Bruce Tuck of Gleason at a recent court appearance in Weakley County General Sessions Court. Tuck is accused of severla counts of rape and kidnapping.
Alleged serial rapist Bruce Tuck said he hopes his preliminary hearing can be moved up to “give the victims closure.”
A preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 5, 2010, in Weakley County Circuit Court.
“I want to also express my sincere, heartfelt feelings for the victims and their families so they can get closure. I guess that’s not the right word, my heartfelt sympathy to the victims,” Tuck said.
In a surprise collect phone call to The Press Tuesday afternoon, the Gleason native also discussed his recent return from a court-ordered mental evaluation as well as reports of his mistreatment in the local jail.
Tuck was arrested Sept. 2 at his parents’ home in Gleason after DNA evidence linked him to an alleged sexual assault on Raven Street in Martin Aug. 30.
He is accused of holding three people at gunpoint and raping a University of Tennessee at Martin student.
From there, Tuck was apparently linked to various home invasion sexual assaults reported in Martin as well as Shelby County throughout the summer months.
Those cases prompted a manhunt by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation along with Shelby County, Martin Police and Weakley County investigators in search of a suspect described as having a potbelly and wearing a mask.
During the execution of a search warrant at a rental storage unit with ties to Tuck, investigators allegedly found a mask similar to the one used by the serial rapist during the attacks.
With his arrest, 12 felony charges were levied against Tuck for the Aug. 30 incident on Raven Street in Martin. During a special session by the Weakley County Grand Jury Nov. 2, Tuck was indicted on 10 additional felony counts that stemmed from two alleged home invasion sexual assaults in Martin.
At a Nov. 5 court hearing, Tuck was ordered by the court to undergo an immediate mental evaluation at the Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute.
Tuck told The Press he did not have results of his mental evaluation and he was sent back to the Weakley County Detention Center in Dresden late Monday afternoon.
His attorney, Weakley County Assistant Public Defender Colin Johnson, said on Tuesday that while his office anticipated Tuck’s mental evaluation would take 30 days to complete, it is not uncommon for an evaluation to take less time.
Tuck spent a little more than two weeks at the institute, a place he claimed was under investigation. While there as a patient, Tuck claimed he “did get roughed a bit” just a couple of days ago by staff members at the facility.
He said upon his return to the Weakley County Detention Center, pictures were taken by jail staff members of his black eye he allegedly received at the mental health facility in Middle Tennessee.
However, he was complimentary of his treatment on a local level.
“I have been treated very professionally by the Martin Police Department and the Weakley County Sheriff’s Department. The investigators and the district attorney’s office have worked with me in a most professional manner,” Tuck said during his phone conversation with The Press on Tuesday.
When asked what prompted the collect phone call to the newspaper office, Tuck replied he wanted people to know that he has been treated well and his safety has been a priority while at the Weakley County Detention Center.
“In my 10-year law enforcement history, I have never seen a suspect treated as respectfully as I have been since I have been in this facility,” Tuck shared.
He also commended Weakley County Sheriff Mike Wilson for his cooperation in Tuck’s “situation” and for providing safety and security for the inmate.
Tuck said he wanted people to know that alleged reports by Memphis media outlets claiming he had not been treated well while at the jail were false.
The 35-year-old Gleason native did confirm he was being held in solitary confinement at the Weakley County Detention Center. He claimed because of his law enforcement background, as well as the nature of the crimes, he “can’t be handled with other inmates.”
Later he also admitted to a suicide attempt. He claimed he used the cord of his breathing machine in an attempt to strangle himself. According to Tuck, he is no longer allowed to have the breathing machine, but he is off of suicide watch at the detention center.
When asked if guilt prompted the attempted suicide, Tuck responded that he was not allowed to discuss it.
District Attorney General Tommy Thomas told The Press Tuesday that the purpose of the mental evaluation was to determine if Tuck was sane during the commission of the alleged offenses and if he is competent to stand trial.
“I also want to express sympathy for the community for the state of panic that was caused,” Tuck said during a second phone call made to The Press office Tuesday evening.
The accused rapist said he did not have a profession of guilt or innocence and could not make comments regarding the case.
When asked if he was able to communicate with family members, Tuck told The Press he does have certain non-contact visitation times with his family and his brother was coming “up from Texas” to see him.
“I do ask that people respect the privacy rights of my family. They had nothing to do with this,” Tuck said.
He also told The Press there was a restraining order against him and he was unable to see his ex-wife or child. He admitted a custody hearing was planned in Tipton County Dec. 7 to expunge his rights as a parent. Tuck added he was uncertain if he could be present at the hearing.
Martin attorney Lang Unger was retained by his parents to represent him in the custody issue, according to Tuck.
“I do attend church at the jail whenever it is offered. I appreciate all of the churches that provide a jail ministry here,” Tuck shared.
Tuck’s felony charges range from six counts of Class A felony aggravated rape to five counts of Class A felony especially aggravated kidnapping to Class B felony aggravated sexual battery.
He is also reportedly a suspect in two similar home invasion sexual attacks in Shelby County, although no formal charges have been filed.
Tuck said he had no expectations of posting bond.