Pinellas County deputies confirmed Saturday that a man arrested for kidnapping and raping a woman is a former Tarpon Springs Police officer who currently works for the Transportation Security Administration.
Deputies say Larry Kobielnik, 37, approached a 30-year-old woman who was walking in the area of Gulf to Bay Blvd. and Highlands Ave. in Clearwater around 2:30 Friday morning and asked her if she needed a ride.
She got into the vehicle and when she asked him to stop a few blocks away, detectives say he refused and showed her a gun and police badge. He told her she was being arrested and then he took her to a home in Dunedin where she was sexually battered, deputies said Saturday.
She was able to escape when he fell asleep and that's when detectives said she got his vehicle's tag number and called authorities.
Kobielnik was arrested but denies the allegations.
Kobielnik was an officer for the Tarpon Springs Police department but details were not released on when or why he left. He currently works for the TSA.