Austin woman sues apartment complex for failing to fix broken lock that led to assault

An Austin woman is suing her apartment complex after she said management failed to fix a door lock that resulted in a frightening break-in.

The woman FOX 7 Austin spoke to wants to remain anonymous. She will be referred to as M.K. to protect her privacy.

"Terrifying, confusing, a little bit of disbelief as well, I think," said M.K.

That's how M.K. describes an early morning in December 2022.

"All I could really feel was his hands, his voice, and his breath," said M.K.

At around 3 a.m. on Dec. 6, she woke up to a man in her bedroom.


"I was in my bed, and he was literally behind me cuddling me, like spooning me, and he was just so comfortable," said M.K.

She screamed and fought him off as her roommate called 911. The intruder then ran out through her sliding glass door.

According to the lawsuit, police eventually arrested Octavio Contreras Guzman. 

The lawsuit said police connected him to a string of other break-ins and reports of sexual assaults.

"I'm proud of myself for fighting, so I at least am proud of that," said M.K.

This week, her fight continues, but this time it will be in court.

For months, M.K. said she had asked Clear Property Management, the former owners of her East Austin apartment complex, to fix the broken lock on the sliding back door.

M.K. provided a picture of the broken sliding door.

M.K. said she was living at Menlo at Mueller Apartments. It is under new ownership and has changed names since.

"We had made it very clear and very, very well known that this is an issue," said M.K. "This was something, a personal issue for us, something we didn't feel safe with, so if they had come to fix the door I honestly probably wouldn't have been in that position."

She said she even told them about the assault, but management’s reaction was not what she hoped for.

"The only thing they really say is 'oh wow' so obviously not very much consideration," said M.K.

Anna Greenberg will represent M.K. in court.

"The company was obligated under the law to provide for them at their expense and yet still they refused to provide that security bar for these women and that's what caused this whole assault," said Greenberg.

M.K. is asking for more than $1 million.

"This was your responsibility, and you didn't do your job," said M.K.

Monetary relief won't take away what still haunts M.K. from that night, but she hopes the lawsuit might just hold the company accountable and be a lesson to other renters.

"Fight for yourselves because you might be the only person fighting for yourself," said M.K.

M.K. said she's now looking at starting an organization to help others with their trauma.

FOX 7 reached out multiple times to Clear Property Management but is still waiting to hear back.