Sheriff's deputies say woman, 69, was attacked in a home in Whitfield Estates
MANATEE -- Manatee deputies are searching for a man who deputies said attempted to rape a 69-year-old real estate agent.
At 1:35 p.m. Monday, deputies responded to a home in the Whitfield Estates area in southern Manatee County, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies said the victim is a Realtor who was showing a house to the suspect. The suspect, who described himself as Jim, went into the bathroom and flushed the toilet. He then yelled to the victim that there was a leak in the bathroom, the sheriff's office said.
When the woman went to check on what was going on and the suspect tried to force himself on her, the victim told him that the owners of the house were nearby and would be there shortly. The suspect ran to his vehicle and drove away, deputies said.
According to a release, the suspect is described as middle aged man, approximately 6-feet tall, weighing 250 pounds and being bald or having balding hair. He was wearing camo shorts, a grey polo shirt with high socks and white sneakers. The victim told deputies the suspect "reeked of cigarette smoke." Deputies also said the suspect was driving a newer model full size extended cab pick-up truck, either black or navy blue in color.
Stafford Starcher, president of the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee and a ReMax Alliance real estate agent, learned of the incident from a Bradenton Herald reporter. He said he plans to obtain the official sheriff's office release and call the association to prepare for an email blast.
"What we try to do is to get any information that the police may have so that all of our Realtors can be on the look out. It'll be right there," Starcher said. "We also have ongoing training at the board for Realtor safety."
Anyone with information on this incident can call the sheriff's office at 941-747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS.
Amaris Castillo, law enforcement/island reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7051. Follow her on Twitter@AmarisCastillo.