Rahsann Eaton attacked a woman in her Winter Haven apartment with three young children inside. He faces multiple charges including armed burglary with assault and battery, escape and touch/strike/injury of a police dog.
WINTER HAVEN — An armed burglary suspect held a knife to a woman's throat moments after he broke into her apartment, and after learning she had called 911 for help, told her, “You want to call the cops on me? I'll kill you!”, according to the Winter Haven Police Department.
In a news release, WHPD reported that Rahsann Eaton, 33, was arrested following the incident Wednesday night on felony assault and battery charges.
Police say that around 9:15 p.m., an officer responded to a suspicious incident call at the Abbey Lane Apartments in Winter Haven involving possible glass breakage at one of the apartments heard by a 911 dispatcher during the call.
Officers started checking numerous apartments upon arrival and were approached by a woman with a swollen face, who was visibly shaken and crying, police said.
The woman told police that Eaton had come to her apartment and started banging and kicking on the door, according to the release. When she didn't answer the door, she called 911 but couldn't speak for fear of Eaton hearing her on the phone, she told police.
Eaton then went to the back of the apartment and broke a window, police say, and went to the upstairs area of the apartment where the woman and three young children were.
He grabbed her cellphone while she was still on the call with the 911 dispatcher and then punched her in the face several times, according to Eaton's arrest affidavit.
The woman ran out of the room and Eaton continued to follow her, police say, and then wrapped his arm around her upper body and held a knife to her throat.
Police say the children were still upstairs and were not physically injured.
With the knife to her throat, he told her he would kill her, but the woman was able to wrestle the knife away from Eaton and throw it out an upstairs window, she told police.
Then Eaton caught the woman, tore off her shirt and wrapped his bleeding hand in it, and left the area with her cellphone just before officers arrived at the apartment complex, according to reports.
Officers could not immediately find Eaton.
The woman and the children went to a family's home for the night and officers continued to patrol the area in case Eaton returned.
And he did, according to police. Around 2:20 a.m. Thursday officers located Eaton back at the apartment. After a struggle with officers, he was taken into custody by a department K-9.
WHPD noted in the release that Eaton was taken to Winter Haven Hospital to be treated for glass cuts and a dog bite. But he again began wrestling officers and was able to break free, police say.
Officers used a Taser on Eaton as he ran through the parking lot and they rearrested him. After being cleared by hospital staff, Eaton was booked into the Polk County Jail.
He faces charges of armed burglary with assault and battery, escape, tampering with a witness and touch/strike/injury of a police dog. He also was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and felony battery for an incident that occurred on Tuesday when he allegedly battered the same woman, according to his arrest affidavit.
"I am so proud of the way our officers continued to search for this guy throughout the night, ultimately putting him where he belongs," Winter Haven Public Safety Director Charlie Bird said. "Our victim and her children can hopefully begin picking up the pieces after such violent encounters they endured."
Kathy Leigh Berkowitz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 863-802-7558. Follow her on Twitter @kberkowitzthel1.