SUNNYVALE — A man who worked as a contract painter at a Sunnyvale woman’s home went back there in the middle of the night and tried to rape her a knifepoint, and was arrested two days after the victim and her teen daughter fought him off and sent him fleeing, authorities said.
Jorge Perez Diaz, 32, of Mountain View, was arrested Monday in connection with the attack, and then booked into the Elmwood men’s jail on suspicion of assault with the intent to commit rape, assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment, making criminal threats and burglary. He was being held on $250,000 bail as of Tuesday.
The woman suffered serious injuries after she grabbed her attacker’s knife by the blade to protect herself from getting stabbed, said Capt. Craig Anderson of the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety. Still, she saw enough during the early Saturday attack to recognize him as possibly being one of several contractors who had recently performed renovation work on her Yarmouth Terrace home.
Anderson said that the investigation into the weekend attack also revealed that Diaz was the subject of a suspicious-circumstance report in San Jose from May, alleging that while he was working at another home occupied by a single woman, he closed a bedroom door to isolate her, prompting her to flee the residence.
“The victim believed Diaz was going to rape her and began to scream and fight back against Diaz,” police wrote in a Tuesday news release. “During the struggle, Diaz repeatedly punched the victim in the head and bit her forearm. The victim’s 13-year-old daughter awoke to the sound of the victim screaming and helped the victim fight off Diaz causing him to flee.”
Anderson said the woman suffered “significant wounds” to her hand and arm while fighting off her attacker, and needed extensive surgery.
It was not immediately clear who Diaz was working for when he painted the victim’s home, which took place within the past couple of weeks, Anderson said.
“To us, we’re not thinking this is the first time he’s done something like this,” Anderson said.
In the Sunnyvale attack, police say the woman was sleeping in her bedroom when around 3:45 a.m. Diaz entered the home through an unlocked sliding door — which contractors had used to go in and out of the home during their work — and straddled her “while holding a knife to her neck and threatening to kill her if she screamed.”