BLOOMSBURG, COLUMBIA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Police have a man in custody they say held a knife to a woman’s throat in an attempt to rape her; however, she was able to escape.
Bloomsburg police said they responded to a report of an attempted rape around 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday in the 400 block of East Street.
Officials say, Gary Coco, 43 from Bloomsburg, was wandering around East Street with a 13-inch kitchen knife hidden in his jacket with the intent to hurt his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend.
Unable to find the pair, police said Coco walked around until he saw a woman standing in her home with the front door open.
Investigators said Coco told them he “blacked out” and barged into the woman’s home, held the knife to her throat, and told her he wanted to have sex with her.
According to law enforcement, the woman told them she managed to convince Coco she would if they put the knife outside. The woman was able to escape out her front door and find safety at a neighbor’s house and call 911.
Police arrived on the scene and found Coco walking on the street with his hands in his pockets. Officers said they took him into custody and located the 13-inch kitchen knife the woman described.
Law enforcement later learned Coco is a registered sex offender with an outstanding warrant.
Investigators say they asked Coco why he did what he did and he told them it was a crime of opportunity.
Coco is being held in the Columbia County Prison on a $250,000 cash bail.
He faces one charge of rape by threat of forcible compulsion, burglary, terroristic threats, and other related charges.