Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

15-year-old St. Petersburg girl sexually assaulted along secluded footpath

ST. PETERSBURG — Police are seeking a man they said grabbed a 15-year-old girl off her skateboard and sexually assaulted her on a secluded footpath Tuesday afternoon.

The girl, who had just gotten off a bus at the PSTA stop near the 4600 block of 34th Street S, was riding her skateboard on a pedestrian foot path that runs under Interstate 275, police said.

As she approached 31st Street, police said, an unidentified man grabbed the teenager from behind, dragged her to the ground and sexually assaulted her.

About half an hour passed before the man released the girl, police said.

The man was last seen riding a bicycle west along the footpath toward 34th Street.

Afterward, the girl ran to an apartment building near 31st Street S and knocked on a door until residents allowed her in to call 911, police said.

"They were a little reluctant at first, but when they looked out and saw how upset she was, they let her in and called police," police spokesman Mike Puetz said.

The teenager, whose knees were scraped up during the attack, was not hospitalized.

It was not immediately clear if the man had followed the girl or was waiting under the overpass, Puetz said.

The girl, who was wearing earbud headphones at the time of the attack, did not hear anyone come up behind her, Puetz said.

Police described the man as black, medium build, in his 20s, under 6-feet, weighing 160 to 170 pounds with short hair and a goatee.

He wore a white tank top and black gym shorts at the time of the attack, officials said. Police described the bicycle he was riding as a "dark colored mountain bike."

The footpath runs under two overpasses of Interstate 275 between a residential area and businesses, the closest of which is Pizza Hut near the intersection of 46th Avenue S and 34th Street S.

"It does not appear to be a well travelled area," Puetz said. "That particular area, where she was attacked, is probably the most secluded part."

The girl was coming from school when she was attacked, said police spokesman Bill Proffitt, noting walking that path was likely part of her "regular routine."

Police asked anyone with information about the suspect or anyone who frequents the area to call detectives at 727-893-7780 or the Tip Line at 727-892-5000.

15-year-old St. Petersburg girl sexually assaulted along secluded footpath 09/21/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 4:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics


    Winner of the week 1: 'Liquor wall’ proponents. Gov. Rick Scott’s veto of a bill to allow Walmart, Target and other big box stores to sell liquor was a victory for an array of groups, from smaller merchants and Publix (which has stand-alone booze shops near its stores) to those who feel the hard stuff …

  2. Review / photos: Sunset Music Festival brings Major Lazer, safety upgrades to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa


    Somewhere beyond the barricades and mountainous LED stages of the Sunset Music Festival, there had to be worry. There had to thousands of parents in parking lots and empty kitchens, anxiously distracting their minds, every now and then checking their phones.

    Major Lazer headlined the Sunset Music Festival on May 27, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
  3. 24-year-old man charged with murder in shooting at Andrea Cove Motel

    LARGO — Pinellas sheriff's officers arrested a 24-year-old transient man Saturday in connection with a homicide at the Andrea Cove Motel in unincorporated Largo.

  4. Photo gallery: Calvary Christian rolls to state title


    View a gallery of images from Calvary Christian's defeat of Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers for the Class 4A title.

    Calvary Christian players circle up on the field before the FHSAA class 4A baseball championship against Pensacola Catholic on Friday May 27, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary scored 6 runs in the first inning, and had 7 hits.
  5. Two girls found safe after being reported missing in New Port Richey

    UPDATE: Both girls were found safe Saturday night, police said.