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A Florida man who was arrested for allegedly raping and mutilating a woman had been released from prison earlier this year after two doctors found him to no longer be a threat to the community.
54-year-old Bruce Whitehead was arrested on Thursday in the Orlando area for the alleged attack on a woman. An arrest affidavit said Whitehead had arranged to pay the woman $850 to let him “paint her for an hour.” Investigators say she got into his car, he drove her to a wooded area, then raped her at knifepoint and tried to murder her.
She was able to escape and seek help from bystanders in a nearby neighborhood. Whitehead was spotted later and arrested.
An investigation from WJXT-TV found that Whitehead had been released after being found to no longer be a threat. He was serving a sentence for a 1986 attack where he assaulted a woman at knifepoint in Jacksonville and stabbed her 25 times.
The man had committed that crime only a week after he had been released for another similar crime.
Whitehead was accused of rape but had pleaded down to a count of aggravated battery. He served only 35 days and was on put probation for just a week when he committed the knife attack in 1986.
“In my opinion, within reasonable medical certainty, Mr. Whitehead is one of the most dangerous and violent individuals I’ve ever evaluated,” testified an expert at the time.
Whitehead was charged with sexual battery, attempted murder, kidnapping, aggravated battery, and armed robbery for the latest incident. Police did not specify how the latest victim had been allegedly mutilated in the attack.
“In my time here at the sheriff’s office, this is probably one of the more egregious offenses,” said Cpl. Evan Avila of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
“Personally, I would qualify him as a monster,” he added. “That’s my personal take.”
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said the victim is expected to recover.
Here’s a local news report about the incident:
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