NEW PORT RICHEY — A homeless man has been arrested on charges he kidnapped and sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl Monday evening.
John Joseph McCarthy, 22, met the girl at Sims Park and convinced her to buy a tobacco/incense product called "Spice," according to New Port Richey Police.
While walking with the teen, McCarthy suddenly grabbed her by the throat and choked her while dragging her to a nearby abandoned house, police said. The victim later told police that McCarthy sexually assaulted her and held her against her will for a period of time before releasing her.
Police were notified about 11 a.m. Tuesday and started a search downtown. They found McCarthy at about 11 p.m.
He was arrested on charges of felony child abuse and kidnapping to commit a felony, and police say they expect to add more charges. Police say this attack was similar to a recent assault on an 18-year-old girl which remains under investigation.
Anyone with information about McCarthy may call Sgt. Erik Jay at (727) 841-4553 ext. 313.