Florida man accused of running over jogger, trying to kill her with hammer

Frederick Whitten arrested on 2nd-degree attempted murder charge

Frederick Whitten.
Frederick Whitten.

DAVENPORT, Fla. – A man was arrested in Polk County on suspicion of attacking a jogger and trying to kill her with a hammer.

Frederick Whitten, 58, of Haines City, was arrested on charges of second-degree attempted murder, kidnap with inflicting bodily harm and terrorizing.

According to the Polk County Sheriff's Office, a 43-year-old Davenport woman was jogging Thursday morning on the shoulder of Old Lake Wilson Road near the Osceola-Polk county line when she was struck by a red 2011 Chevrolet pickup truck driven by Whitten.

Deputies said the woman fell to the ground and Whitten grabbed a hammer from his truck and walked toward her.  He sat on her legs and tried to hit her in the head with the hammer, deputies said.

The woman told investigators she was able to pull the hammer from the hand of Whitten, who started to choke her before pushing her toward a patch of tall grass, the Sheriff's Office said.

After several minutes of struggling, a vehicle stopped and asked if help was needed, deputies said.  Whitten then walked to his pickup, and the woman asked the witness to call 911, deputies said.

Detectives are asking for the public's help in locating the witness.

It's not known what prompted the attack.

Whitten was being held in the Polk County Jail on no bond.