Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Public safety

Patrols beefed up in Whitney Road area after student is attacked

CLEARWATER — The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office provided extra patrols in the Whitney Road area Wednesday following an attack on a 17-year-old girl.

The teen was walking to her school bus stop Tuesday morning when she was grabbed from behind, dragged out of public view and sexually assaulted, according to the Sheriff's Office.

The assault occurred between 6 and 7 a.m. The girl went back home and told her family, who called authorities.

The girl is not being identified because of the nature of the incident.

The attack occurred near the intersection of Whitney Road and Whitney Drive. That location is just east of U.S. 19 between Belleair Road and East Bay Drive in an unincorporated area.

The girl was taken to a hospital for medical treatment, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Only a vague description of her attacker was available: a black male, 25 to 30 years old, with a medium build and wearing a black sweatshirt.

Following the attack, some parents who live in the Whitney Road area were making plans to drive their children to their bus stops.

Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Cecelia Barreda said the extra patrols by deputies are being provided to reassure parents and students.

The sheriff's Crimes Against Children Unit was continuing its investigation Wednesday and there had been no arrests in the case.

Diane Steinle can be reached at (727) 445-4152 or [email protected] To write a letter to the editor, go to tampabay.com/letters.

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