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Feds put out alert for man wanted for raping woman in wheelchair

A former traveling carnival employee who can survive in the woods living off scraps and got a nickname based on his poor hygiene is being sought by U.S. Marshals who believe he raped a mentally handicapped woman who uses a wheelchair.

Authorities want the public’s help locating Michael Hawkins, 29, who has been charged with attacking the woman in June 2012 in her Schenectady apartment.

“Predators like Michael Hawkins who prey on helpless victims must be brought to justice,” U.S. Marshal David McNulty said in a statement. “We, along with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, are determined to make sure he’s held accountable, but we need the public’s help.”

In the June 2012 attack, Hawkins raped the woman while her family members slept elsewhere in the apartment, the Marshals Service said.

Hawkins was also charged with first-degree rape for an attack in November 2013 in Rotterdam, also in Schenectady County. In that case, he sexually assaulted the wife of a friend who invited him over for a family gathering, according to authorities.

Hawkins is a white male, about 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighing about 160 pounds.

Authorities say his current whereabouts are unknown, but said he has personal ties in New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Oregon, California and Florida. Due to his work with traveling carnival companies based in New Jersey and North Carolina, he may be working and traveling with similar companies in Ohio, Tennessee, Puerto Rico and states along the East Coast.

Hawkins was nicknamed “Zombie Mike” by friends for his poor hygiene, the Marshals Service said. His friends also told investigators he is known to have a temper and to abuse alcohol.

Authorities described him as “someone who can hide anywhere” including wooded areas and can “survive off scraps.”

He has a 1½-inch scar on his face, a scar from a burn on his right arm and a chest tattoo of the Grim Reaper.

Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-336-0102 or email usms.wanted@usdoj.gov. A reward of $5,000 is being offered for information that leads to an arrest.

email: citydesk@buffnews.com