Teen charged as adult in Lauderdale Lakes burglary, sexual assault

LAUDERDALE LAKES, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida teen is being charged as an adult, months after, authorities said, he broke into a Lauderdale Lakes home and tried to rape a woman.

Sixteen-year-old Tyler Casica appeared in bond court, Thursday morning. He is being charged as an adult for the incident that took place back in July.

According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, 16-year-old Tyler Casica used a butter knife to break into a townhouse along the 3300 block of Northwest 29th Court. Once inside, deputies said, he went upstairs and found the victim, who was sleeping.

Investigators said Casica snatched the woman’s cellphone and told her, “I’m not going to hurt you.” They said the teen then forced the woman into a closet where he fondled her and threatened her with rape. She pushed him out of the closet, and he fled from the home as she called 911.

Authorities said Casica lives just a block away from the townhouse.

A man who works at Casica’s apartment complex said he offered work to the teen. “He’s been living here for a long time,” said Jeff Wright. “You know, I tried to work with him. I used to even try to have him do little side jobs with me, but you never know who is who nowadays.”

Another neighbor told 7News she is disturbed by the allegations. “I be scared,” she said. “You know, I’m just gonna keep my door closed, then.”

It wasn’t until more than a month later, on Aug. 30, that Casica was finally caught. Deputies said he followed a female jogger home. When she arrived at her residence, she and her boyfriend called 911. Deputies arrived and found the teen hiding next to the home.

Casica was arrested and charged with loitering and prowling. However, deputies realized the teen fit the description of the earlier burglary case. The victim in that case identified Casica in a photo lineup, and he was charged with sexual assault, robbery, burglary and stalking.

“He has issues, but the thing about it is that parents have to address their issues,” said Wright. “If you have something wrong with your kid, you can’t just protect your kid and think that everything is going to be all right.”

Detectives said they have acquired surveillance video of Casica lurking outside the first victim’s townhouse, and they believe he may have targeted other victims. They are urging theses other possible victims to contact the Broward Sheriff’s Office at 954-765-4321.

Casica was denied bond and remains in jail.

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