COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – Two men are accused of an overnight home burglary on the 1600 block of Greene St. in Columbia. One of them is accused of trying to sexually assault a USC student who lived there. The apartment is at the edge of the USC campus just down the street from the Russell House University Union.
Police say the pair entered through an unlocked door and stole laptops just before 2 a.m. Thursday.
Columbia Police Investigator James Fisher says, “A young lady did wake up hearing some strange noises in her house. She woke up to investigate it and found a gentleman inside of her house who wasn’t supposed to be there. He immediately attacked her. He attempted to sexually assault her and she did a really good job of fighting him off until law enforcement could get there.”
The victim said she defended herself by kicking the suspect and yelling for help.
Two other people were in the apartment and called 911 after they heard the victim yell.
Police say Perry Edmonds, Jr., 26, was still inside the apartment when they got there. They arrested him and charged him with burglary, grand larceny, kidnapping, and Assault with Intent to Commit Criminal Sexual Conduct.
Police say the victim had injuries on her face and neck. She was treated at the hospital and released.
Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook says, “I met a remarkably courageous young lady today – and after meeting her family, I certainly understand where she draws her strength and fortitude.”
USC Police arrested the other suspect, Demetris McLemore, 33, on Pickens St. They found the stolen items in a book bag near him.
McLemore is charged with Burglary – First Degree and Grand Larceny.
Investigator Fisher says that, because of the serious nature of the charges, they’ll ask that both suspects be held without bond until their trials. If that’s not granted, they’ll ask for a very high bond.