A Benton man is out of jail on bond after being arrested early Sunday morning – accused of breaking into his next door neighbor’s house because he was attracted to her. The victim stated in the police report that she turned on a light to find her neighbor in her bedroom.
According to the report, the woman said that she was woken up about 1:45 a.m. by her young daughter who was getting in the bed with her. The woman said she heard her cat making noises in her living room which made her look around. She said she heard “rustling” on the floor between her bed and her closet and then saw a large shadow figure on her floor.
She said when she grabbed her phone and turned her flashlight on, she saw her neighbor, standing at the end of her bed. She stated that she knew it was her neighbor because she pays him to cut the grass.
She asked him, “Why the f* are you in my house.” She said he told her, “Sorry, I am sorry,” and she replied, “I want a f*ing explanation as to why you are in my f*ing house.” She stated in the report that he then told her, “I have always been attracted to you since you have moved in.” The woman reported she then said to him, “Get the f* out of my house. My kid is sleeping under this roof. Get the f* out before I shoot you.”
She stated that he then ran out of her room, either out the back door or the front door of her house. She grabbed her gun from the living room and went back to her bedroom with her child to wait for officers to arrive. The woman gave a description of an Hispanic male, wearing a navy blue hoodie and black or dark sweatpants with no shoes.
The woman informed the officer that she left the backdoor unlocked before she went to bed and believes that is how he got into her house. She stated nothing was taken and there was no forced entry.
Police arrived on scene and assessed the situation and made sure there was not an intruder still in the house or on the property. They then made contact with the next door neighbor, Jose Perez, age 39. He agreed that he did cut her grass often. He stated that he talked to her on Saturday evening to tell her about a hole in her fence. This also agrees with the woman’s account. The stories disagreed when Jose was asked about the incident that just occurred. He said he was sleeping with his wife and he never went to the woman’s house or he never entered her home.
After further investigation, Mr. Perez was arrested and charged with Residential Burglary (5-39-201 Class B Felony), Criminal Trespass (5-39-203 Class C Misdemeanor), and Stalking 3rd (5-71-229 Class A Misdemeanor). Jose was transported to the jail. Perez had a bond hearing on Monday morning and bail was set at $15,000, which means he needed to come up with $1,500 to get out of being held at the Saline County Detention Center. He was released at 4:58 pm on Monday, March 13, 2023.
The woman made an anonymous post about the experience on the MySaline Facebook Group: