ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – A “creepy” burglar is finally in custody one month after he was caught on tape terrorizing a St. Pete woman as he was burglarizing her apartment, police said Wednesday.
Terrifying video showed how the woman fought off a mystery man, later revealed to be Clyde Mathis, 40, on June 21 at her home on Paris Avenue.
Mathis was arrested in Bradenton for a separate case at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, the St. Petersburg Police Department said.
He was taken into custody and charged with violation of probation, home invasion, burglary and tampering with a witness.
Mathis is accused of breaking into the woman’s home while she was out. He’s seen on video rummaging through her belongings. He later props open a window on his way out so that he could return, and so he did.
Hours later, while the victim was at home listening to a podcast, she heard Mathis jump over a fence and break in through her bedroom window.
The two then came face-to-face, and the victim is seen on video screaming for help, begging Mathis not to hurt her.
“You just don’t know what’s going to happen next,” she told News Channel 8, recalling that fateful night.
In the video, the suspect demands she give him her keys, her wallet and her cell phone. He then instructs her to walk back to her bedroom.
“His face changed, his demeanor changed. I could see the shift in his eyes. I kept eyeing the window, knowing that I would have to make a move. It was a fight or flight situation. I decided to go for it,” she continued.
He then reportedly ordered her to go to her bed. She feared he would rape or kill her.
“That’s when I ran to the window, forced it open and began screaming, help me! Help me,” she said. “I screamed so loud, I know the neighbors heard. It was surreal.”
Her loud screams seem to have chased the suspect off her property, saving her life, but the victim is still living in fear after the incident.
“I want him off the streets. I haven’t slept in that house since. It was scary and I would never want to go through it again but in a way, it was empowering that I thought back. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing,” she told News Channel 8 shortly after the terrifying ordeal.
Police say Mathis is a registered sex offender. He is expected to be transported to the Pinellas County Jail. His bond is currently set to $300,000.
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