Lakeland Police hunt for sex battery suspect

LAKELAND, Fla. - The Lakeland Police Department needs help to identify a person of interest in the Attempted Sexual Battery and False Imprisonment of a 61-year-old woman. 

On Monday, June 2, 2014, a man was seen on video surveillance just before a sexual battery which occurred at the Chevron Gas Station at 1315 US Highway 98 S.

Detective Paula Tolbert with the Lakeland Police Department says this appears to be a crime of opportunity.

"He saw a female who couldn't defend herself," says Detective Tolbert.  "I think he saw her and followed her."

Lakeland Police say surveillance video from the Chevron.  It shows the man waiting outside the exterior, gas station restroom.  He even tries twice to open the door.  Detectives say both times the victim said the restroom was broken, hoping her would-be attacker would go away.

But he didn't leave.  Waiting for an opportunity to go into the restroom.

The video may be the best lead police have to go on at this time, but the victim was also able to give them a little more detail not shown in the video.

 “She did mention his eye color that they were blue or hazel eyes and that they were odd in color. and there also appears to be a handkerchief hanging off his right pants pocket,” said Det. Tolbert.

The person is described as a black male, approximately 6'0-6'1, with a heavy build and muscular, wearing greenish or gray pants with an unknown type shirt. The victim described the person's eyes as having an "odd color" as they appeared hazel or blue in color.

The victim says during the frightening encounter the man only touched her, which is why police say no DNA evidence could be found when the victim was taken to the hospital.

Anyone with information on the identification of this individual is asked to contact Detective Paula Tolbert at 863-834-8981, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477. To remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward, you must contact Crime Stoppers.

Watch below for excerpts from surveillance video.  Mobile users visit .


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