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Man accused of trying to kidnap woman from Clearwater hotel

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Published Aug. 14, 2013

CLEARWATER — A 42-year-old man has been arrested in connection to the attempted kidnapping of a woman at a hotel Monday night.

About 10:30 p.m. Monday, Krista L. Kennedy, 50, was sitting outside her room at the Clarion Hotel, 20967 U.S. 19 N, when a man struck up a conversation with her.

About two hours later he returned to the hotel, which is just north of Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard, placed a hand over her mouth and tried to drag her away, Clearwater police said.

The woman's screaming alerted her son, who was inside their hotel room. When the son ran outside, the man ran away.

Detectives obtained surveillance video from the hotel, which captured images of the suspect. They circulated the images of the man throughout the area and one resident identified the man as Joshua Hockaday, who lives nearby on Elizabeth Avenue, police said.

The victim, an Illinois resident visiting relatives, later identified him in a photo lineup.

Hockaday was arrested about 10 p.m. Tuesday at his home. He faces charges of attempted kidnapping and violating his probation.

He was booked into the Pinellas County jail, where he remained Wednesday afternoon without bail.