BALTIMORE — A neighborly plea for help moving a table drew the 79-year-old victim into a rowhouse on Elliott Street in Canton.
According to charging documents, 31-year-old Michael Daniel Bull led the woman to the basement where he disappeared for a moment, re-appearing with a mask and a knife, robbing the woman of $60.
Police say he then strangled the woman until she lost consciousness, raped her and then carried her outside and placed her in an Uber vehicle.
While Assistant Public Defender Karen Meriwether could not discuss the case outside the courthouse, inside the courtroom, she told the judge Bull is claiming police got the wrong man and that he was returning a rental car at the time of the rape.
But then there's the matter of the stolen check.
The owners of the rowhouse where the rape occurred were on vacation during the attack, but the next day, they received calls from two check cashing businesses three blocks apart on Greenmount Avenue where someone tried to cash a stolen check for $2500.
They claim the thief showed them his identification in the name of Michael Bull.
In court, Bull's attorney says he claims he traded a collection of action figures for the check from a person he couldn't identify.
The owners of the rowhouse did not wish to go on camera, but they said there was no sign of forced entry at their home, and police suspect he may have entered through an unlocked door on their roof deck.
They say there is also evidence that the rapist used their vacuum sweeper in the basement after the attack to try to clean up any forensic evidence, and police have seized that for further testing.
The rape victim suffered a broken leg and injuries to her face and neck during the attack.
Michael Bull faces a series of charges including first-degree rape, and if convicted on that count alone, it could carry a life sentence.