Deputies arrest man for jumping out from bushes and trying to attack women during morning jog
Suspect is believed to be mentally disabled
9:31 PM, May 23, 2013
VALRICO, Fla. - Two 18-year-old women had a frightening morning jog Thursday, when investigators said a man jumped out from behind a bush and grabbed one of them by the arm.
The girls screamed and were able to run home to call for help.
After a nearly six-hour manhunt, deputies arrested Frank Zuniga for what was initially labeled an attempted abduction.
Zuniga is believed to be mentally challenged, but is also suspected in another incident a couple weeks ago in the same area where he pinched a girls rear end.
"He has a Florida drivers license, which means he had to have taken a test to get that license, he has a job, so we feel that he is competent enough to understand what he has done was wrong," said Larry McKinnon, Spokesman for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
Thursday's arrest is a relief for people who live and exercise along Nature's Way Boulevard in Valrico.
The street is part of a five-mile loop that is very popular among joggers and runners.
"It definitely makes you more cautious of your surroundings," said Elizabeth Hernandez, who runs the trail daily.
Investigators said the women suspected something was wrong after the spotted a suspicious truck parked near the bushes. They had seen the same truck following them earlier in the run.
They praise the women for running together and screaming loud enough to stop the attack.
They're not sure of Zuniga's intentions, but investigators say the community can rest assured.
"We're going to definitely take him off the streets tonight," McKinnon said.
Zuniga was arrested back in 2009 for burglary. He now faces charges of false imprison and battery, in addition to misdemeanor batter for the previous assault.