MIAMI (CBS4) – A homeless man has reportedly confessed to a sexual assault earlier this month in Surfside.
Shawn Andrews was arrested in Fort Lauderdale Sunday morning, almost a week after the July 2nd attack in the 8900 block of Collins Avenue.
He was being held at the Broward County Main Jail awaiting transport to Miami-Dade.
Andrews, 25, is charged with sexual battery and kidnapping.
Surfside residents were relieved to hear an arrest had been made.
“It’s a joy to hear that. I feel safe now,” Donna Durham said Sunday afternoon. “I can rest a lot easier, not a little, a lot easier.”
Durham lives alone. She said she was worried about walking from her car to her front door at night.
“When I found out, I was freaked out,” Durham said. “You don’t expect it to happen. This building is all women.”
Durham said many of her neighbors left their homes after hearing of the violent attack. She said her fear quickly turned to anger.
“The whole community got up and said, ‘Oh no, we’re not standing for this at all’,” Durham said.
At the building across from Durham’s, residents were happy to learn of the arrest.
“We went ahead and put (flyers) inside the building,” Robert Clavijo said. “A lot of women here so it’s a good thing they caught him.”
Police launched a search for Andrews after a woman told them a man matching his description grabbed her by the waist, stuffed a rag in her mouth, and sexually assaulted her in an alley.
“We were basically looking for this guy day and night,” Surfside Police Sgt. Jay Matelis said after the arrest.
Sgt. Matelis said Fort Lauderdale Police officers spotted Andrews early Sunday morning sleeping on a bench. They took him in to custody and he reportedly provided a full confession to detectives with the Miami-Dade Sexual Crimes Unit.
“It’s a great day in Surfside,” Sgt. Matelis said.
Andrews has a criminal history which includes burglary, narcotics possession and various traffic violations.
Bond has not yet been set.