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Police: Registered sex offender who attacked Marriott hotel worker arrested

TAMPA — A registered sex offender was arrested early Saturday morning by Tampa Police in connection with a hotel worker who was attacked earlier this week, the department said.

John Eckhard, 41, was arrested about 1:30 a.m. on charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and kidnapping with intent to harm, police said.

Police said Eckhard followed a female hotel employee into a public bathroom at the Tampa Marriott Westshore at 1001 N Westshore Blvd. at about 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

The victim, police said, saw Eckhard standing behind her in the mirror, then he threatened her with a knife.

During a physical struggle, officers said the victim screamed into her employee portable radio and Eckhard fled.

Eckhard was approached by police late Friday night, when they saw someone who resembled the sketch of the suspect. He agreed to allow officers to search his backpack, officers said.

When they looked, officers said they found a pair of gloves that matched a description given to police by the victim, who said the attacker wore them during the incident. Police also found a knife similar to one left at the scene, that was used to threaten the victim.

The victim identified the suspect in a photo, police said.

Eckhard was in the Hillsborough County Jail on Saturday afternoon, being held on a $7,500 bond, according to jail records.