(Daily Mail) – A 25-year-old woman who had a baby only a week ago was repeatedly raped and beaten by a burglar Sunday night while her newborn lay on a bed beside her.
Coral Springs, Florida police say dispatchers heard the assault taking place after the 25-year-old woman called 911 on her cell phone.
Police set up a perimeter around the neighbourhood and arrested 19-year-old Gary L. Holmes.
The new mother had left the sliding glass door of her Coral Gables home open, perhaps to let the cool night breeze in, letting the man enter the house.
The man wasn’t expecting anyone to be home, Coral Springs police spokesman Sgt Dave Kirkland told CBS Miami. ‘The homeowner was surprised,’ he said,’ and he opted to attack her at that point.
The police report shows that Holmes demanded her valuables and then pushed the woman into her bedroom, NBC Miami reported.
Holmes, who had a knife on him, allegedly attacked the mother, raping her repeatedly, punching her, and cutting her hands, all while her newborn lay nearby.
According to police, the mother managed to dial 911 on her cell phone at some point during the attack. Though the phone was battered away, Pompano officers were able to trace the call by triangulating the signal.
Dispatchers received a second call some time later from the woman saying that someone had broken into her house and sexually assaulted her, Sgt Kirkland said.
Officers who were already in the area because of the first 911 call were able to canvas the neighbourhood and found Holmes holding a knife to his neck and wearing a bloody shirt.
Once they persuaded him to drop the knife, he was arrested.
Sgt Kirkland lauded the mother’s quick thinking to call 911.
‘Even though she wasn’t able to communicate, she kept an open line, and that was instrumental because it allowed dispatchers to triangulate a close proximity to where the call came from,’ he told WSVN.com.
She has been treated for minor injuries, Sgt Kirkland said. He added that her infant was unharmed in the attack. Meanwhile, Holmes faces three counts of armed sexual battery and two counts of burglary of an occupied dwelling.
He is being held without bond.
One resident of the quiet neighbourhood witnessed the police arresting Holmes and was shocked that the violent crime rattled the close-knit community.
Jamie Levine told WSVN said ‘the world has changed way too much,’ adding: ‘this is frightening.’
Holmes’ grandmother told CBS Miami that she was shocked her church-going grandson would commit such a crime.
‘I raised nine head of kids and have 15 grandkids and he ain’t had no business doing that,’ the 76-year-old grandmother said.
‘How dare he to that. He ain’t no poor person or nothing like that because we give him everything he needs,’ she told WSVN.com.
Sgt Kirkland told the Miami Herald that this was a ‘crime of opportunity,’ as many Florida residents often leave windows and doors open during pleasant weather.