spoke with the victim, who said she was walking by St. Elizabeth High School when Lee came up to her.

The girl told police that Lee started asking if she had a boyfriend. He also said he was 18 years old and lived behind the Boys and Girls Club, court documents say. In reply, the girl said she was 16.

According to the documents, Lee got more aggressive, saying he was going to walk the girl home. She said she told him no, but he "kept touching his waist as if he had a weapon."

At one point, court documents say, the girl took out her phone to take a photo of Lee. Shortly thereafter, he pulled out a gun and forced her toward a patch of trees, where he told her to leave her phone on the ground.

There, he made her give him oral sex while he pointed the gun at her head, court documents say. He then told the girl, "Now you're going to have sex with me."

The victim told police she saw Lee adjusting his waistband, and decided to run. She jumped over a small creek to get away and ran to the first house she came to, where she banged on the door while screaming "please let me in."

Detectives responded to the home and spoke with the girl, who told them what happened. Police later found the girl's phone with her earbuds still in it. Police also obtained video surveillance, which they said corroborated the girl's story.

On Tuesday, police published photos of Lee asking for help identifying him. A day later, he called police to say he was the man in the photos.

Lee's Wednesday night arrest is his most recent encounter with police, but his criminal history dates back to at least 2017.

91 views0 comments