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WATCH: Hotel worker fends off masked serial sex offender — but he comes back

by Ellen Killoran

Bizarrely, the suspect returned to the scene of the attempted crime

A Nebraska hotel worker is credited with helping to capture a wanted sex offender after she bravely fought off an attempted attack.

The woman was working at the front desk of the Home2 Suites Omaha West in Omaha, Nebraska, in the early morning hours of February 28, when security cameras show a masked man lurking around the hotel lobby.

The security footage, obtained by ABC News, shows the intruder follow the woman as she walks down a hallway; there, he reportedly tried to corner her in a bathroom. But she fought him off, successfully, even ripping his mask off. He can be seen without his mask running out of the hotel lobby.

But apparently he wasn’t done: Just a short time later, while the woman was on the phone with 911, the intruder returned to the hotel, reportedly to retrieve his mask. Although he hides the lower portion of his face in his shirt as he walks into the lobby again, the security cameras were able to get a good look at his face — and ID him as a registered sex offender.

Police told ABC News they have since arrestedĀ Zachary Lee Person, 29, as a direct result of the woman’s actions. There were multiple warrants out for his arrest.

“He was pending sentencing for similar attacks on female joggers, students and gas station employees in South Dakota and Nebraska between 2007 and 2017,” Douglas County Sheriff Tim Dunning reportedly said in a news conference.

Person is currently in custody on a $1 million dollar bond — thanks to that brave woman.

 

Photo: Douglas County Sheriff’s Office

Ellen is a seasoned journalist and former media & entertainment reporter with a taste for true crime. Formerly a senior editor at IBTimes, her work has appeared in Forbes, Rolling Stone, Maxim, NYMag, Indiewire, and more. She co-produced the HBO documentary "Youth Knows No Pain" and appeared in a documentary series that aired alongside the Lifetime movie "Manson's Lost Girls."