Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough deputies say security salesman raped woman while going door-to-door

TAMPA — As a salesman for a security company, Rashad Hales went door-to-door in a Town 'N Country neighborhood Friday evening selling the idea of safety.

Instead, authorities said, he became the danger.

Hales, 19, forced his way into a woman's home, beat her, raped her, choked her and threatened her with a knife, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

His only regret? That he didn't kill her, deputies said.

They don't know if this is an isolated incident.

"What concerns us is that this individual has been going door-to-door in multiple locations," said sheriff's spokesman Larry McKinnon. "We know he felt very confident she was not going to tell on him and we suspect that confidence may have been built out of other attacks."

Hales, of Tampa, started working for SecureWatch just days ago, said Paul Victor, the company's operating officer. The Knoxville company sells and installs ADT security systems. Friday was one of Hales' first trips into the field.

Just before 6 p.m., Hales knocked on a door and a woman answered, according to deputies.

She told Hales her fiance, who makes the household decisions, wasn't home, McKinnon said.

He said Hales left and came back about 10 minutes later.

When the woman answered the door, McKinnon said, Hales told her he had spoken with her fiance about signing up.

The woman tried to shut the door but Hales grabbed her wrist and stopped her, McKinnon said.

Hales pushed his way inside and locked the door. He began beating and strangling the woman using his hands and an electrical cord, McKinnon said, while telling the woman he should kill her.

Hales forced the woman to a bedroom where he raped her, McKinnon said. He then brought her to the kitchen, armed himself with a knife, held it to the woman's throat and threatened to kill her if she told anyone, McKinnon said. He said Hales took her cell phone and ran away.

Soon afterward, the woman's fiance came home and found her, McKinnon said.

"We received a call at about 6:30, after the woman's fiance discovered she had been brutally attacked and raped," Mc­Kinnon said.

Patrol deputies, K-9 deputies and helicopters set up a perimeter and tracked down Hales. He ran toward the Shell gas station at 11203 Sheldon Road where his supervisors told him to meet his fellow employees at the end of his shift, McKinnon said.

When Hales told his supervisors that authorities were after him, they held him until deputies arrived a few moments later.

Hales is charged with sexual battery, attempted first-degree murder, kidnapping, armed burglary with battery and tampering with a witness. He is being held without bond in the Hillsborough County jail.

During an interview with detectives, Hales admitted to the offenses, McKinnon said. Hales said he thought that if he spared the woman's life, she wouldn't tell anyone, McKinnon said.

"He told detectives that his only regret in the entire incident was that he didn't kill her," McKinnon said.

Hales started working for SecureWatch 11 days ago, Victor said. The company did a background check on Hales, Victor said, and it came up clear.

"We are extremely shocked by this incident," Victor said. "We have terminated the individual."

This is the first time the company has had something like this happen, he said.

The woman, whom deputies have not identified because of the nature of the crime, was treated at a local hospital and released.

Hales' family said they find the allegations against their son hard to believe.

"My son is not that type of person," said his mother, Regina Hales. "He is not a violent person."

Hales attends Seminole Heights Charter High School and is working toward his GED, she said. He was excited to have a job over the winter break, she said.

Hales has been arrested twice before on juvenile misdemeanor charges.

He was 14 when he was charged with battery and 15 when he was charged with trespassing, state records show.

He was set to appear in court this morning.

Times researcher Natalie Watson contributed to this report. Shelley Rossetter can be reached at srossetter@tampabay.com or (813) 661-2442.

.Fast facts

Can you help?

Anyone who has information about this case or who saw Rashad Hales in their area should contact the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at (813) 247-8200.

Hillsborough deputies say security salesman raped woman while going door-to-door 12/31/11 [Last modified: Saturday, December 31, 2011 8:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally

    Business

    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees

    Politics

    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays relishing surprise status

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays on Friday played their first post-All-Star Game contest at Tropicana Field while holding a playoff spot since Sept. 23, 2013.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, July 21, 2017.
  4. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact

    World

    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.
  5. Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, current and former U.S. …

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after meetings with an ambassador were revealed.