Fort Myers suspect arrested for sexual assault at senior housing complex, home burglary
BREAKING: Fort Myers Police Department has arrested a suspect Friday accused of sexual assault at a senior home and a burglary at a separate home.
Police are in the process of taking the suspect to the station for questioning.
A search for a suspect was underway Thursday after a sexual assault was reported at a senior housing complex in Fort Myers, followed by a burglary at a nearby home.
Fort Myers police said two children were inside the home on Broadway Circle at the time of the break-in. A friend said the children were terrified, but they were able to call 911 and the suspect took off.
We spoke to 11-year-old Allana Pimentel, who told us, when a man broke into her house, he came right for her. He took her into a room and exposed his privates to her. But, before anything happened further, she says her 13-year-old brother rescued her.
“Someone came in the house, and then he pushed my brother aside,” Allana said.
Allana says the man forced her into her brother’s room and locked the door.
“I don’t know. I just went black because I didn’t know what was going to happen next,” Allana said. “And I was like scared and anxious I guess.”
But she does remember this.
“Then, he showed me his private part,” Allana said. “And then my brother broke in and he told him to get out.”
And she calls her brother her hero.
“My brother broke in,” Allana said. “He like broke the door to get me.”
The suspect had Allana’s phone in his hand. So thinking on her feet. She grabbed her brother’s phone and called 911.
“I called the cops right away because we don’t want people like that to get away with it,” Allana said. “Cuz it’s not fair.”
She owes her bravery to a coach at school.
“Self-defense, and he taught me how to be confident and stuff like that,” Allana said.
And the selfless actions of her brother will not be soon forgotten.
“I love him,” Allana said. “He does a lot for me too.”
Now, she has a message for the suspect still on the run.
“If there’s an innocent person you can’t just go into their house and just ruin their day,” Allana said. “Like, they did nothing to you, so there’s no point to, you know, it could probably ruin their life too. What if he actually did something bad to me” It would probably make me worried to get outside.”
Rich Kolko, WINK News Safety and Security Specialist, says this type of situation is the reason why all families need to have a plan.
“Crisis response planning for a family starts when they’re very young,” Kolko said.”Kids need to know how to call 911. They need to know their own phone number, their address.”
“And, in this case, it paid off for the family,” Kolko said.
Prior to that break-in, the suspect is alleged to have sexually assaulted a resident just blocks away at the Sandpiper Run senior housing complex on Collier Avenue.
Fort Myers police were scouring several blocks around the neighborhood of both crime scenes, with K-9 officers on the ground and a helicopter in the air.
“The homeowner called me. He’s my friend. Someone tried to broke the house and the door and get in the home, and the kids alone. They called to the police,” said Cuiry Souza.
He said the parents were at work at the time of the break-in.
“I hate that the kids was in there at that time it happened you know. Are they OK?” said Wenda Evans.
The two are fine and were seen speaking with officers about what happened.
People living along Broadway Circle are worried for their safety.
“I don’t like it, I don’t like it, I don’t like it,” Evans said.
Police said they are looking for a black male in his early 20s, last seen wearing a white T-shirt, dark-colored pants or jeans with visible boxer-type shorts underneath, and white shoes. He is described as having a 4-inch to 5-inch dreadlock-type hairstyle.
“At this time we just want to say that there’s no danger out there. We have an idea of what we’re looking for,” said Kristin Capuzzi with the Fort Myers Police Department.
Neighbors said they’re still going to be extra careful.
“Of course I am, because if it happened over there it could come this close over here. Of course,” Evans said.
Police are working to get camera footage from the area around Sandpiper Run.
Anyone who believes they saw the described suspect in the area from Carrell Road to Cleveland Avenue to Broadway Circle between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. is asked to Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS or FMPD at 239-321-7700.