SILVER SPRING, Md. (WJZ) — Police said 26-year-old Kevin Mendoza raped and tried to murder a woman as she walked into her apartment building Friday.

Officers responded to the building in the 8500 block of 16th St. around 11:55 p.m.

Detectives said the victim was carrying items from her car in the parking lot when she began to feel she was being followed. They said when she unlocked the door to the building, the suspect grabbed her from behind and threw her to the floor.

According to police, the victim yelled and tried to resist, but the suspect began to strangle her with his hands and punched her multiple times in the face and head. He then raped her, police said.

The victim was taken to the hospital where doctors said the severity of the strangulation could have killed her.

Mendoza is a former resident of the apartment building where the attack occurred.

He was arrested Monday morning and charged with first-degree rape, first-degree assault and attempted second-degree murder.

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