Crime

Deputies found a woman screaming in the woods in Jackson County. Now a man is behind bars.

Dion Mario Neal
Dion Mario Neal

A Gautier man is in jail after an alleged assault happened about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday morning in Jackson County.

Sheriff Mike Ezell said deputies received a 911 call about a woman screaming in the woods near Old CC Camp Road off Ocean Springs Road early Tuesday. Ezell said the victim told deputies she had been physically and sexually assaulted at gunpoint before her alleged attacker ran off.

Ezell said within hours Dion Mario Neal, 41, turned himself into Mississippi Probation and Parole. He’s held at the Jackson County jail on charges of aggravated assault, sexual battery and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.

Ezell said the victim was treated and released from the Ocean Springs Hospital.

On Wednesday afternoon, Judge T. Larry Wilson set Neal’s bond amounts at $25,000 for sexual battery and $25,000 for aggravated assault. The bond on his weapon charge is $5,000. Jackson County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Marcia Hill said Wilson also put a hold on Neal for the Alabama Department of Corrections for a parole violation. She also said the department cannot comment on why Neal and the victim were in the woods as the investigation is still ongoing.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs

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