Masked Man Attacked Palm Harbor Woman


Pinellas County Sheriff deputies have arrested a man after he entered a private residence, attacked a woman in her bedroom, held her against her will and attempted to sexually batter her. The woman was able to get away from the suspect. She sustained minor bumps and bruises in the attack.

According to investigators, the suspect, later identified as 29-year-old Nick James Nardelli, entered the Palm Harbor residence through an unlocked door and approached the female victim’s bedroom. Detectives say the victim, a 52-year-old female, felt someone watching her and when she opened her eyes saw the intruder in her bedroom doorway. She described the suspect as being dressed in a Ninja mask.

Detectives say Nardelli jumped on her bed in attempt to pin her down. The victim was able to roll away and the two then became engaged in a struggle as the suspect attempted to pull her arms behind her back. Detectives say Nardelli managed to get a zip tie around on one of her wrists. According to detectives, the victim continued to fight back until the suspect left the residence.

The suspect got into his car and crashed it into a sewer drain at 1870 Whispering Way in Tarpon Springs. The car sustained damages and could not be driven. Deputies were dispatched to this location to a report of a suspicious person. Nardelli was arrested nearby a short time later for loitering and prowling.

A 911 call was also received from the female attack victim and detectives assigned to the Robbery/Homicide Unit were called to investigate.

Detectives were able to connect the incidents after they discovered a Ninja mask along with gloves, zip ties and duct tape in a nearby trash bin; and located a Walmart receipt in the suspect’s vehicle for items to include a hammer, a costume, gloves and ties.

During the interview the suspect admitted to the crime and told deputies he had fantasized about raping the victim.

Detectives say that while the suspect did not know the victim, he had targeted her.

Detective arrested Nardelli for Loitering and Prowling, Burglary/Battery, False Imprisonment, Attempted Sexual Battery, Possession of Burglary Tools. He was transported to the Pinellas County Jail without further incident.

The investigation continues.