PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. – A 20-year-old man kidnapped a mental health worker and held her hostage at his Boca Raton home for about 15 hours, raping, beating and threatening to kill the woman, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
Court documents released Thursday show a harrowing ordeal and confusion over where the woman was because of text messages the suspect sent to family members from her phone.
Tzvi Allswang faces multiple charges and was denied bond Thursday morning. He appeared in a wheelchair in court and wore a helmet over his head – recovering from injuries sustained after being shot in the head by a Palm Beach sergeant in an effort to rescue the woman who, police say, was being held at knifepoint.
Deputies interviewed the alleged victim at Wellington Regional Hospital where she was taken after the incident. She told investigators that she worked as a mental health therapist and had met with Allswang several times previously, but that there were usually other people in the home.
She showed up at the home on Larkspur Trail on Friday, July 1 for a session. She said they had a meeting originally set for Monday, June 27, but he had canceled. She attempted to reschedule several times but Allswang did not respond. They then agreed to the session at 5:30 p.m., but he then pushed the meeting to 6:30 p.m.
She said they had met four or five times previously and they would go into a den area and other people would be present. When she pulled up to the home that day, she also said she saw other vehicles in the driveway and assumed someone else was inside the home.
She said that it wasn’t uncommon to not see other family members during the meetings.
She told investigators that Allswang was being seen by therapists and social workers and that her responsibilities were to “help him function in society, such as getting a job, building a resume, and how to behave during a job interview.”
She said people that had previously worked with Allswang “warned her” that he had faced a sexual battery charge as a juvenile.
The social worker told police that the meeting seemed the same as prior sessions, but she then realized that he had left several times. She later realized that he was using the time to cover the windows of the home.
As the meeting was ending, she said he asked her to stay longer and asked her personal questions.
She said he got into her “personal space” and it made her feel uncomfortable, so she attempted to leave.
As she was walking to the front door, she saw that the window of the door was covered with black material and that she had not seen it when she arrived at the home initially.
She said Allswang then grabbed her around the chest in a “bear hug” and told her she couldn’t leave.
The two struggled, but she was overpowered, she told police. Allswang is 6 feet, 2-inches tall, and 200 pounds; the woman is 5 feet, 6-inches tall, and weighs 136 pounds.
The woman said he took her phone and placed it in airplane mode. He also wrapped it in aluminum foil and duct tape and, she said, he did the same with his cellphone.
Text messages sent from her phone were sent to the woman’s partner, which read that she had been pulled over by police and was being taken to have a breath test done.
Another message said police were taking her to a hotel for the evening.
The partner, who told investigators that she and the woman had been together for five years, felt that the messages were not in keeping with the woman’s demeanor. Also, she was also unable to respond back to the messages.
Lantana Police Department contacted numerous law enforcement agencies and the Palm Beach County Jail to find out if a woman matching the social worker’s description was taken into custody. At 4 a.m., Lantana Police requested that Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office in unincorporated Boca Raton check out the address where the social worker had gone for the session. The woman’s mother had also called police to report a missing person on Saturday, July 1 at 1 a.m. saying that the woman had not been heard from since her last appointment the night before.
When they arrived, the woman’s supervisor was at the residence and said that she was to have met her client inside the home the evening before. He said her car was in the driveway. Deputies made several attempts to knock on the door and to make contact, but there was no response, they said, nor could they hear anything coming from the home. They left at 5:33 a.m. They returned two hours later after the family once again contacted them.
The woman described the harrowing 15-hour ordeal to investigators after her release. She said Allzwag bound her hands together behind her back and then dragged her to the couch in the living room.
She said she pleaded with him several times throughout the night to let her go; he told her he was not going to let her go, according to the police report. She told investigators that he beat her numerous times by hitting her in multiple places on her body and face “with his hands and his knees.”
He then raped her multiple times throughout the time he kept her hostage. She told police he also strangled her from behind 4 or 5 times and tried to choke her. He also bit her. At one point, he had her put on one of his mother’s dresses, “as if he wanted to imagine (her) in it.”
She told police she was dragged throughout the house by her hair and then Allswag either beat or rape her. She said she felt many times he was going to kill her. She credited her training as a mental health worker with saving her life in how she was able to “adjust to his behavioral changes in order to have any chance of survival.”
She said that the suspect was carrying around something wrapped in a towel, which she believed may have been a gun. She later saw that it was a large kitchen knife that he put to her throat.
PBSO was called again at 6:47 a.m. by the woman’s partner who said she was now at the residence. At 7:32 a.m., deputies returned and tried to make contact with anyone inside but they received no response. When they went to the west side of the house and knocked on a window they heard a woman scream.
Meanwhile, the woman’s phone showed that it was located in Broward County. PBSO contacted Broward County Sheriff’s Office to locate the phone based on the GPS coordinates. They were unable to find the phone.
Deputies checked the doors and found them to be secured. At 9:39 a.m., the home was breached and when they were able to get to the master bedroom it was locked. Deputies knocked down the door and found Allswang holding the woman hostage with a knife to her throat inside the master bedroom closet. At 9:47 a.m., Sgt. William Nogueras shot Allswang once in the head, who PBSO said is assigned to the K-9 unit and has been with the force for 14 years. He is currently on paid administrative leave, which the department said is standard department protocol.
Allswang was hit in the forehead and was taken to the hospital for treatment and survived his injuries.
Elliot Allswang, the suspect’s father, later told detectives that he and his wife were in New York since the middle of the previous week and that their other son was away at a camp. Tzvi Allswang was left alone at the residence.
A receipt found at the residence from the Boca Raton Party City showed that there were black plastic table clothes such as the ones taped to the door and windows purchased on June 29, 2022. The police report said evidence at the scene such as the purchase of the table cloths and the covering of the windows suggested that the attack was premeditated.
He faces six felony charges including attempted first-degree murder with a weapon, kidnapping, and four counts of sexual battery with force.