MASCOTTE, FL (FOX 35 WOFL) – Mascotte Police say a man was arrested this weekend after breaking into a family’s home and charging at a woman with a knife.
The victim, who did not want to show her face, says she was in bed watching television when she realized a stranger was in her room.
“I turned back to see the TV again and that’s when I see the door wide open and I see him coming toward me,” she said.
The woman says the man had a knife. Her hands are all cut up now because she says when he came toward her, she grabbed it, and started screaming.
The victim says her husband woke up and went after the intruder, who police have identified as 32-year-old Samuel Hernandez.
“He fell down the stairs and my brother-in-law was right here and started punching him and that’s when he let the knife go and my husband came downstairs and they had him until the cops came,” the woman said.
The break in and attacked happened late Saturday on Western Hills Lane in Mascotte. The family says they have no idea why Hernandez came into their home, where three children were sleeping.
“He was talking in Spanish saying that somebody sent him,” the victim said.
Hernandez also talked to the cops. According to his arrest report, he told officers that he traveled from Guatemala to Mexico to enter the U.S. illegally. He said that he met men there who offered to smuggle him into the country if he worked off his debt to them.
The report says Hernandez claimed that the traffickers told him to break into the home and steal. He said he panicked when he heard the woman screaming and tried to run out.
“I don’t know if he’s saying the truth or if he made it up because he was scared and didn’t know what else to say,” the victim said.
Mascotte Police say they contacted ICE about the case. Lake County Jail officials say ICE has a detainer on the suspect. Hernandez is facing several charges, including attempted murder.