Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Man who beat, bound woman with tape is arrested, police say

NEW PORT RICHEY — Dorene Paul had a sweet tea in hand and was unlocking her front door when a burglar, waiting within, pulled her inside.

He began pummeling the 60-year-old woman with his fists, smashing teeth out of her mouth and knocking her glasses off her face. He then tied her arms and legs with electrical tape, shouting threats of rape. He showed her his knife.

"I've done this before and let them go," Paul remembers hearing from the attacker, who was angered at her fighting back. "You, I'm going to kill."

The Saturday afternoon attack at Paul's New Port Richey home sparked a weekend manhunt that ended in the arrest of a 17-year-old across county lines. Even with the suspect behind bars, Paul's questions remain: How could a boy decades younger, someone who had skateboarded in her neighborhood and rummaged through her refrigerator, beat her so viciously?

"I thought maybe I could talk my way out of it, you know? He's just a teenager, you know?" Paul said. "He had no remorse."

Steven Andrew Hargis, a past friend of Paul's 17-year-old son, was arrested Sunday in Clearwater on three felony charges of burglary, aggravated assault and false imprisonment. Capt. Jeffrey Harrington with the New Port Richey police said Hargis broke in through a back window and stole cash with hopes he could pay off his drug debt.

But that burglary escalated into a torture session that lasted more than an hour and a half, Paul said. The boy demanded to know where she kept her safe and struggled to get in her locked bedroom, where her Labrador Dixie lay and where the boy said he would sexually assault Paul. When she refused, he beat her more.

Paul said she had been beaten before by an angry ex-husband. Never like this.

"This was the worst beating I've ever had," she said. "When he was hitting me, he got pleasure."

Paul managed to wriggle out of her bindings, which spooked the boy and caused him to run from her home. Paramedics and police arrived at the home to take Paul to the hospital.

Her aches, stretching from her face and jaw to her feet, still throbbed Monday as her son Michael, 28, helped her inquire about a home alarm system. Paul said she doesn't like guns but owns a can of pepper spray, which was in another room during the attack.

"I'm at edge," she said, her voice quavering. "Every little noise upsets me. I cry a lot. I'm lucky I'm alive."

Drew Harwell can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3386.

Man who beat, bound woman with tape is arrested, police say 06/01/09 [Last modified: Monday, June 1, 2009 9:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. AHN alum, still shining on stage, returns with 'On Your Feet!'

    Human Interest

    By JOEY JOHNSTON

    Times Correspondent

    TAMPA

    Back when Alma Cuervo was a high-school performer at the Academy of the Holy Names — when AHN students were taken by their talented, charismatic, big-hearted classmate — everyone just knew she was headed for much bigger things in …

    Alma Cuervo as Consuelo (Gloria Estefan’s grand-mother) during On Your Feet in New York, 2015.
  2. Buccaneers-Bills Turning Point, Week 7: How does a receiver get that wide open?

    Bucs

    A lot can go wrong in the time it takes you to walk from your couch to the refrigerator.

    [NFL Game Pass]
  3. McCain issues veiled criticism of Trump's Vietnam deferment, 'bone spurs'

    National

    WASHINGTON — Republican Sen. John McCain, a former Navy pilot and prisoner of war during Vietnam, issued a veiled criticism of President Donald Trump's medical deferments that kept him from serving in the U.S. military during the conflict.

    Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, and Defense Secretary James Mattis, speak to members of the media after their meeting Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. [Associated Press]
  4. Deandre Gilmore gets 20 years in death of toddler

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Deandre Gilmore was sentenced to 20 years in state prison Monday in the death of his ex-girlfriend's 19-month-old daughter.

    Deandre Gilmore is led from a courtroom in handcuffs prior to a lunch break on Oct. 17 during his Tampa trial. Gilmore was sentenced to 20 years in state prison in the death of his ex-girlfriend's 19-month-old daughter while he was giving her a bath. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  5. David Letterman's friends — and shrink — make his Twain ceremony as funny as his late-night legacy

    The Feed

    For years, David Letterman, consumed by insecurities and the relentless pace of a nightly television program, would respond to the loud cheers of his audience with a strained smile and a half-scolding, half-embarrassed wave to "cut that out."

    David Letterman is honored with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, in Washington, D.C. [Owen Sweeney | Invision | AP]