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Detectives arrest man who allegedly broke into Miami Beach apartment in attempt to rape woman

Miguel Ángel Lopez Sorto faces charges of occupied burglary with battery and was arrested Wednesday shortly after a sketch was released by detectives.

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A mother of two said she was forced to fight for her life on Monday evening in South Beach. The attacker got away.

The Miami Beach Police Department released a sketch of the suspect on Wednesday morning.

He is described as a white man with brown hair, who is about 5 feet, 8 inches tall, weighs about 150 pounds, and is in his late 20s or early 30s.

By Wednesday evening police announced they had made an arrest.

Miami Beach police said 34-year-old Miguel Ángel Lopez Sorto would be charged with occupied burglary with battery.

Miguel Ángel Lopez Sorto. (Miami-Dade Corrections & Rehabilitation)

Sorto lives on the same block as the victim.

According to an arrest report: “Detectives were able to locate video surveillance in the area which showed the defendant gaining access to the victim’s apartment and leaving shortly thereafter.”

A man who said he was Sorto’s brother-in-law told Local 10 News he couldn’t believe the charges. He said Sorto has two young children.

According to the victim, shortly after 6:30 p.m. on Monday there was a door knock and she opened the door. There was a man clad in black. He pushed her inside and closed the door behind him.

“The man jumped on me and tried to kiss me and hug me and hold my arms so I couldn’t move. I start trying to defend myself.”

Her neighbor said she heard her screaming and said, “It was like straight out of a horror movie.” The victim said she managed to get away.

“I opened the drawer of my kitchen and I took the knife from the drawer and I point the knife and I said, ‘If you don’t get out of my house, I am going to kill you!’

He ran out.

“I’m lucky to be alive,” she said, adding that about five months ago she caught a stranger looking into her apartment.

Detectives credit the victim for staying strong and giving the sketch artist details that were crucial to the case.

“This is good old-fashioned police work,” Officer Ernesto Rodriguez of Miami Beach Police said. “If it hadn’t been for [the victim’s help with the sketch], we may not be where we’re at right now.”

Police are asking anyone with further information about the suspect to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.

Police flyer

The Miami Beach Police Department is asking the public to distribute this flyer. (MBPD)

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About the Authors:

Reporter Rosh Lowe has been covering news for nearly two decades in South Florida. He joined Local 10 in 2021.

Trent Kelly is an award-winning multimedia journalist who joined the Local 10 News team in June 2018. Trent is no stranger to Florida. Born in Tampa, he attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he graduated with honors from the UF College of Journalism and Communications.