Sheriff’s deputies in Florida are searching for a man accused of raping a woman in a “particularly horrific” attack that left her “mutilated,” authorities said Wednesday.
Bruce Whitehead, 54, is accused of approaching the woman, who willingly got into his car, around 4 a.m. on Saturday, according to an incident report obtained by WESH 2.
Whitehead was wearing a hat, deputies wrote, obscuring some of his face tattoos—including the word “SACRIFICE” inked across his forehead—which were called “unmistakable” in an Orange County Sheriff’s Office statement.
Shortly after, Whitehead allegedly raped the woman at knifepoint, and subsequently attempted to murder her, until she “bravely fought him off and was able to escape,” according to Cpl. Evan Avila, a member of the department’s sex crimes unit.
“Personally, I would qualify him as a monster,” Avila added. “That’s my personal take.”
In a press conference, Avila said the victim was assisted by bystanders after the escape, who then contacted law enforcement. During the investigation, cops were able to identify the suspect’s vehicle and subsequently able to identify Whitehead as their suspect. An arrest warrant has been obtained including charges of attempted murder, armed kidnapping and armed sexual battery.
Whitehead was previously convicted of kidnapping, armed sexual battery and first-degree attempted murder in a 1986 case that saw him spend 20 years behind bars.
Police are asking for the public’s help for information on his whereabouts.