Sources say the building has been vacant for years after a doctor retired and closed his medical practice.
The man who frequented the building was well known to the people who came to work at a cafe next door, because he frightened some of the waitresses who work there.
Farmers Branch police received a 911 call Sunday afternoon from a woman who said she had been assaulted and was being held against her will. Officers entered the empty building and found her locked inside a room. After an exhaustive search, they say they found 56-year-old Javier Leal hiding in the attic space.READ MORE: COVID-19 Booster Shot Not Yet FDA-Authorized, But Some Not Waiting
Workers at the diner say Leal was supposed to be doing some restoration work on the building, but had moved in there at least four months ago. He unnerved waitresses when they came to work early in the mornings and found him looking through windows of the closed café. He sent flowers and candy to one of the waitresses who tried to fend off his advances. At one point he went to the restaurant asking for hot water so he could take a bath. The restaurant had police tell Leal to stay off their property when staff began worrying for their safety.
“I just thought he was a crazy person,” said restaurant employee Belinda Rice. “It kind of surprised me, but it didn’t surprise me. I’m just glad it ain’t me, or May or any of us.”
Records show Leal has a police record of domestic violence as well as a restraining order violation not related to this case. Among other things, Farmers Branch police have charged him with unlawful restraint of a person.MORE NEWS: North Texas School Districts Grapple With Learning Loss And Keeping Teachers, Students From Getting COVID-19
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