Retired firefighter accused of breaking into homes, sexually assaulting neighbor

Posted at 11:16 PM, May 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-25 23:16:12-04

CANTON, Mich. (WXYZ) — A Canton man is facing multiple charges after allegedly attempting to break in to nearby homes and sexually assaulting a neighbor.

The situation unfolded last week on May 18 near Willard Drive and Fleetwood Drive.

The suspect, 56-year-old Ramon Alvarez is facing three felony counts for first-degree home invasion, second-degree criminal sexual conduct and resisting a police officer.

“It's been traumatic — it's been traumatic for everyone around us,” neighbor Shannon Balog said.

For the last week, things haven’t been the same in Balog’s neighborhood after the assault last Thursday by someone they least expected.

“Anybody would have opened the door to him just because he was a friendly neighbor,” Balog said of Alvarez.

Just before 3 p.m. on May 18, one of her neighbors was walking his dogs around the neighborhood acting strange, going into people's backyards and even into their homes. Neighbors were all on alert.

“When I saw him walking this way, I thought the commotion was all done and over with,” neighbor Jimmy Harris said.

But when Balog looked out her window, she saw Alvarez trying to break into another neighbor’s glass sliding door.

“He rips the screen and just starts kicking it," Balog said. "Kicking it with all his force.”

Balog called 911 and went outside but when Alvarez saw her, he called her by name and ran after her.

"I see him come around the corner and he raises his arms and says, 'Shannon, I love you.' And I go, 'Ramon, don't f------ touch me," Balog said. "I start running, He starts chasing me. My husband's right behind the door, I get in the door, we use our body weight to lock it, but he keeps going at the door handle.”

Minutes later, Balog heard her friend who lives a few houses down screaming for help. She was fighting with Alvarez in her driveway as he grabbed her.

“After my third screaming call to 911, I was desperate because I didn't know what to do. I just kept hearing her scream,” Balog said. "Blood curdling, 'Help me, help me' scream.”

According to the police report, Alvarez had forced his way into the woman's home, yelling that he loved her and sexually assaulted her in the kitchen. He had pulled off parts of her clothing, but she managed to escape into the driveway.

As he continued holding on to her, Alvarez punched a neighbor who tried to help. When police got on scene, an officer had his gun drawn. Alvarez pulled out a knife and cut himself in the ear, refusing to drop the knife. Officers tased Alvarez three times and wrestled with him on the ground before finally getting him in handcuffs.

“Is it mental health? Was it drugs? Was it alcohol? We just don't know," Balog said. "It’s scary — it really is.”

According to the report, Alvarez himself placed a strange 911 call roughly 20 minutes before Balog’s first call. He asked to have a specific sergeant sent to his home, but when the dispatcher informed him they couldn't send specific supervisors, Alvarez hung up.

That sergeant was told about the call and tried contacting Alvarez himself, then asked for a welfare check.

Balog hopes next time, there will be a quicker response and wants others to take warning signs seriously.

“Hopefully, I can bring awareness and hopefully, it doesn't happen to another community," Balog said.

After the arrest, Alvarez was first taken to the hospital before officially being booked in the Wayne County Jail two days later, according to online records. He's being held on a $300,000 bond.