A Lancaster woman’s escape from a man who she said tried to sexually assault her in her home helped lead to an arrest, according to a Lancaster Sheriff’s Office report.
Tomtarius Malik Caldwell, 21, of Rock Hill, has been charged with first-degree burglary, first-degree assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct and possession of a knife while committing a violent crime, the report states.
Deputies went to a home on Greenbriar Drive in Lancaster on Jan. 18, the report states. A woman who lived there told deputies that a man had entered her home and tried to sexually assault her, the report says. The woman later escaped from her attacker through a bathroom window, the report states.
Investigators used evidence from the scene to match DNA to Caldwell, the report states.
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“The fight she put up directly resulted in the recovery of the evidence which allowed us to identify Caldwell as her attacker,” said Lancaster Sheriff Barry Faile. “I want to thank all the officers in this department who worked long and hard chasing leads to get this case solved.”
The woman told deputies she was home alone and found a man in her bedroom with a stocking over his face and wearing gloves, the report states. She told deputies that the intruder hit her in the face and they struggled through several rooms, the report says.
The man demanded sex from the woman and threatened to shoot her, the report states. The woman did not see a firearm, but the intruder did pull out a knife, the report says.
After hitting the man, the woman went into a bathroom and locked the door, the report states. The woman jumped out of the bathroom window, several feet from the ground, scaled a fence and went to a neighbor’s home, the report says.
The woman was transported to a medical facility, the report says. Her condition was not listed on the report.
“This brave lady struggled for her life for what I am sure seemed like forever,” Faile said. “I am so thankful she was able to escape her attacker and get out of that house before a very bad situation became much worse.”
Caldwell is an acquaintance of a member of the woman’s family, the report says.
Caldwell agreed to meet with investigators, the report states. He was arrested, charged and taken to the Lancaster County Detention Center, the report says.
Caldwell was denied bond in a hearing Wednesday, the report says.
Anyone with information about this or any other case should call the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office at 803-283- 3388 or Crimestoppers at 888-CRIME- SC (888-274- 6372) or email www.sccrimestoppers.com.