Police Arrest Tisbury Man in Connection with Assault

Police last night apprehended a Vineyard Haven man in connection with a violent sexual assault that took place in the early morning hours Monday at the home of a 36-year-old woman.

Scott Donavan, 34, was found in a residence in Oak Bluffs around 7 p.m., according to West Tisbury police Sgt. Jeffrey (Skipper) Manter. He had been identified by the woman as her attacker yesterday, before she was transported to the Martha's Vineyard Community Hospital for treatment. Federal privacy laws prevent the release of any further details about the victim or her condition.

"We are very relieved that he is in custody," Mr. Manter said last night.

"We found him in a condition that required medical attention. An ambulance was called and he was transported to the hospital," he added.

The arrest came after a daylong search and included joint work by the Oak Bluffs and West Tisbury police and the Massachusetts state police, Mr. Manter said. "It was the result of an ongoing investigation and our following up on leads and other information that came in during the day," he said.

No further details about the arrest were available at press time.

"Taking care of his medical condition is the first priority, and when that is resolved he will be brought to the Dukes County jail, and to the courthouse on the next arraignment date," Mr. Manter said.

Edgartown District Court had issued an arrest warrant Monday morning for Mr. Donavan, who was considered armed and extremely dangerous, and all airlines and ferry services were notified to be on the lookout. The police departments in every Island town also cooperated in the investigation.

The suspect allegedly broke into the victim's home and sexually assaulted her, according to the police press release. Police say the suspect used a knife in the attack, made reference to a gun, and left the scene in the victim's vehicle. The woman was home alone at the time.

West Tisbury police were dispatched to the scene shortly before 5 a.m. on Monday morning. An Islandwide broadcast was soon issued for Mr. Donavan, his pickup truck and the victim's vehicle. Oak Bluffs police located the victim's unoccupied vehicle around 7 a.m., and the suspect's truck was found in West Tisbury around 9:30 a.m.

After a search warrant was issued, state police crime scene technicians arrived on the Island to examine the vehicles and site of the alleged incident.

Mr. Manter said West Tisbury police chief Beth Toomey is out of town for professional training, but was informed of the situation and working closely with him on the investigation from afar.