Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg police: Man has history of harassing, attacking women downtown

ST. PETERSBURG — James Alex Wilborn Jr. has a violent history. He was 15 when he stabbed his father to death. He was in prison when he turned 18 while serving 11 years for second-degree murder.

Now St. Petersburg police say Wilborn has developed a new pattern of violence: propositioning young women in the city's popular downtown bar district, then attacking them after they rebuffed his advances.

Wilborn assaulted another woman early Wednesday morning, according to police, in full view of officers who were stationed outside Scene Premium Night Club at 211 Third St. S.

She is his third alleged victim in more than two years.

"Clearly he has displayed a very distinct pattern of violent behavior, especially towards women," said police spokesman Mike Puetz. "The investigators strongly feel that he needs to remain incarcerated."

Wednesday's incident took place about 2 a.m., police said. The woman, 18, refused his advances and left the club. Wilborn followed her outside, police said, then struck her in the head with a beer mug he had removed from the club.

Officers, who are regularly stationed outside of Scene late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, closed in on Wilborn. Police said he resisted arrest, and even tried to break free while handcuffed.

Wilborn's first downtown attack took place on Jan. 19, 2010. He was charged with four counts of misdemeanor battery for harassing and punching a woman outside the State Theatre at 687 Central Ave.

He pulled her dress up, police said, then punched her. Wilborn also shoved her friend and attacked those who came to the aid of the women, police said. He was sentenced to six months in the county jail.

Then early Jan. 1, 2011, police said Wilborn followed a woman and her friend as they left Push Ultra Lounge at 128 Third St. S. They walked two blocks south to find a cab when Wilborn "grabbed the victim in a sexually suggestive manner," according to police, and lifted her dress.

She slapped him and turned away. Wilborn repeatedly stabbed her in the back, police said, causing her lung to collapse. He ran away, but at the hospital she later picked him out of a photo lineup, police said. Wilborn was charged with two counts of aggravated battery in connection with the New Year's Day attack.

After his 2011 arrest, Wilborn spent more than a year in jail because of a violation of probation charge from the 2010 case, according to records. But once the violation was settled, Wilborn was freed March 26 after posting $20,000 bond. Puetz said the investigator in the 2011 case was looking for ways to get Wilborn's bail increased before he was released.

Wilborn's latest arrest led a judge Wednesday to revoke his bond in the 2011 case. Wilborn's newest charges are aggravated battery, resisting arrest with violence and escape. He was in the Pinellas County jail on Wednesday night, where he was being held without bail.

Jamal Thalji can be reached at or (727) 893-8472.

St. Petersburg police: Man has history of harassing, attacking women downtown 05/02/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 9:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trigaux: No more VinikVille as Water Street Tampa finally arrives


    Adios, VinikVille! Hello Water Street Tampa.

    An aerial rendering of the $3 billion redevelopment project that Jeff Vinik and Strategic Property Partners plan on 50-plus acres around Amalie Arena.
[Rendering courtesy of Strategic Property Partners]
  2. Finally, Jeff Vinik's vision has a name: Water Street Tampa


    TAMPA — For years, Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and the real estate executives he employs have been dreaming how to transform 53 acres of downtown Tampa into a major hub of living, working and entertaining in the city's core.

    Strategic Property Partners announced the name of its new development: Water Street Tampa. This rendering shows the Tampa skyline with SPP's future buildings in place. [Photos courtesy of SPP]
  3. Future, Ruff Ryders reunion tour coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa


    Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre is in the midst of a killer summer of rock (Green Day, Muse, Linkin Park) and country (Sam Hunt, Lady Antebelleum, Dierks Bentley).

  4. Rubio remains noncommital on Obamacare replacement but a likely yes vote


    Sen. Marco Rubio has been bombarded with phone calls, emails and on Monday, protests took place outside his offices in Doral and Palm Beach Gardens. But while the effort is most unlikely to dissuade the Florida Republican from voting for the Obamacare replacement -- if it even comes up for a vote this week -- he remains …

    Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. speaks at an event in Miami, Friday, June 16, 2017, where President Donald Trump announced a revised Cuba policy aimed at stopping the flow of U.S. cash to the country's military and security services while maintaining diplomatic relations.
  5. James Wilder Jr. back at running Canada


    Remember when former Plant High star and Florida State running back James Wilder Jr. announced he was switching to linebacker?

    That was short-lived, apparently.