Woman fights off intruder, escapes through bathroom window

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LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. - A woman was able to escape her Lancaster County home last month after a man waiting for her to get out of the shower attacked her, the Lancaster County sheriff said in a news release.

Tomtarius Malik Caldwell, 21, of Rock Hill, was arrested Tuesday by the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.


(Tomtarius Malik Caldwell)

The woman was at the Greenbriar Drive home taking a shower at about 6 a.m. Jan. 18 and when she stepped into her bedroom, she was met by a man wearing gloves and a stocking over his face.

The intruder struck the woman in the face and a struggle ensued through several rooms.

The man demanded sex and threatened to shoot her, but he never showed a gun so the victim fought back and ran into the bathroom, locking the door.

She jumped out of the bathroom window, scaled a fence and made it to her neighbor’s home, where police were called.

She was taken to the hospital and authorities searched the area.

DNA left at the scene matched Caldwell’s profile; authorities contacted the alleged intruder and after being questioned, he was arrested.

“This brave lady struggled for her life for what I am sure seemed like forever,” Sheriff Barry 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. The fight she put up directly resulted in the recovery of the evidence which allowed us to identify Caldwell as her attacker. I want to thank all the officers in this department who worked long and hard chasing leads to get this case solved.”   

Authorities charged Caldwell with burglary first-degree, assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct first-degree and possession of a knife during the commission of a violent crime.

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