A California woman has shared images of her facial injuries incurred during a rape attack by a homeless man who was released from prison just a few hours prior to the incident.
44-year-old Melissa Young was out walking her dogs in her home neighborhood of Torrance at 1 AM on July 31 when she was attacked by Darrell Waters, 46. Waters had just been released from jail where he was being held on a misdemeanor charge of unlawful possession of a deadly weapon (a dagger) a few hours earlier.
Waters, who was homeless, had been in prison a few days, but was released about 12 hours before the incident on his own recognizance.
“I was tackled from behind, I heard nothing. I didn’t have headphones in, I wasn’t looking at my phone, I was just walking straight forward to my destination,” Young describes.
The man pushed her down and raped her.
“The person punched me in the face, closed-fisted 15 to 20 times at least. My nose is broken in four different places and this bone was shattered here,” she says pointing to her upper cheek area. “You can still see a lot of swelling on my face.”
She says she was fighting for her life for “probably three-quarters of the attack,” which went on for about 30 minutes.
Waters was found and arrested a few miles from the scene of the attack about 24 hours after it occurred. He was charged with felony counts of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, and forcible sexual penetration.
“It’s horrifying to think that they were holding this guy with a huge knife that was taken off him that’s illegal and he was let go the next day even though he has a record,” Young complained.
City Attorney Patrick Sullivan commented that his office “does not provide any input as to the custodial status of a misdemeanor arrestee until the case is presented for filing consideration.
“When the Torrance Police Department presented this case to our office for filing consideration on August 3, 2022, Mr. Waters had already been released from custody.”
The victim had to undergo five surgeries to recover from the attack. Her friends have launched a Go Fund Me to help her recover her living and medical expenses. It had raised over $86,000 as of Tuesday morning.
“Once something like this happens to you, it sort of changes your mind as to what the laws should be,” Young told the press.