Father Awoken To Stranger Holding His Toddler, Intruder Claims He Was Drunk, Thought Baby Was ‘A Midget’

At 2:30 a.m. on Thursday of last week, a man was awoken by the sounds of his 2-year-old crying. He went to check on her to find a stranger in his living room with his daughter on his lap.

The man said, “I’m your friend,” then tossed the toddler onto the couch. Police then described in necessary reports what happened next. A struggle between the father and the intruder ensued while the child’s mother called 911. The attempt to keep the intruder, who has now been identified as 34-year-old Oren Aharon Cohen, from fleeing led to a 10-minute struggle, but Cohen still managed to escape. He made it down a flight of stairs, but when Tampa police arrived, they used a stun gun on the man due to his resistance to commands given by officers, and they were able to detain him.

Cohen was then arrested on charges of second-degree burglary, aggravated assault, and kidnapping. He was identified as an Israeli citizen living in the United States legally with a valid passport. The parents’ names and that of the child in the case were not released.

The Washington Post relays additional details about the intrusion.

“After investigating the apartment, police said they discovered Cohen’s shoes in the 2-year-old’s bedroom. His coat was wedged between her mattress and the wall, and his passport was on the floor near the foot of the toddler’s bed, police said. Police also found that Cohen had used a bathroom in the apartment and drank some orange juice from the family’s refrigerator. “

The father of the toddler said that after the police arrested Cohen, they determined that the 2-year-old was still wearing the same pajamas and diaper she had been wearing when they put her to bed, according to the police report.

Cohen stated to police that he had been drinking with a friend who lived in the same apartment building and claims he does not remember very much due to extreme intoxication, as the police report states.

“Oren advised with 100 percent certainty that he did not perform or engage in any sexual acts with the victim of this incident. Once it was relayed to Oren that the victim in his incident was a 2-year-old female, he became very upset and broke down crying. Oren said he would never hurt a child and does not remember the details of this incident because he was ‘black out drunk.’”
Cohen then went on to say what he does remember is playing with a “midget” in a dark room. His description of the said “midget” was a match to that of the 2-year-old toddler. As a result of the incident, Cohen stated to police that he wanted to return to Israel. He is now being held at Maricopa County jail on $250,000 cash bond.

On Friday, Cohen appeared in court and nodded as the judge explained the charges he was being held for. He then pleaded for allowance to explain what had happened even though he was told his rights and that his words could be used against him.

“Yes, but I didn’t do anything so that’s why I want to say something. I went to visit a friend. Her name is Carolina. She lives in this complex. We were drinking a lot over there in her house. We went outside — I went outside [to] smoke a cigarette. I guess I got blacked out. I went to the wrong door and that’s why you guys charge me [with] burglary? For going to the wrong apartment.”

Cohen continued to explain that he did not know what was happening or what he was doing because it was dark. “And I guess, that’s when I saw this midget,” Cohen said.

“It looks like a midget and I thought it’s [a] midget.”

When questioned as to whether he would touch a girl inappropriately, he said he would “never do anything like that,” and continued to state, “My dad is a sex offender. I would never do anything even close to that.”

He then asked if the judge would allow his friends and family to vouch for him in the case. Cohen will appear next on Thursday and has a preliminary hearing set for December 27.

[Featured Image by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images]