Sheriff: Suspect watched women sleep in off-campus UCF apartment

Photo: WESH

ORLANDO, FL (WESH) — The Orange County Sheriff’s Office has launched an investigation after four female roommates reported that an unknown man broke into their off-campus apartment near University of Central Florida, touching and watching them as they slept.

A photo was released Wednesday of the man the four women, ages 18 to 20, say broke into their apartment at the Plaza on University, a student housing community for UCF. Deputies said the man even touched one of the women in her bed. “It’s absolutely terrifying,” said Kaitlyn Holt, who lives in the apartment complex.

A deputy was called to the apartment off University Boulevard and North Alafaya Trail, across the street from UCF, to investigate Monday afternoon. “It’s pretty scary, especially for girls,” said Casey Stanulewich, another neighbor.

According to an OCSO report, one of the victims told the deputy that she was not aware that the man was in her bedroom until he started petting her arm around 1 a.m. Monday. She awakened to find the man standing next to her bed, towering over her, the report said. After she yelled, the man seemed startled and walked out of her bedroom, according to the report. Because of his delayed response, she believed the man might have been intoxicated. The report said the man entered another bedroom but eventually left. That’s when the roommates gathered in the kitchen to figure out what happened.

One of the roommates said she was sitting on her bed in the dark about to go to sleep, when she heard her bedroom door open. She thought it was one of her roommates since it’s typical of them to walk in and out of the rooms. But the individual just stood facing the bed, breathing heavily, according to the report. The victim turned her lamp on and the individual quickly exited the room.

According to the report, once security learned of the incident, the victims were advised not to worry about calling the police. Security returned to the apartment a short time later to get one of the victims to identify a man who matched the intruder’s description who was sitting on a bench in the apartment complex. The victim told security that based on the man’s stature and clothing, she believed that it was the same man.

The report said that because security officers told the victims that they would handle the situation, none of them thought to call police. But the victims’ parents encouraged them to call the sheriff’s office the next morning. “We tried to approach the man identified by the victims, but he fled and we don’t have the authority to pursue,” said Mark Velerien, security supervisor. None of the females involved were injured.

The report said the sheriff’s office has not been able to contact the security company about the incident. No arrests in the case have been announced. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Line 800-423-TIPS.

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