Thursday, January 18, 2018
Public safety

Brothers arrested in brutal Polk County home invasion

POINCIANA — Two brothers have been arrested in Monday's home invasion where suspects armed with guns and a machete forced a 20-year-old man to tie up his father, then raped his mother and poured bleach on her.

"This was so horrific that it should stir the inner soul of everyone in the community," Polk Sheriff Grady Judd said.

On Thursday, both men authorities said committed the crime were arrested. They are Richard Delgado Cruz, 33, and Danny Delgado Cruz, 29, both of Kissimmee. They each face felony counts including sexual battery and armed robbery.

The brothers have extensive criminal pasts, including the arrest of Richard Cruz in a 2000 Pinellas County killing. Both served time in state prison.

In Monday's episode, the Lakeland Ledger reported, masked men approached the 20-year-old while he stood outside a house in the Central Florida community talking on a phone and forced him inside, where his mother and father live. The men demanded money and jewelry.

The mother came out of the bathroom after having taken a shower, Judd said. The men took turns raping her and then washed her with bleach, he said — an attempt to erase evidence.

The suspects left with about $500 in cash, the sheriff said.

The elder brother was arrested at his Kissimmee home. The younger brother climbed out a window, but was captured later, authorities said.

In 2000, Richard Cruz was charged with second-degree murder in a Pinellas homicide case. Investigators said Cruz, who was 20 at the time, stabbed 42-year-old Geremias Camacho Jr. to death in a Lealman-area apartment.

Two years later, Cruz pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of manslaughter and was sentenced to nine years in prison with credit for time already served in jail, court records state. He was released from prison in April 2008.

Danny Cruz was sentenced to about three years in prison in a battery and robbery case from Largo. He was released in 2006.

Records show he later returned to prison, sentenced to a about a year in a Tampa drug case. He was released in 2009.

News researcher John Martin contributed to this report.

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