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Police seek attacker of female pedestrians

Police are looking for a man suspected of sexually battering two women in the past two weeks.

In both cases, the man offered a ride to a woman walking down the street.

Pinellas Park police gave these details:

About 6:30 a.m. Oct. 16, the 21-year-old victim accepted the ride as she was walking north on U.S. 19 near 52nd Avenue N. Instead of taking her where she wanted to go, the man drove her to the Royal Palm Cemetery on Gandy Boulevard and raped her.

About 10:30 p.m. Oct. 20, the second victim refused the ride. But the man, who had a knife, grabbed her and pulled her a short distance behind a building where he raped her. The woman had been walking near 6190 45th St. N.

Sgt. Gene LaPouttre, Pinellas Park police spokesman, said in each case the descriptions of the suspect and the vehicle he was driving are the same.

The suspect is said to be a dark-skinned black male, approximately 30 to 40 years old, about 6 feet 1, weighing 230-250 pounds with a large frame, belly and arms. He has close-cut hair and was unshaven.

His vehicle is described as a full-size, two-door American-made pickup truck with an extended cab, possibly from the mid-1980s to early 1990s. The truck is faded red (possibly two-tone) with black trim, dark vinyl interior and a bench seat. There was a radar detector or similar device attached to the windshield with suction cups.

"This guy, he's just obviously a person who's looking for opportunity," LaPouttre said.

"Because of his behavior, we're more likely to think he will do it again," Detective Shannon Rozzi said.

Anyone with information on the cases should call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-873-8477 or Pinellas Park police at 541-0758.

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