NORTH MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Police accused a 60-year-old man of attacking a woman walking along a North Miami Beach street, dragging her into an alley and kissing her against her will early Tuesday morning in what authorities described as a kidnapping attempt.
According to a report from the North Miami Beach Police Department, the Sarasota woman was a patient at a rehab facility in the city. She had come back to the facility after undergoing a procedure at Aventura Hospital, but was told there was no longer room for her.
Police said as she walked with her luggage in the area of Northeast Fifth Avenue and 168th Street just before 12:30 a.m., Kenneth D. Howard went up to the woman and grabbed her “forcefully” by the hand, at which point a struggle ensued for the luggage.
The report states after the suitcase’s wheels broke, Howard began to move the woman into an alleyway and began kissing her. A “white chalky substance,” she said, went from his mouth to hers during the attack and Howard would not let her spit it out.
Police said after Howard reached for his pants, the victim ran to a nearby Wawa gas station, located at 590 NE 167th St., and called for help.
While at the gas station, a North Miami Beach police officer wrote that the woman saw Howard and said “that’s him.”
Howard, who lives in the city, then walked up to the officer and said he had the victim’s luggage in a shopping cart, police said.
According to the report, Howard told officers he saw the woman walking along the road, asked her if she needed help and offered to help her after she said yes.
Howard claimed he “offered the victim to help her until the morning and find a cart to put her suitcase in due to her luggage being damaged,” the officer wrote.
“(He) denied that he attempted to kiss the victim and had a brief conversation with the victim due to her needing to leave the area to use the bathroom and told her to go to (Wawa),” the report states.
Police said a search of Howard and his belongings turned up narcotics, including cocaine, consistent with a “street sell.”
Howard, who was out on probation on burglary and grand theft charges, was being held in the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center Tuesday afternoon, according to jail records.
His new charges include attempted kidnapping, strong-armed robbery, possession of cocaine and battery.