On a beautiful South Florida night, a new mother had left the back sliding glass door open to let in the fresh air.
In came danger: an intruder, hoping to burglarize the home.
But once inside, the would-be burglar spotted the 25-year-old woman with her baby and his motives changed.
Holding a knife to the woman, he beat, choked, raped and sodomized her as the newborn lay on the bed. “That’s a huge leap — from burglarizing a home to attacking a woman,” said Coral Springs Sgt. Dave Kirkland.
The victim’s own quick thinking helped police locate her attacker before he could leave the neighborhood: During the attack, she managed to call police from her cell phone, leaving the line open so police could trace it.
As dispatchers heard the assaults taking place, they were able to begin pinpointing where the call was coming from.
“It’s unbelievable that she had the presence of mind with everything going on to call 911,” said Kirkland.
Gary L. Holmes, 19, has been charged with three counts of armed sexual battery, two counts of armed burglary and one count of petit theft. Holmes, of Pompano Beach, is being held at the Broward County Jail without bond.
Police are not releasing the name of the victim because of the nature of the crime.
According to the arrest affidavit, Holmes came into the home through the back door about 8 p.m. Sunday.
At first, he demanded that the woman give him her valuables. Then he pushed her to the bedroom floor where she attempted to fight him off.
Her hands were bloodied from the fight, police said. Holmes forced her to the kitchen to wash up before leading her into another bedroom and forcing her on the bed.
Afterward, he dragged her to the hallway, pushed her to the ground and sexually assaulted her for a third time while continuing to punch her face and choke her, police said.
As Holmes was fleeing, he saw the woman’s cell phone, grabbed it and tossed it into the garbage.
But because of the woman’s quick thinking, police had set up a perimeter, using a helicopter and police dogs.
He was quickly picked up by officers, who said Holmes’ sweatshirt was stained with blood.
He admitted to the rapes, according to the police.
This is not Holmes’ first run-in with the law. According to a Florida Department of Law Enforcement report, he was arrested five times before turning 18. The first when he was just 9, when he was charged with battery against an elected official or education employee, a third degree felony. No more details were available because of his juvenile status at the time.
His other arrests included striking a principal, strong-armed robbery, burglary and battery. Because the court records are sealed, no other information is available.
Kirkland, with the Coral Springs Police Department, said the woman was treated for non-life threatening injuries, and the baby was not injured. “The only way to describe what happened is horrific,” he said.
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/02/13/2640057/as-newborn-slept-coral-springs.html#storylink=cpy