February 13, 2015

Homestead man charged with kidnapping, raping woman

A Homestead man is in jail, charged with kidnapping and raping a woman in Key Largo.

Witnesses called the Sheriff’s Office just after 4 p.m. to report that a man had forced a woman into a car. The witnesses told dispatchers the woman was asking for help and the man threatened them with a baseball bat when they tried to help her. They said the man forced the woman back into the vehicle and they left southbound on the highway in a black colored sport utility vehicle.

Deputy Matt Koval spotted the vehicle at the 102 mile marker. He followed the car as it turned in to Tradewinds Plaza. The vehicle parked and the deputy pulled in behind it. As he approached the vehicle, Deputy Koval could see a man and woman inside. The man was holding the woman’s head by the hair and was forcing her head up and down in his lap.

Deputy Koval ordered the man out of the vehicle at gunpoint. The woman, crying and obviously afraid, began to thank the deputy profusely for saving her. The 34 year old victim said 33 year old Duglas Hernandez Morel kidnapped her from her ex-boyfriend’s house in Homestead. She said he drove south into the Keys, stopping several times to force her to have sexual relations with him.

She said when they stopped in the vicinity of Gilbert’s Resort she convinced him to let her get out of the car to take off her pants. She said when she got out of the car she ran to a man fishing nearby asking for help. She said the man was trying to help her but Hernandez threatened him and her with a baseball bat, forcing her back into the car.

The suspect was arrested. He was charged with kidnapping, sexual battery and aggravated assault. A check on his driver’s license revealed it had been suspended 22 times so he was also charged with driving with his license suspended.

Homestead police are also investigating the case and more charges are pending regarding the crimes which took place in that jurisdiction.

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