Joshua Edwards, a white supremacist gang member, allegedly kidnapped and repeatedly raped a Black woman at gunpoint during a crime spree in Florida. He is now being held on a $6 million bond.
Edwards is facing several charges connected with the brutal assault. The Escambia County Sheriff’s office confirmed Edwards is a member of the Aryan Brotherhood, which FBI has identified as “violent white supremacist gang.”
According to the arrest report, Edwards kidnapped the woman, who was not named, while she was filling up at a Circle K gas station on the night of March 18. He allegedly threatened her with a gun and forced her to “get in the car and stay quiet.”
The victim told deputies that Edwards, who was using Ecstasy during the abduction, pointed the 9 mm pistol to her head while he forced her to drive and take narcotics. At some point, he reportedly switched places with the victim and drove her into Lillian, Ala. and back to Escambia County.
As the morning of the next day came, Edwards took her to Bill Dixon Park and sexually assaulted her repeatedly at gunpoint, the woman said. She added that when Edwards tried to drive the car to a wooded area of the park, the car broke down. He again threatened the woman to go with him as he looked for another car.
Eventually, Edwards approached another woman, identified as Amanda Staples, outside her home and told her he needed a car because his car stopped working, the report stated. He pulled out his gun and ordered the second victim to give out her keys before driving off and leaving the two women together.
Staples let the first victim into her home and they called the police. Her mother, Mary Staples, described what happened with the woman after that.
“She was pretty controlled until she stepped inside and then she fell apart and cried for about 45 minutes hardly able to speak,” she told WKRG. “She said that he had raped her and that he had taken her car.”
Both women described Edwards to the police who were able to arrest Edwards behind a shopping center near the Walmart on Blue Angel Parkway a few hours after the incident. They also found a Kel-Tec 9mm pistol in the area.
Edwards has since been charged with sexual battery, two counts of carjacking, armed kidnapping, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of a firearm during a felony, according to the report. His trial is scheduled on April 11.
Moreover, authorities said Edwards has an extensive criminal record and has just recently been released after three years in prison for charges related to burglary and grand theft. He could now face life sentences not only for his recent charges but also for being a repeat offender.
“If we put together the kind of case that I think we have, that is the appropriate place for him to be, which is, behind bars forever,” Assistant State Attorney John Molchan told Newsweek.