Alleged Rittenhouse rapist in custody three days after crime
The Philadelphia Police Department Special Victims Unit has arrested the man believed to have raped a 26-year-old woman twice inside her apartment in the Rittenhouse neighborhood over the weekend.Milton Garcia, 28, was arrested overnight and is in police custody.
“This was the result of great investigative work by Special Victims, good boots on the ground,” said Lt. John Stanford. “These guys never stop.”
Stanford also credited the victim, reportedly a doctor, with returning to police headquarters Monday to give detectives a more detailed interview and help create a composite sketch of her attacker.
Garcia was arrested at his workplace, Tashan restaurant at South Broad and Fitzwater streets, Stanford said.
Officers executed a search warrant at Garcia’s home at 8th and Moore streets in South Philadelphia after tracking the victim’s iPhone, which was stolen, to near that location, police said.
After obtaining tips and conducting interviews, officers identified that specific home and searched it, where they recovered the victim’s stolen iPhone and keys, as well as the bicycle Garcia was allegedly seen riding on surveillance video, police said.
Garcia is charged with rape, aggravated assault, robbery and related offenses for allegedly forcing the victim into her apartment on the 1900 block of Spruce Street and raping her before stealing her iPhone and keys, leaving, and then returning to the apartment to rape the victim a second time after 1 a.m. on Saturday night.
Police said the woman was walking home from Ladder 15 tavern at 15th and Sansom streets to her apartment when she was approached by Garcia, who allegedly pushed her toward her building’s entrance while holding her by the neck and forced her to open her front door.
He then allegedly forced her into her apartment where he sexually assaulted her, police said. The suspect also stole her iPhone and keys before leaving the house. He then reentered the house minutes later and raped her a second time.
Garcia reportedly has no prior criminal record.
UPDATE, 4:30 p.m.:
Tashan, an Indian restaurant, released the following statement in response to Garcia’s arrest. Via Philly Mag:
Philadelphia Police have arrested a part-time kitchen employee Milton Garcia in connection with an on-going rape investigation.
Garcia has been employed at Tashan for 3 months and presented all appropriate documents for employment.
He was also by employed at two others businesses in the city.
Other than showing up for assigned shifts and performing his limited duties, with NO CUSTOMER INTERACTION, Garcia gave us no reason to suspect he was involved in any criminal activity.
We are cooperating with authorities in their investigation.