HERNANDO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) — A sexual predator was arrested in Hernando County after a brutal attack on his neighbor that happened before noon on Thursday.
Hernando Sheriff’s deputies arrested Lee Roy Rettley, 52, after a brief pursuit when a K-9 deputy found Rettley hiding in a culvert next to the football field at Hernando High School.
Witnesses say Rettley entered the victim’s home when she had the door open to take out the trash.
Investigators say at one point, Rettley had the victim in a chokehold. She was able to fight back and struck the suspect in the head with a blunt object, but she blacked out due to the sheer pressure of the chokehold on her neck.
Wendy Montrose says her daughter is the best friend of the victim and she had just arrived to take her daughter to the doctor, but her daughter didn’t want to leave because something didn’t seem right next door.
“Her best friend wouldn’t answer the front door,” said Montrose.
Her daughter then went around to the back of the home and heard screams.
Montrose said when her daughter entered the home, the suspect jumped out of a back window.
“When I went in to check on her, was bleeding from both ears, a broken nose, blood all over the bedroom, blood all over the living room,” said Montrose.
The victim told News Channel 8 the attacker is the brother of a woman who lives next door, but she didn’t know him and he caught her off guard when she found him in her home.
The victim told detectives Rettley stated: “I am going to kill you because you are going to call the cops when I leave.” He then tried to rape the victim, but the victim continued to fight back and screamed for help.
The neighbors called 911 and K-9 units responded to the scene. Authorities say the victim had visible injuries.
Rettley was taken into custody and after he was read his Miranda rights, he told cops that he snapped.
He was previously convicted of sexual battery in Palm Beach County and Duval County in 1987 he was just released from prison in February.