ORLANDO, Fla. - A security officer says she was attacked by the same man who attacked two Orlando police officers over the weekend. She says it could have been prevented had he not been released from jail following her case.
Video shows a man ambushing OPD officers with a brick last weekend. Police say that same man, 27-year-old William McClish, is in another video beating security guard Karla Rodriguez back in November.
"Got me on the floor and repeatedly started punching me. He pulled my hair and then he was done and walked away as if nothing happened while I’m on the floor crying my eyes out."
Rodriguez says McClish attacked her after she caught him loitering on the property she was guarding. She tried pepper-spraying him but says it just made him angrier.
"He left me with a mild concussion. I had internal bruises on my ribs. It was very scary. I’ve never experienced something like that and I wish he would have stayed in jail a lot longer than three months."
But then, it was the outcome of her case that was another blow.
"I had a phone call from a State’s Attorney regarding my case they asked me would you like for him to be in jail and I said yes. And they said the best they could do was probation."
When McClish was released, "He kept coming back for months after getting out of jail, basically mimicking me, taunting me, laughing at me."
We asked what her reaction was following the report that two police officers were attacked with a brick.
"I started crying. I was in shock and I was very upset. Had he still been in jail for what he did to me, those two officers wouldn’t be in the position that they’re in right now."
According to court records, McClish has had 50 arrests since 2013. They include robbery, battery, resisting an officer with violence, and selling and manufacturing drugs.
"I feel like they just brushed it under the rug because he’s a homeless individual."
In a 2017, arrest report for trafficking drugs, he told an officer.
"You can’t stop me I have been to jail 75 times this is just a door in and a door out. I’ll be out tomorrow selling K2 again."
Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon spoke to FOX 35 News on Good Day Orlando, saying he reached out to the State Attorney’s Office, concerned about criminals like McClish, being let back out on the streets, despite a long criminal history.
"They have assured us they will do everything within their power within the law, to make sure the individuals responsible for these offenses are found accountable. But we will have to see."
Rodriguez says it's upsetting.
"I was scared I didn’t even want to go back to work, but I wasn’t gonna let him overpower me."
State Attorney Monique Worrell gave this statement to FOX 35 in regards to the incident:
"We are horrified when any member of our community is harmed, especially in such a gruesome and unprovoked manner. As previously stated, we join city and community leaders in condemning the horrific attacks against law enforcement. Our office is currently working with external Researchers from Florida International University as part of their Prosecutorial Performance Indicators Project, where they will examine recidivism rates, patterns in offending, and other metrics to determine the best way to address not only the Chief’s concerns but those of the rest of the community. The answer is certainly not to simply incarcerate more people for longer periods of time. Multiple studies have shown that this only increases crime and does not keep our communities safe. We want the conversation surrounding criminal justice reform to be guided by data, not isolated, albeit horrendous, incidents. Overall, as previously reported by the Orlando Sentinel, the data shows that crime rates are down, and the vast majority of people who have been released have safely rejoined their community. We know that this is not an easy fix and will not happen overnight. We seek to work collectively with our law enforcement agencies, mental health experts, homelessness coalitions and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that people entering the system get the support they need so that they do not reoffend. This is beneficial for purposes of keeping our communities safe while still holding people accountable, and we are working diligently with our community partners to ensure this happens accordingly."
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