FARMINGTON — Police said they arrested a man who followed a woman home from a grocery store, broke into her home through a window while she slept and attempted to rape her.
Herbert Peterson, a 49-year-old man who lives near the Teec Nos Pos Chapter House, was charged with aggravated burglary and attempted rape and is in custody at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center.
Police said Peterson followed a woman home from Walmart at 1400 E. Main St. on Saturday.
Peterson asked the woman to buy him alcohol while she was shopping. The woman bought Peterson a bottle at about 2 p.m. and then she went home, police said.
Peterson and the victim had gone to grade school together, but the woman told police she hadn't seen him since the third grade.
“We have no reason to believe there was anything more to their relationship than a chance meeting at Walmart,” Farmington police Lt. Taft Tracy said.
The victim lived in Villa View Apartments, which is about a mile away from the Walmart.
The woman was sleeping on a couch when Peterson climbed through a window and attacked her at about 9 p.m., according to court documents.
The woman was struck several times in the face, but managed to get away from Peterson and call police during her attack, according to court documents.
After the woman called police, Peterson struck her several more times in the face with his fist and fled.
The woman's face was bruised and bloodied when police arrived at her home, according to court documents.
Police found Peterson 10 minutes later at Walmart. He had dried blood on his clothes and his shoes matched a footprint that was left near the victim's window, according to court documents.
Peterson also left his belt at the victim's house and was missing a belt when he was arrested, according to court documents.
Police arrested Peterson on a charge of concealing his identity because he gave a false name. His charges were later amended to include attempted rape, aggravated burglary and interference with communications, because he tried to prevent the woman from calling police, Tracy said.
On Monday, Magistrate Judge James Mosberger set Peterson's bail at $240,000.
Peterson has applied for a public defender and is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing on Oct. 3.
Peterson has two prior convictions of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle in September 2008 and February 2011. District Judge John Dean sentenced Peterson to 18 months in jail for each offense, according to a state court website.