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Tampa Police eye possible suspect but seek witness to Ybor City rape

TAMPA — The day after the brutal mid-afternoon rape and beating of a young woman inside an Ybor City parking Garage, Tampa Police say they need witnesses' help.

"We have a person of interest in custody," said Sgt. Jim Contento, a spokesman for the police. "But we need witnesses to make the best possible case."

The young woman told police that around 3 p.m. Wednesday, a man grabbed her from behind and put her in a choke hold until she started to lose consciousness.

He pushed her into her car, which was parked on the second floor of the Fernando Norega Jr. Parking Garage at N 13th Street and E Eighth Avenue, and punched her in the face and body before sexually assaulting her, Contento said.

On Wednesday, an officer said the victim was a woman in her 30s, but Contento said that was incorrect. She is a juvenile.

The victim described her attacker as a dark-skinned black man in his 30s, 6-foot, 240 pounds, with dreadlocks pulled into braids, last seen wearing a yellow T-shirt.

"Right now they're processing the car and other evidence," Contento said. "But because of the time of day this all happened there must be witnesses."

Police would like to talk to one woman they think was there.

She is described as black or Hispanic, with a heavy build, shoulder length hair pulled into a ponytail, last seen wearing black pants and a white uniform shirt with lapels attached to the shoulder.

"This is kind of a heinous crime because it was the middle of the afternoon and there are usually a lot of police in the area," he said.

If you have any information about the suspect or witness, please call Tampa Police at 813-226-6130.

Tampa Police eye possible suspect but seek witness to Ybor City rape 08/20/09 [Last modified: Thursday, August 20, 2009 4:50pm]
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