MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A woman arrested after she reportedly held an elderly couple hostage in their own home over the weekend appeared before a judge on Monday.
Lourdes Rabell, 46, is charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a person 65 or older, arson, false imprisonment and attempted murder. During her bond court appearance, she asked the judge to re-set her case for Tuesday because she wanted to hire her own attorney.
A SWAT team took Rabell into custody Sunday night after her elderly mother and the woman's boyfriend arrived at the Coral Gables police station battered and burned.
"What those two elderly people endured was horrific," said Coral Gables polices spokesman Officer Dean Wellinghoff. "The mother had burns and lacerations. Deep lacerations."
Rabell's mother told police that her daughter became very agitated just before midnight last Friday, according to her arrest report. The woman's boyfriend told police that she started yelling at them and claimed he 'had the devil in him and that he was bringing evil into their home', according to the report.
Police have not released the names of the elderly couple.
As Rabell grew more agitated she picked up a box cutter and reportedly cut her mother under her left chin, along her throat, which left a five inch gash. When he tried to his help her, Rabell reportedly stabbed him in the back by his left shoulder with the box cutter.
Rabell's mother told police that her daughter then threw a bottle of rubbing alcohol on the floor in front of her and lit it on fire. The older woman was burned as she attempted to put the fire. The boyfriend said Rabell actually threw the rubbing alcohol onto her mother and lit it. The police report said from the burns on the woman's face, neck, chest, stomach and right knee indicate that the woman had been doused in the alcohol before it was lit.
The couple reportedly told police that Rabell held them against their will in the living room "under threat of further bodily harm," according to the report. She reportedly removed the battery from her mother's phone so she couldn't call for help.
They said they were able to make their escape when Rabell went into one of the bedroom and believed she had fallen asleep.
"I can't explain anybody hitting their parents. For me, I wouldn't even think about it," said neighbor Sylvia Maya.
Maya said she only ran into Rabell a couple of times.
"I saw her a couple of time driving very fast," said Maya.
This was not the first time there were problems in the home.
In 2007, Rabell was arrested and charged with aggravated assault on a person over 65 years of again. She reportedly held a knife to her mother's throat for bringing home different groceries than what she had asked for. She also allegedly through a phone and books at her mother and her mother's boyfriend.
Coral Gables police said they've been to the home nearly two dozen times since 2002 for domestic issues.
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