Tree service employee accused of assaulting woman in her Sarasota home

Sarasota County

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – A tree service employee in Sarasota has been arrested after police say he assaulted a woman in her own home.

According to police, officers were called to a home on Bay Street on Thursday around 11 a.m. The victim told officers while in her home, Frankie’s Tree Service was outside at her residence.

An employee, later identified as 49-year-old Francisco Leyva, knocked on her front door. The victim opened the door and began talking with Leyva about the tree work.

Police say as the victim walked back into her home, Leyva followed her inside without permission.

According to Sarasota police, Leyva, who was behind the victim in her kitchen, started assaulting her. When the victim told Leyva that it was not okay and said her husband would be home soon, police say he responded with, “Do you mean the one that just left?”

When the victim went to get her son who was sleeping in a bedroom nearby, police say Leyva came up and began assaulting her again. The victim told Leyva to leave and he began to walk out but said he would be back, police say. She then called 911.

While he was being interviewed by detectives, police say Levya admitted to entering the home without permission and admitted to putting his hands on the victim’s back, shoulder and stomach area without permission to do so.

Levya was arrested and is facing charges of burglary with assault or battery.

Detectives believe there are other victims involving Frankie’s Tree Service where this type of incident has happened before.

If you have any information on this case, please call the Sarasota Police Department Criminal Investigations Division at 941-263-6070 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com.

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