Florida Woman Credits Prayer, Scripture for Saving Her and 7-Year-Old Son from Rapist’s Rampage

BatesTAMPA — A Florida woman is thanking God for saving her life after a rapist on a rampage was thwarted in his attempts to harm her when she began ministering to him through prayer and the Scriptures.

Charles “Chris” Bates had just raped four women on Thursday night when he ran into the bold Christian woman. He had happened upon a group of University of South Florida students watching a football game at a Tampa apartment building when he bound the men and sexually assaulted the women.

Bates then continued across the city, where he found a woman at another apartment complex sitting on her porch. According to reports, Bates then forced the woman inside, and ordered her to undress and kiss him. Her 7-year-old son was sleeping in the next room.

However, just as he was about to rape the woman, whose identity has not been released, she asked Bates if he believed in God.

“I went on autopilot and did what I had to do and said what I had to [say] to survive,” she told Florida’s Action News.

The woman told police that Bates’ demeanor then changed, and the incident turned into approximately 30 minutes of prayer and Biblical ministry.

“We read the Bible together,” she explained. “I offered to give it to him. He wouldn’t take it, because he said he wouldn’t live through the night.”

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The woman then located John 3:16 in her Bible and ripped out the passage, handing it to Bates, whom she stated expressed remorse for his actions.

“He said he would read it,” she told reporters. “He put it in his pocket and then he left.”

She credits the Lord and His word for keeping her alive.

“God was definitely taking care of me last night and making sure me and my son were safe,” the woman said.

This is not the first time, however, that Bates has left the scene apologetic after running into a woman of faith. The Tampa Tribune reports that last month, he broke into a home in the city and demanded money, jewelry and the woman’s cell phone. Bates then threatened to kill the woman, but as he heard her praying, he fled the scene.

As Bates had cut himself during the break-in, police collected DNA samples and put out a warrant for his arrest.

On Friday, the day after his rape rampage throughout the city, approximately 100 officers began patrolling  the area in search of Bates. Twelve hours after his rape attempt was thwarted, Bates was involved with a high-speed chase with police. He is believed to have stolen a friend’s car and forced 25 people into a bedroom at gunpoint following his encounter with the woman.

After fleeing the police at speeds of 80-100 miles an hour, the Tampa Bay Times reports that Bates then engaged in a shootout with police, and approximately 100 bullets were exchanged.

Bates was wounded by police and later died of his injuries. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. He was 24.

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