Man followed, tried to rape woman near Waterford Lakes, deputies say

Deputies seek suspect

ORLANDO, Fla. – A man followed a woman who was walking to her Waterford Lakes-area apartment Tuesday night, attacked her and ripped off her clothes, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

The woman had just gotten off the Lynx bus at Alafaya Trail and East Colonial Drive around 10:15 p.m. and was walking back to her apartment at Advenir at Polos East when she noticed a silver four-door sedan following her.

She said she saw the driver park the car at Economy Suites Motel as she continued to walk home. The victim took a shortcut through a wooded area and she said the man followed her, according to the report.

When she got to the courtyard of her apartment complex, the unknown man pushed her to the ground, pulled off her leggings and her underwear all while the victim was screaming for help and punching him, deputies said.

"I heard the screaming," said one neighbor who didn't want to be identified. "'No, no! Stop! Somebody help me! Help!'"

Other neighbors who heard the struggle came outside to help and the man ran north toward East Colonial Drive. The victim said he was likely running to his parked vehicle.

"I did ask her if she was OK, and she was shaken up. It was sad," the neighbor said.

The victim and the witness said the Hispanic man was wearing a black shirt and jeans. They said he stood about 5 feet 7 inches tall, and the neighbor told News 6 he was stocky.

An Orange County Sheriff's Office spokesman said "detectives are looking into other possible related cases as well," but did not provide further details.

In September, an attempted rape was reported at the same apartment complex, which is on Woodbury Road. Deputies did not release details in that case.

"The similarities as to what the individual did to the victims is almost nearly the same, and same area, same kind of MO. We would be remiss in our responsibility if we would not consider the possibility that this individual wasn't involved in both," OSCO spokesman Jeff Williamson said.

Anyone who has information about the crime or recognizes the man in the composite sketch is asked to call Crimeline at 800-423-8477.

About the Authors: