Search continues for Bradenton assault suspect

MANATEE -- Investigators are still looking for the man who attacked three girls in Manatee County over the past three months.

Detectives from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office and Bradenton Police Department are working together on the case.

“We are getting some leads and working them right away,” said Dave Bristow, spokesman for the sheriff’s office. “Hopefully sooner or later, one of them will develop into an arrest.”

The suspect, who is seen on two sets of surveillance video, is described as being between 18 and 30 years old and standing 6 feet tall with a thin build. He was wearing a dark hoodie with black basketball shorts.

The Gold Star Club of Manatee County is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect.

A 12-year-old girl was attacked Feb. 10 as she was walking home from school in the rear parking lot of Christ United Methodist Church in the 5500 block of 26th Street West.

The suspect picked her up and carried her a short distance to a low hanging oak tree, according to a media release. The suspect then attempted to sexually assault her, but she told him there were people in the area and that he better leave.

Two different surveillance cameras captured images of the suspect, according to authorities.

The first incident occurred Nov. 29 when a 15-year-old was walking home from school in the 5100 block of 51st Street West. The girl managed to kick the attacker in the head while she was on the ground, and ran home to tell her mother about the incident, a report stated. The attacker ran off after the incident.

Another case involving a 15-year-old girl occurred Jan. 31 when she was grabbed from behind by a man in the 4900 block of 47th Avenue West, according to the Bradenton Police Department.

She was sexually assaulted, and then the man fled.

Anyone with information about these incidents can call the sheriff’s office at (941) 747-3011, the Bradenton Police Department at (941) 932-9301 or Crime Stoppers at (866) 634-TIPS.

Related stories from Bradenton Herald