Neighbors respond to screams for help, interrupt suspected rape in Springfield, Mo.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Police say a Springfield couple helped stop a rape early Wednesday morning.

It happened at an apartment complex in town. The man and woman were in their apartment next door-- when they heard screams for help.

The neighbor ran over, knocked on the door, and asked if everyone was okay.

That's when police say Sean Carter, 24, opened his door and shoved the neighbor backwards. The neighbor is also a commissioned police officer for Pierce City. Authorities say he punched Carter in the face, while 911 was being called.

When police arrived, they arrested Carter who is now facing charges of first-degree rape, sodomy, assault, and resisting arrest. If convicted, that carries a life sentence.

The victim told police she met Carter on a dating Web-site.