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Authorities: Suspect in attempted assault may have raped girl in Bradenton last month (with video)

MANATEE -- Local law enforcement is investigating two other cases similar to one Thursday when a man tried to sexually assault a 12-year-old girl while she was walking home from school, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

In one of the earlier cases, a 15-year-old girl was raped, according to Bradenton police.

The sheriff's office also released security camera footage of the suspect in the incident Thursday.

The sheriff's office is investigating a case involving a 15-year-old girl on Nov. 29, and the Bradenton Police Department is investigating a case involving another 15-year-old girl on Jan. 31.

In the November case, the man fled after the girl resisted, according to a news release.

In the January case, the girl told Bradenton police detectives that she was walking in the 4900 block of 47th Avenue West about 3:50 p.m. when she was approached and grabbed from behind by a man. He threw her to the ground and raped her, according to police.

The suspect then fled.

In the incident Thursday, the girl was walking in the parking lot of a church in the 5500 block of 26th Street West about 4:20 p.m. when she was grabbed from behind by an unknown person. The suspect fled after the girl told the suspect that there were people in the area and that he better leave.

Deputies used a K-9 police dog to track the suspect but they did not find him.

The suspect Thursday was described as being between 30 and 40 years old and standing 6 feet tall with a thin build. He was wearing a dark hoodie with black basketball shorts. The description of the suspect in the Jan. 31 case was similar.

Anyone with information about these incidents can call the sheriff's office at (941) 747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at (9866) 634-TIPS.

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