A 20-year-old Knoxville man was arrested last week and charged with stalking and assaulting at least two women in separate incidents, according to the Knoxville Police Department. Police said the suspect, Zachary Nelson, exhibited “predatory behavior” toward several other women in the area.
On May 12, a woman was assaulted while walking her dog outside The Palmer apartments in Knoxville. Detectives identified Nelson as the suspect through an investigation. He was charged with assault and taken into custody on May 23.
While investigating that incident, detectives found that Nelson had allegedly followed another woman at The Palmer apartments for several days and made an unsolicited advance toward her. Warrants have since been obtained charging Nelson with stalking in that case.
KPD said that over the course of the investigation, they learned of several other instances of a man “reportedly exhibiting similar predatory behavior” including stalking and unwanted physical contact at multiple apartment complexes and public places in Knox County.
Investigators are asking any additional victims who have not yet reported incidents to call the KPD Violent Crimes Unit at 865-215-7215.
Nelson remains in custody at the Knox County Detention Facility. His arraignment was set for May 24 in Knox County General Sessions Court.
The investigation is ongoing. KPD urged anyone with information about additional criminal incidents related to Nelson to report them as soon as possible.