SATELLITE BEACH, Fla. – A woman who was reading a book in her car at a Satellite Beach park was attacked, beaten and raped, according to police.
The attack was reported around 7 p.m. Sunday at Hightower Beach Park. The woman tried to fight off her attacker and during the process bit his tongue, police said. It's likely that his speech could be affected.
Satellite Beach police said the woman was sitting in her car at the north end of the parking lot when a man pulled her from the car, pinned her to the ground, and hit her several times in the face and head.
"The doors were locked but her windows were down so he was able to reach in and get the door open," Satellite Beach police Officer Brad Hodge said.
The victim said the man threatened her life multiple times and sexually battered her in the parking lot, officials said.
"She waited a few minutes (after the attack was over), heard what she thought was a vehicle start up and leave, (and) at that time she got up and drove to the Police Department for help," Hodge said.
The woman suffered serious injuries and was taken to a hospital, police said.
The attacker was described as a white man, about 30-40 years old and weighing 175 pounds. He has short hair and a receding hairline. It is believed that he left the area in an unknown vehicle. It is possible that the man has scratch marks and bruises, police said.
The Satellite Beach Police Department said family members, co-workers or friends of the man should be able to see visible signs of the man having been in a fight. Police said the man might vary his routine this week or could be acting in an unusual manner.
On Monday, there was tighter security at the park, but visitors still felt uneasy.
"I feel terrible about it, I don't feel safe anymore," one woman said. "I won't come here alone at night."
Another woman agreed.
"It would make me nervous for my daughter or my mom for sure. Definitely be hyper vigilant, suspicious of everybody," she said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Satellite Beach Police Department or Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS.