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North Port police searching for man reported to have sexually battered 15-year-old girl

North Port police are searching for a man after a 15-year-old girl reported she had been sexually battered while jogging near her home. Twenty-four hours after a sketch was released, the man still has not been caught putting the neighborhood on edge.

The juvenile said on Jan. 6, around 4:41 p.m., a man sexually battered her near the area of Landover Terrace in North Port.

15-year-old girl reports sexual battery (WINK News)

The victim provided information to police which caused them to believe she was targeted and this was not a random act.

The victim gave a detailed description of the suspect.

He is described as about 36-38 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall, average to muscular build, dark blonde hair styled in a buzz cut, goatee and greenish-blue eyes.

His clothing was described as blue jeans with a black t-shirt with a red and orange design on the front.

Detectives are looking into the 20 tips called into the office since Wednesday evening. They hope to get back DNA results collected at the scene by next weekend.

Police say he was last seen traveling northbound on Landover Terrace in an older black four-door car, possibly a Ford.

Police have spent dozens of hours in the neighborhood canvassing and looking at surveillance video for leads, but so far, nothing to help them find the person responsible.

They are asking the public to please check any recording devices they may have which could help us in this investigation.

Neighbors are frantic to help find who committed the crime in broad daylight.

“Somebody would be that bold, during the day, to do something like that to a child,” asked Inez Barrett of North Port.

Neighbors say detectives flooded the property Monday with crime scene tape up, blocking off the side of the house and focusing their search behind a shed.

“It’s shocking because we thought it was a safe neighborhood,” said Rhonda Anzevino.

None of the community members we talked to seem to recognize the man described by the victim.

“He looks so, so, like, common,” said Stephanie Higgins. “You know what I mean? It could be anybody.”

But neighbors say they’re not taking any chances, knowing he’s still out there.

“I don’t think I’m going to start my walking routine in the morning,” Anzevino said.

“If this guy has attacked a 15-year-old…in the broad daylight, chances are, this isn’t his first time,” Higgins said.

Kelsey Whealy, an interim director for Sarasota County Schools, said there are no special measures being taken. Whealy said the following to WINK News:

We are continually in contact with our local law enforcement partners about a variety of happenings that could have a potential impact on our school communities. In this instance, our schools have been operating as usual, no special measures taken. We defer to the insights and advice of the NPPD, as this is their case.

Our students, teachers, staff and visitors are all aware of how to report suspicious activity/persons near or around campus. As you know, all traditional public schools have a single-point of entry at the front office, and all visitors on campus are required to check-in at the front office and have their driver’s license/ID scanned against a criminal database before entering a campus.

Self-defense classes geared for anyone in the community are offered at Suncoast Technical College’s various campuses – you would need to contact them directly about what the courses entail and how frequently they occur.

If anyone is able to identify this subject or obtains any information please contact the North Port Police Department, Det. Kishia Veigel at 941-429-7335 or [email protected].

Reporter:Erika Jackson
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