Police: Winter Haven armed burglary suspect arrested after trying to escape officers several times

Courtesy: Winter Haven Police Department

Winter Haven police arrested Rahsann Eaton, 33, after he allegedly broke into a woman’s home, battered her and attempted to flee from officers multiple times.

According to the Winter Haven Police Department, officers were sent to the Abbey Lane Apartments around 9:15 p.m., March 4 after a 9-11 dispatcher received a call from someone who was not speaking. While on the line with the silent caller, the dispatcher heard glass breaking in the background and sent officers to the apartments.

While checking apartments to find out where the glass breaking sound came from, police were approached by a female with a swollen face who was shaking and crying.

She told officers that Eaton showed up at her apartment and began banging and kicking her front door. She said she did not answer the door and called 9-11. However, she didn’t say anything to the operator because she didn’t want Eaton to hear her on the phone. 

Police said Eaton battered the same victim the day before. She called police and authorities were unable to locate him. A complaint affidavit was filed with the process of filing for a warrant was in place when he showed up at her door.

The victim said Eaton eventually went to the back of the apartment and broke out a window. He sustained cuts on his hand and foot from the broken glass as he climbed through the window to enter the apartment, police said.

According to officers, Eaton went to the upstairs area of the apartment where the victim and three small children were and grabbed the victim’s cell phone while she was on the line with the 9-11 operator. 

Officers said when Eaton saw that the victim was on the phone with 9-11, he began punching her in the face. The victim ran out of the room and Eaton followed her, ultimately wrapping his arm around her upper body and holding a knife to her throat.  

According to police, while holding the knife to her throat, he told her, "You want to call the cops on me? I'll kill you!" The victim was able to wrestle the knife from Eaton and ran back upstairs throwing the knife out of an upstairs window. Eaton caught the victim, tore off her shirt and wrapped his bleeding hand and left the area with her cell phone just prior officers arriving at the apartment complex. The children were still upstairs and were not physically injured.

Eaton was not immediately located. The victim and the children went to a family's home for the night and officers continued to monitor the area in case Eaton returned.

Around 2:20 a.m., March 5, officers patrolling the area found Eaton back at the apartment. They gained entry into the apartment and Eaton began fighting officers. K-9 officer Garcia deployed his partner Logan, which allowed officers to place Eaton in handcuffs.

Officers said when they took Eaton to Winter Haven Hospital to be treated for the cuts and dog bite, he began wrestling them again and broke free. 

As he ran through the parking lot, officers deployed a department-issued electronic control device (TASER), which allowed them to take Eaton back into custody. Once he was medically cleared by hospital staff, Eaton was taken to the Polk County jail on numerous charges including armed burglary with assault.

"I am so proud of the way our officers continued to search for this guy throughout the night, ultimately putting him where he belongs," said Public Safety Director Charlie Bird. "Our victim and her children can hopefully begin picking up the pieces after such violent encounters they endured."

Eaton has previous battery convictions from cases by Polk County Sheriff's Office and Lakeland Police. He also had a conviction of resisting arrest with violence in 2008 by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.