A man who entered a Fallbrook home on Alvarado Street in the early morning hours of Friday, August 23 appeared to be seeking contact with a 21-year-old woman who lived there. The man entered the residence at about 5 a.m. through an unlocked screen door in a bedroom in the rear of the residence.
Sheriff’s Detective Dan Laibach said the victim, who is not being identified at this time, “did not recognize the person and he didn’t speak, so she never heard his voice.”
The victim, who resides in the home with her mother and adult brother, said while she was sleeping, the man climbed in bed with her and began trying to remove her clothes. She said he was “breathing heavily” and estimated him to be about 5’9” tall with closely-cropped hair or a shaved head, wearing a tight t-shirt. When the incident began, the victim began calling out for her mother.
“I was awake; I wake up early; being a single mom, I am always listening for odd noises,” her mother said. “I heard her making noise, so I got out of bed, opened my bedroom door and looked up and down hall. I didn’t see anything or anyone at the time, then I heard my daughter yelling again.”
By the time the victim’s mother got to her side, the screen door was wide open and the suspect had run out of the residence.
Laibach said authorities were able to collect a good amount of evidence at the scene and it has been sent to the Sheriff’s crime lab for investigation. The case is being treated as an attempted rape.
When asked if any other cases similar to this have taken place recently, Laibach said, “At this time, it appears to have been an isolated incident; we haven’t experienced another case like this in the past year or so.”
Laibach said given the isolation of the incident, it may be possible that the man had seen the victim previously and located where she lived.
“Without her knowledge, he may have followed her home and was waiting for an opportunity,” he said.
The mother said she regularly reminds her daughter to lock the doors and windows, but that she “has always felt secure in her own home.”
Sheriff’s Dept. crime prevention specialist John McLelland said the best way for residents to protect themselves against unlawful intrusion is by performing certain safety precautions.
“It is a good idea to always keep your doors and windows locked,” said McLelland. “Open doors and windows can be a tempting invitation.”
Whether one is a young woman, youth or adult of any age, McLelland said, “Everyone should always be aware of their surroundings. If you suspect something wrong, go to a safe location, call a close friend, or the Sheriff’s Dept. at (760) 728-1113.” And if attacked, McLelland said, “Scream, kick, hit, bite, and fight like your life depends on it.”
While this intruder was foiled in his attempt, it left fear in its wake for this Fallbrook family.
“I just feel that God was watching over my daughter and she did not get raped; she did not get hurt,” said her mother, “but he terrified her and has now made us uneasy in our own home; it’s horrible.”