Sketch released of suspect in rape attempt in Orange County
Cops say man hid in bushes before attacking 17-year-old girl
Investigators released a composite sketch on Tuesday of a suspect who Orange County deputies say forced a 17-year-old girl to the ground and attempted to rape her.
Deputies said the incident occurred around 9 p.m. Sunday on Pompeii and Redditt roads in Orange County, just east of Semoran Boulevard.
[RELATED: Deputies: Teen fights off attacker]
The teen was walking and talking on her cellphone when the man came up from behind her and threw her to the ground, according to the report. Deputies said the teen was able to scream and kick the man away. She ran to a neighbor's home and called 911.
The neighbor who only wanted to be identified as "Stephanie" told Local 6 she heard screams and then saw the pair scuffling in the middle of the road. She saw the man lift the small-framed teen off the ground and try to drag her to a dark wooded area under a blown-out street light.
"She saw us and started screaming, 'He grabbed me, he grabbed me,' and that's when she ran to us," Stephanie said. "She said that the suspect said something to the victim as she was walking. That's how she realized somebody was behind her. It's scary. It's really scary to be so close to something to happen like that."
Now, she and other neighbors refuse to walk at night and said they're watching out for this man.
"Don't walk in dark areas. It's not worth it," said Stephanie, who hopes the public pays attention to the composite sketch released by deputies. "I hope people will see it and realize that's the guy they're looking for, because no one wants that to happen again to their kids, or their mother, or their sister."
The victim was not injured.
The suspect is described by deputies as a man who weighs approximately 190 pounds, has spiky hair and is clean shaven. He wore a white T-shirt and blue jeans.
Investigators are asking anyone who might have information regarding this suspect to call the Orange County Sheriff's Office or Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS.