MIAMI (CBS4) – Miami Police say they have arrested a man who may be a serial rapist of some of the most vulnerable people in society: homeless women.
They say 37-year-old Steve Warren is charged with two rapes from August 11th and November 11th and say that there may be other victims, adding that Warren is also a “person of interest” in the murder of a woman in her 20s last May.
“Fortunately our investigators were able to get this monster off the street,” says Miami Police Sgt Freddie Cruz. “The two cases were similar in nature. We believe we have a serial killer at this moment. In both cases the ladies were walking down the street. He grabbed them and choked them.”
Then, Cruz told CBS4′s Peter D’Oench, both women were raped.
He says the first incident happened August 11th at NE Miami Place and 17th Street. He says Warren called the victim by her first name and she then asked for a ride on his bicycle. Suddenly, Police say he grabbed her by the neck and forced her in to an open field and assaulted her. He reportedly told her not report the incident because she was a prostitute.
Cruz says the second incident happened November 11th at 450 N.W. 14th St. He says the victim was jumped from behind and choked and raped.
Warren is charged with two sexual batteries and is being held without bond. Police say he is homeless and has an arrest record dating back to 1993 and includes charges of robbery, grand theft and possession of marijuana.
On the streets of Miami, homeless people who D’Oench spoke with applauded the arrests.
“I know who he is,” said Carl McIntyre. “I think this is real, real bad and he should be punished real fast.”
Mildred Johnson, 59, who is also homeless, told D’Oench, “Well if he’s been arrested for an attack, he should be punished, because there’s a lot of girls out there on the streets in the nighttime, and even in the daytime, they’re attacked in the daytime.”
Constance Collins, the President of the Lotus House for Homeless Women, told “I do know that women and children on the street are especially vulnerable. No question we are concerned. We have constant issues for women and children who are homeless and the people who are on the street. It’s important that we as a society take steps to protect them.”
People with information about this case are urged to call Miami Police or Miami-Dade Crimestoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).
“It’s important that we get some calls,” said Cruz. “We want this person’s picture out there. And there could be other victims. We want people to call if they know anything at all.”