A Ceres woman is being celebrated as a brave would-be victim after she fended off an attack in her house by a male intruder who just had released from the Stanislaus County men's jail.
The 34-year-old woman, who is 5-foot-3 and weighs 120 pounds, saw a suspicious looking Aaron Modisett-Hollie, 18, of Stockton, wandering through the undisclosed Ceres neighborhood. She went into her house and the suspect tried to enter after her through the front door. Police said that when he could not gain entry he smashed a window to go inside.
A neighbor heard the glass break and called 9-1-1 at 9:09 a.m. to report a possible residential burglary.
The female resident tried to push the suspect, described as being 5-foot-10 and 220 pounds with an athletic build, back through the window he was trying through. Once he was inside, the woman grabbed a shard of glass from the broken window and held off the assailant. He wrapped his arms around her and threw her to the ground, but she fought back, inflicting lacerations and puncture wounds to his head, neck, and body. Modisett-Hollie released her, pretended that he would be leaving, but then lunged toward her again. He retreated when she continued to fight him off by raising her makeshift weapon.
The first officer on scene forced entry into the home and called for medical assistance for the woman, who was bleeding. A witness told officers that they watched someone matching the description of the suspect and pointed out the direction he fled. The suspect fled over fences and knocked on a door two blocks away to ask the resident for a ride. After the resident refused, the suspect broke a fence board and continued to flee. That homeowner called 911 within seconds, which allowed dispatchers to tip off officers on his location. Police found Modisett-Hollie and arrested him in a field at the 2100 block of Moffett Road. He was treated at the scene for his injuries and refused further medical assistance before being transported to the police department for questioning.
The woman was transported to a local hospital for treatment of her injuries and was released.
Ceres Police later learned that the suspect had been released from jail Sunday night and was wandering the neighborhood when a woman in her yard caught his attention. He had been in custody since his 18th birthday on felony charges of kidnapping for robbery or sex crime, assault with intent to commit felony mayhem or sex crime, and false imprisonment.
"I admire the courageousness of the woman who instinctively knew she had to defend herself," said Ceres Police Chief Art deWerk. "At the same time, I regret the trauma she has endured. The combined actions of the victim, neighbor who promptly reported the incident, witnesses, and quick police response led to the successful apprehension of this dangerous assailant."
DeWerk said he was "very distressed" about the suspect's release from jail.
"While there may be some facts surrounding the judicial process that I am unaware of, it makes me very angry that we had a person who was clearly a predator released back into our community," said deWerk. "We must do more to keep criminals like this from victimizing others. Today we saw the perfect alignment of people in the community doing exactly what is right and working as a team with police to reach a successful resolution, now let's hope that the system does not fail us again."
Modisett-Hollie was booked back into the Stanislaus County Jail for attempted rape, assault with the attempt to commit rape, burglary, and probation violation.
Deputy Police Chief Mike Borges called ahead of the arrestee's arrival to ensure jail staff was aware of the short amount of time that passed between his release from custody the previous night and his rape attempt.