A New Jersey man tried to kidnap a nurse at her home one day after she cared for him as a patient at a hospital, police said.
Leonardo Larrarte, of Lakewood, is facing charges in the violent attack on the nurse who fended him off Friday with a knife at her home in Howell Township, police said.
The woman — whose mother let the man inside — immediately recognized Larrarte, 37, as a patient she treated the night before as a registration nurse at Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus in Lakewood and demanded he leave, police said.
But Larrarte refused and started assaulting the woman’s 64-year-old mother before attacking her as well – while claiming the nurse was his wife, police said.
“The victim grabbed a knife from the kitchen and attempted to defend herself by stabbing the suspect,” police said in a statement. “The suspect was able to avoid being stabbed by continuing to punch and choke the victim.”
Larrarte fled the residence after the woman “refused to quit” fighting back and cops responded to the scene after a neighbor heard a commotion and called 911, police said.
A police sergeant with a K-9 quickly found Larrarte nearby and took him into custody without incident. It’s unclear how he found out where the nurse lived, police said.
“Our homes are our sanctuary,” Howell Police Chief Andrew Kudrick said in a statement. “A place that should always be safe. No one should have to go through such a traumatic, life-altering incident such as this. Fortunately, she fought back and refused to quit. As a result she survived. Predators such as Larrarte should never be allowed to see another day of freedom to victimize another innocent person.”
Larrarte gave a statement to investigators implicating himself in the attack and detectives seized two cellphones in his possession. He was charged with kidnapping, burglary, terroristic threats, simple assault and possession of synthetic marijuana, police said.
Larrarte remained held without bond Monday at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution, records show. It’s unclear if he’s hired an attorney.
The nurse and her mother, meanwhile, were treated and released from a hospital, police said.
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