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Fla. deputy stops rape in progress

By Diana Moskovitz
The Miami Herald

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. — Broward sheriff's Deputy Eric Rodriguez was working his regular shift — the night shift in Dania Beach — when he responded to an anonymous call reporting a woman screaming in a shopping center parking lot.

So shortly after 5 a.m. Saturday, Rodriguez drove to the shopping center at 330 E. Dania Beach Blvd. and immediately heard the screaming.

Then he saw a man on top of a woman, trying to sexually assault her, Rodriguez said.

"My first thought was to get to him before he gets away," Rodriguez said.

So the deputy shut off his car and sneaked up on the man. When he was within four feet, Rodriguez yelled "Get off of her!" he said.

The man got up — then tried running away, the deputy said. Rodriguez stunned the man with his Taser, then took him into custody.

Afterward, the 55-year-old woman was treated for minor injuries, scratches to her face and arms, Rodriguez said.

Broward Sheriff's Office investigators believe the attacker grabbed the woman at knife point in the parking lot and forced her into an alley behind the strip mall, where he tried assaulting her.

Rodriguez has been with BSO for about two years, all in Dania Beach.

"I didn't do anything different than any other member of law enforcement personnel would have done," he said Monday.

Afterward, BSO identified the attacker as David Gervin, 26, of Lake Worth. Gervin is a registered sex offender, convicted in 2004 of "indecent liberty with a minor" in North Carolina, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

BSO said he also is a member of the "Bloods" gang in North Carolina.

Gervin was in Broward County's main jail Monday without bail. He was charged with kidnapping and attempted sexual assault.

Copyright 2008 The Miami Herald

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