Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa police catch man they say kidnapped, raped and beat his former girlfriend

TAMPA — Two days ago a battered 22-year-old woman ran up to a BP gas station and pleaded for help, saying she'd been held captive and raped.

Police and U.S. marshals began a search for her attacker, and on Thursday they arrested the man she identified as her former boyfriend and kidnapper.

Ernest Vereen Jr., 32, of 9706 21st St. was arrested Thursday when officers spotted him on the street. He was wanted on charges of kidnapping, aggravated battery and three counts of sexual battery.

The woman went to Vereen's home Sunday and they got into an argument, said Andrea Davis, a Tampa police spokeswoman.

He did not allow her to leave, and he repeatedly raped, beat and sodomized her for two days, police said.

She escaped on Tuesday, and walked nearly a mile to a gas station on E. Busch Boulevard where someone called for help.

"She had significant, severe injuries that will take her some time to heal from physically as well as emotionally," Davis said.

Tampa Fire Rescue took the woman to St. Joseph's Hospital, where she was later released.

When police went to Vereen's house that night, they didn't find him there, Davis said.

A tipster told officers where they might find the wanted man Thursday afternoon, she said.

Vereen was previously convicted of child abuse with injuries and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

He was being held without bail at the Orient Road Jail.

Times researcher Tim Rozgonyi contributed to this story.

Tampa police catch man they say kidnapped, raped and beat his former girlfriend 06/11/09 [Last modified: Friday, June 12, 2009 9:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally


    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees


    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  4. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact


    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.
  5. Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show


    WASHINGTON — Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, current and former U.S. …

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after meetings with an ambassador were revealed.