An 18-year-old is under arrest after he was accused of breaking into a teenage girl’s home in Pierson early Monday morning to have sex with her. The defendant’s plan, however, was foiled when the girl fought back, pulled off the intruder’s bandana and realized that she recognized him from school. The defendant, Eduardo Rodriguez, ran out of the house and disappeared into the woods, but responding Volusia County Sheriff’s deputies mounted a search of the area and located Rodriguez less than an hour later. Rodriguez (DOB: 12/22/94), who lives in Pierson, is facing charges of sexual battery, child abuse and burglary involving an assault and battery.
Deputies responded to the incident after receiving a frantic 911 call from the victim at 1:20 a.m. “When I saw him, he was in my room,” the girl told the Sheriff’s Office telecommunicator who answered the 911 call. “I woke up, and I felt something. I felt him looking at me. I woke up, and he was right there.” The girl then said that she knew the intruder and that his name was Eduardo. The first responding deputies began arriving in the area less than three minutes later to launch a search for the suspect. The victim told deputies that she was asleep in her bedroom and awoke to an intruder wearing a bandana to conceal his face. The suspect lifted up the girl’s blanket and touched her, and that’s when the victim grabbed his arm while calling for her mother. The victim’s mother came rushing in moments later, and the two tried to restrain the intruder. As the suspect struggled to flee the scene, the altercation continued into the living room and then the kitchen. The suspect hit both the girl and her mother and tried to climb out the kitchen window to get away, knocking over a table in the process. At one point during the struggle, the girl pulled the bandana off the intruder’s face and realized that she recognized him from school. The suspect eventually ran out the front door and disappeared into the woods.
At about 2:13 a.m., a Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit located Rodriguez running along the railroad tracks near the intersection of West 3rd Street in Pierson and took him into custody. His bandana was recovered inside the victim’s bedroom and the t-shirt the defendant was wearing was found in her kitchen. At first, Rodriguez said he had been confused and thought he had gone to his own house, claiming the door was locked and so he climbed in through a window, then went to get in bed and thought the girl there was his younger sister. But he later changed his story during questioning and admitted going into the victim’s house to have sex with her. He said once inside the victim’s bedroom, he pulled back the covers and grabbed her leg. That’s when the victim woke up, clutched the suspect’s arm and started screaming for her mother.
Rodriguez was booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach, where he was being held on $101,000 bond.