New details released about man accused of raping teen in backyard of Fort Lauderdale home

John Gardner, 33, also accused of cutting victim’s head with knife

John Gardner, 33, is accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in Fort Lauderdale. (Broward Sheriff's Office)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – An arrest report obtained Thursday by Local 10 News details the horrific attack on a 14-year-old girl, allegedly at the hands of a 33-year-old man.

The incident occurred around 7 a.m. Tuesday in the 1000 block of Northeast Third Avenue in Fort Lauderdale.

According to the report, the teen and her friend were walking to a group home where one of the teens lives when a man, later identified as John Gardner, of Fort Lauderdale, began following them.

The victim told police that she and her friend initially sat down at a bus stop in hopes that Gardner would stop following them, but then continued on to the home when they believed they had lost him.

Police said Gardner followed the girls into the backyard of the home and they told him he could not be there, even offering him a chair to use to hop the gate to leave.

According to the arrest report, one of the girls then left to open a window for her and her friend to enter the home through, at which time Gardner pulled out an orange pocketknife and grabbed the victim.

Police said the victim screamed for help and tried to punch Gardner in the groin, but Gardner put the knife to her throat and threatened to kill her.

During the struggle, Gardner cut the victim’s head with the knife and cut off some of her hair, authorities said.

Police said Gardner pulled off the victim’s clothing, forced oral sex on her and then raped her.

The victim later underwent a rape exam at the Nancy J. Cotterman Center.

Police said Gardner was spotted by a Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy shortly after the incident, but fled from him.

They said Gardner was eventually detained after other officers responded to the scene and helped chase after him.

Records show Gardner was currently on felony probation for robbery with a deadly weapon and aggravated fleeing and eluding.

Police said the victim and her friend both identified Gardner as the man who attacked the teen and the pocketknife was found on him during his arrest.

He faces charges of armed sexual battery, lewd and lascivious molestation, resisting without violence, violation of probation and having an outstanding warrant.

Gardner is being held at the Broward County Mail Jail without bond.


About the Author:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.