RUSKIN (FOX 13) - Hillsborough County deputies said a Ruskin man who was hired to do electrical work attacked a 44-year-old woman in her own home.
Deputies said Adam Millan, 50, went to the home Wednesday to perform the work, and told the woman he had to leave and return to fix an item he had broken.
A short time later, deputies said he returned and asked the victim to go to the garage and flip a switch on the electrical panel.
When the victim went to the panel, deputies said Millan, who had a knife, approached her from behind, put his arm around her neck and pulled her to the ground.
"[She] started screaming at the top of her lungs. He tried to put electrical tape over her mouth. He was unsuccessful. He was pulling at her undergarments, at her shorts, trying to cut off her clothing with that knife," said Cristal Nunez, a spokesperson for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. "Luckily her screams were so loud that some witnesses nearby noticed what was going on, heard the screams and came to see what was going on and they kind of interrupted the attacker."
Deputies said, by then, Millan had dropped the knife and started hitting the woman in the face instead.
Millan eventually took off in his gray Toyota Corolla.
The woman suffered a broken nose and a cut on her knee that required stitches. She was able to identify the suspect to detectives.
Millan was working with Big Daddy Electric out of Land O' Lakes at the time of the attack. Dan Allen, the father of the company's owner, said he does the bookkeeping for the business, but he's not sure if his son checks the workers' backgrounds.
"You'll have to ask him. I don't know," Allen told FOX 13, adding his son feels awful about what happened. "I just hope that she's all right. It was a tragic thing that happened to her."
Millan has an extensive criminal history which includes a 10-year prison sentence for manslaughter in New York. FOX 13 News stopped by his house, but no one answered the door.
Nunez said this should serve as a warning to all homeowners that they need to carefully vet all their contractors.
"Sometimes they're independent contractors or they do day labor for different companies, so sometimes they might be working at your home under a certain company's name, but really they're kind of all over the place," she said. "It really is up to the consumer, the person having the work done, needs to dig a little deeper."
The Better Business Bureau is a great place to begin the vetting process.
According to the BBB, homeowners should try to get references and at least three estimates. People should also make sure the contractors are licensed, bonded and insured. But don't take a contractor at their word; check with the BBB.