Orlando police: Community tips key in arrest of sex attack suspect

'This is the next step in the healing process for the victim'

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ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando police addressed media Wednesday, expressing the importance of the community's involvement in the capture of the suspect in the Thornton Park sexual battery case.

James Calixte was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon in West Palm Beach, according to Orlando police.

Investigators said Calixte is the man behind the Oct. 26 sexual assault. The incident happened along East Jefferson Street as the victim was trying to enter her home. The woman told officers Calixte pulled her to the side of her house and sexually battered her.

"This is the next step in the healing process of our victim," Sgt. Charles Crobsy said. "We will continue to offer any services we can to assist in the healing process."

Orlando police said the U.S. Marshal's Office, FDLE, and West Palm Beach law enforcement officers took part in locating Calixte after DNA results linked him to the attack.

"He was compliant, answered the door to task force officers and was arrested without incident," Crosby said. "We are extremely pleased at the cooperation that we've gotten from community members assisting with tips." 

It was West Palm Beach authorities that notified Orlando investigators of Calixte's whereabouts. Investigators said Calixte had family in the area. They are working to extradite him to the Orange County Jail and his case has since been turned over to the State Attorney's Office.

Court records show Calixte is accused of beating another woman in downtown Orlando on Sept. 3. Police said that case also appears to be a random act of violence. Court records also reveal Calixte is accused of battering a teenage girl while she walked in a park in West Palm Beach last June.

Authorities said after multiple violent attacks in the same area, people may perceive crime may be on the uptick.

Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolón reassured the public that is not the case.

"When we did the story on Lake Eola Heights they had seen a 40 percent decrease in crime when we specifically covered their neighborhood," he said. "Crime goes up and down. We haven't seen an uptick that has raised any alarms."

He said to continue to prevent crime in the area, people should continue to strengthen their neighborhood watch parties.

"If there is any big takeaway I would like to share with you, this is what we need with every crime that is committed within our communities," he said. "We need our citizens to participate in the process, call in tips. The one component that we can probably improve upon everywhere in Central Florida is getting our citizens involved in the process."


About the Author:

Gaby is a multimedia producer from Miami. She graduated from the University of Florida and joined the News 6 team in 2018.