Behind his kindly offer of assistance lurked a sinister motive.
Five days after he robbed, stabbed and left for dead one of his customers inside her house, a cable repairman in Muntinlupa City finally gave himself up to authorities on Monday night.
Rommel Mendoza, 38, a maintenance man from Erat Tech, a third party service provider for SkyCable, now faces charges of robbery and frustrated homicide for the attack on Shiela Marie Sollano.
On March 13, the 34-year-old Sollano texted Mendoza and asked him to fix the cable connection in her apartment at the De Castro Compound in Barangay (village) Alabang which he and two other men installed on February 2.
The police said that after installing the cable connection, Mendoza gave the victim his cell phone number and asked her to call him whenever there was a technical problem as he lived just nearby.
When he showed up at the victim’s house at 9 p.m. on March 13, his offer of assistance turned into something else.
“He meant to rob her and even attempted to rape her. He struck her with a glass table, then used the shards to stab her repeatedly,” Muntinlupa police chief Senior Supt. Roque de la Vega, said, quoting the victim’s complaint.
A police report said the victim lost consciousness during the attack. Mendoza then tied her up using cable wires and took off with her laptop computer and around P2,500 in cash.
Sollano, however, survived and was taken for treatment to a nearby hospital where she was said to be in stable condition.
She later positively identified Mendoza as her assailant after investigators showed her pictures of the three cable workers who went to her home last month.
As for Mendoza, he was left with no choice but to give himself up after the police posted lookouts at all his known residences, even in Nueva Ecija.
“After hearing about what he did, even his own family rejected him,” De la Vega said.
Mendoza admitted to the robbery, saying he sold the laptop computer for P2,000 although he denied that he tried to rape the victim.
According to him, he went to her house and thinking that nobody was home, started to ransack it. He said he panicked when the victim appeared, prompting him to attack her.
De la Vega noted that this was not the first time Mendoza had been accused of assaulting a woman. There is a warrant out for his arrest in connection with a traffic altercation in 2010 where a 17-year-old girl claimed he hit her, he said.
Mendoza is now detained at the Muntinlupa police station for the child abuse case and the attack on Sollano.