A $6 million bond has been set for a white supremacist gang member accused of kidnapping and repeatedly raping an African-American woman during a crime spree in west Florida.
Joshua Edwards is facing several charges in connection with the brutal assault, local station WKRG reported. Escambia County Sheriff’s Office officials said Edwards is a member of the Aryan Brotherhood, a group the FBI has identified as a “violent” white nationalist gang.
According to the arrest report, Edwards abducted the woman on the night of Monday, March 18, while she was filling up at a Circle K gas station. He reportedly forced the victim into her car at gunpoint and ordered her to “stay quiet.”
The woman told deputies that at times during her abduction, Edwards forced her to take narcotics and drive while he held a 9 mm pistol to her head. At one point, the report says he switched places with the victim and drove her into Lillian, Ala., and back into Escambia County.
By Tuesday morning, the woman said Edwards took her to Bill Dixon Park and sexually assaulted her several times at gunpoint. She added that her kidnapper then tried driving the car through a wooded area of the park, but it broke down, forcing them to go look for another one.
It wasn’t long before Edwards approached a second woman outside her home and told her he needed a ride because his car wasn’t working, the report states. That’s when he pulled out his gun and ordered the woman to hand over her car keys before speeding off, leaving his two victims together.
The second victim let the first woman into their home, where they called the police. The mother of the second victim described how the first woman who’d been raped completely fell apart after the incident.
“She was pretty controlled until she stepped inside and then she fell apart and cried for about 45 minutes hardly able to speak,” Mary Staples told WKRG. “She said that he had raped her and that he had taken her car.”
A few hours after the incident, police apprehended Edwards behind a nearby shopping center. Authorities also recovered a Kel-Tec 9mm pistol in the area where they arrested the suspect.
Edwards has since been charged with sexual battery, two counts of carjacking, armed kidnapping, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of a firearm during a felony, according to the report. He is scheduled to appear in court April 11.
Edwards previously spent over three years in prison for charges related to burglary and grand theft.
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