Suspect Raped, Nearly Killed Woman Outside Silver Spring Apartment: Police

A man attacked and raped a woman in the parking lot outside an apartment building in Silver Spring, Maryland, on Friday, police say.

The woman was carrying items from her car parked at an apartment complex in the 8500 block of 16th Street just before midnight when she noticed a man appeared to be following her, police said.

As she unlocked the door to the building, 26-year-old Kevin Mendoza grabbed her from behind and threw her to the ground, police said.

She tried to yell and resist, but Mendoza started to strangle the woman and punched her multiple times in the face and head before raping her, according to police.

The woman went to the hospital with multiple injuries.

Doctors told detectives the strangulation was so severe that the victim could have died, police said.

Mendoza was arrested Monday and charged with first-degree rape, attempted second-degree murder and first-degree assault.

Investigators say Mendoza used to live at the same apartment building where the attack happened.

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