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Tampa police arrest Bayshore Boulevard rape suspect

Luis Marcelo Munuzuri Harris is escorted from the Tampa Police Department Saturday after hours of questioning. He is facing charges of sexual battery, kidnapping and impersonating an officer.

SCOTT MCINTYRE | Times

Luis Marcelo Munuzuri Harris is escorted from the Tampa Police Department Saturday after hours of questioning. He is facing charges of sexual battery, kidnapping and impersonating an officer.

TAMPA — A man police say posed as an undercover narcotics officer to rob and rape a woman near Bayshore Boulevard was arrested Saturday after he tried to impersonate an officer again.

Luis Marcelo Munuzuri Harris, 31, is facing charges of sexual battery, kidnapping, impersonating a law enforcement officer and identity theft. He has a lengthy arrest record.

During his walk from police headquarters to a police car Saturday afternoon, Harris insisted he was innocent.

"I didn't rape that young lady," he said.

Police say the Bayshore Boulevard attack began around 10 p.m. Thursday, when Harris parked his Chevrolet in the median of the road and used a blue laser flashlight to signal a female driver to pull over. He told the woman she was intoxicated, handcuffed her and put her in the back seat of his car.

Police say Harris then drove the woman, who is in her early 30s, to an automated teller machine in nearby Hyde Park and used her debit card to withdraw money.

Next, police say, Harris drove to Patriot's Park. Police say he climbed into the back of the car and sexually assaulted the woman before letting her go.

An unrelated 911 call led officers to Harris early Saturday. According to Tampa police Lt. Donny Peters, officers responded to Pete's Place, a bar at 4145 Henderson Blvd., after getting a report about a disturbance.

Harris was once again impersonating an officer, police say. He approached two people at the bar, identifying himself as an undercover narcotics agent and displaying a pistol in his waistband. Police say he pointed the pistol at one man and threatened to hurt him. Then he hit him in the back of the head with the weapon.

Officers arrived around 2 a.m. and approached Harris in his Chevrolet. They noticed the car matched the description of the vehicle wanted in the Bayshore sexual battery case.

When Harris saw the officers, he sped off and almost immediately hit a dead-end street. He bailed out of his car and fled by foot.

Officers searched the area and set up a perimeter, but couldn't locate him. Later, officers found Harris on the roof of a commercial building. Peters said officers had to use a Taser to bring him into custody.

Peters said that when officers searched Harris' car, they found a photo of him in a law enforcement uniform and an identification card for a police detective organization. Police are looking into the validity of both items.

"He talks as though he has police experience," said Peters, who said nothing has been confirmed.

In addition to the charges in the Bayshore rape, Harris is facing two counts of armed kidnapping, an additional charge of falsely impersonating a law enforcement officer, aggravated battery with a firearm and felon in possession of a firearm.

There also are outstanding warrants for aggravated stalking and a probation violation in Volusia County, where he was charged with sexual battery in 1999. Federal records show he was acquitted of that crime.

Sarah Hutchins can be reached at (813) 661-2443 or shutchins@sptimes.com.

Tampa police arrest Bayshore Boulevard rape suspect 07/31/10 [Last modified: Saturday, July 31, 2010 9:21pm]
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