Gainesville Man Accused of Raping UF Student
It is the most frightening kind of crime.
A violent criminal randomly targets a home and attacks the sleeping people inside.
It happened this morning in Southeast Gainesville, but some alert police officers almost immediately caught the attacker.
Both the man and the woman are students at the University of Florida.
Detectives said 23 year-old Robert Bernard Kirksey confessed today to committing a crime, that's left a neighborhood on high alert.
"It's really a shame that this happened," said Eleanor Anne Laughlin.
Laughlin said shes shocked to hear that one of her neighbors was raped early this morning.
"Ever few years something will happen that will be disturbing that will be within a few blocks of our house, but not this close," said Laughlin.
Laughlin and her husband live a couple houses down from where the attack took place.
"It's highly disturbing for anybody in any neighborhood," said Laughlin.
Detective David Fisher said Robert Bernard Kirksey of Gainesville planned on robbing whoever was inside the house.
He broke into the home through the back door, grabbed a knife from the kitchen and entered their room while the couple was sleeping.
"He actually had the boyfriend tied up in the bedroom because the cords that were used were in the bedroom and then he took the other victim outside of the bedroom," said Detective David Fisher.
Police said Kirksey raped the woman and then poured bleach all over the apartment to disguise any evidence.
During the attack the boyfriend managed to get a cell phone and call 911, saying they were being robbed.
Officers were about to leave the area when they noticed a man walking down SE 2nd Avenue. He didn't have a shirt on, he had a fresh cut on his hand and he was only about 75 yards away from where the attack happened.
Soon after Kirksey was arrested.
"The kind of home invasions that we witnessed from this morning don't happen that often. they are very violent. Some of the targeted victims are unpredictable," said Lieutenant Will Halvosa.
Halvosa said there is nothing else the victims could've done.
"What they both did was to survive the attack," said Halvosa.
Detectives believe Kirksey did not know the victims.
The woman was hit on the head and choked, but authorities said they were non- life threatening injuries.
Nevertheless, detectives are calling her a fighter.
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