SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. - A teenage girl says someone grabbed her and tried to rape her in Osprey Monday afternoon, and neighbors say they're on edge while detectives continue their investigation.
The young woman says it happened around 3pm Monday near the intersection of Washington Avenue and East Oak Street in Osprey.
The report of one of the neighborhood kids getting grabbed and pulled into the woods to be sexually assaulted is enough to shake any parent. "It's scary when stories like this come close to home," says neighbor Mandy Rubberg. “I think everyone has just been on high alert. Everyone is keeping an eye on their children and everyone else's; trying to make sure everyone is staying safe."
The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office has the same goal. Detectives and forensic units are looking into what appears to be a random act. "From what we understand, she has no relationship with this person…never seen this man before. We canvassed the neighborhood," says spokesperson Wendy Rose.
The girl says she was able to punch and scratch and run away while getting a good look. She describes the man as:
- White male
- In his 70's
- 5'4' 180 lbs
- Gray hair, balding
- Gray t-shirt
- Older bright red truck, dent on passenger side door
"Out of an abundance of caution, we always release this type of information. At the same time, detectives are working to corroborate that story. We have no additional accounts or additional reports of similar type incidents," says Rose.
Not taking any chances, neighbors there are on the lookout, too.
"Since the second we found out, neighbors have been out driving around, trying to make sure we get the situation taken care of," says Rubberg.
We are told the girl, who is around 15 years old, did not suffer any injuries. Just a couple of scratches on her torso.