The man who prosecutors say was behind a "brazen attack on a stranger" last weekend in Little Italy made his first appearance in court Wednesday.
Christopher Merron, 28, is accused of ambushing a restaurant worker in Cafe Italia last Sunday and trying to sexually assault her.
Police say the victim was doing custodial work in the restaurant around 4:30 a.mm. when Merron broke in. Police say the man spotted by surveillance cameras inside the restaurant at the time of the alleged crime is Merron.
Investigators say he threatened the victim with a knife and forced her into a back room before she fought him off and ran away.
Merron then took the victim's car keys and stole her tan SUV, police said.
Police arrested Merron Monday afternoon on Fenton Parkway. Details of his arrest or how he was found were not released.
Merron pleaded not guilty Wednesday to six felony counts, including kidnapping and assault with intent to commit rape, and is being held on $1 million bail. If convicted on all counts he could spend the rest of his life in prison.
Prosecutors say the attack was random and that Merron didn't know the victim.