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Captured: Brothers in "ruthless" Polk home invasion

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Danny Cruz was taken into custody Thursday evening Danny Cruz was taken into custody Thursday evening
POLK COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Detectives have caught up with two brothers accused of randomly picking a family home, tying up a father and son then "brutally" raping the mother.

"It was horrific," said Polk Co. Sheriff Grady Judd. "It was one of the most ... ruthless attacks that we've seen in a very long time."

According to a Polk County affidavit, Richard and Danny Cruz left their Kissimmee home late Monday night, telling Richard's girlfriend they were going "scrapping" (finding scrap metal to sell to a second-hand metal recycler).

But detectives believe instead, the two drove for 30 minutes to Poinciana and made their way to the area near Puffer Court and Halibut Road. The affidavit says the brothers saw the 20 year-old son standing in the driveway talking on his cell phone. Sheriff Judd says, at this point, it appears the men picked the home since someone was outside.

"They tied up the 20 year-old son and the dad and they brutally raped mother," Sheriff Judd said. "Then they completely washed her with bleach."

The affidavit accuses Richard Cruz of raping the woman first.

"During the sexual battery, the suspect told {her} several times if she did not comply he would kill her," it reads.

It goes on to say when the suspect finished; he instructed his victim to stay in the room then returned with a bottle of bleach on the floor.

Danny Cruz then came in, it says, and committed a sexual battery on her as well.

"Moments later the suspect returned with a contact lens solution bottle," it says. "The suspect emptied the contact lens solution from the bottle and filled it with bleach."

The Sheriff says that's when Cruz washed his victim.

"Apparently they've been watching too much television," Sheriff Judd said. "The bleach was an effort to do away with evidence. But I'm telling you - we've got a mountain of evidence ... and it all points to them."

For some reason, the brothers left the Ford truck they were in near the scene, detectives say.

"We don't know, quite frankly ... and this is supposition on our part - they heard the deputies coming," Sheriff Judd said.

Deputies were there within five minutes. Richard Cruz's girlfriend picked them up from the scene, according to the affidavit, but claims to not have known what happened. The document says the brother asked her to report the truck stolen the next morning.

"By the way for any other criminals that want to try that trick of reporting the vehicle stolen - that's the oldest trick in the book," Sheriff Judd said. "And it's the oldest trick in the book that doesn't work."

The trail eventually led detectives to arrest Richard Cruz. They say Danny took off a screen at the Kissimmee home and took off. But by sundown on Wednesday, they had caught up with him too.

"We were really surprised," said Josh Brown, who lives next door to where the brothers were staying in Kissimmee. "They were always nice and courteous when the children were around. They made sure not to swear - even smoke in front of them so they always seemed conscientious of others."

The Sheriff says the brothers will now face many charges including armed burglary, armed robbery, armed sexual battery and kidnapping.

"We want both of them in prison for the rest of their lives," he said.

 

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