Men chase attacker through Downtown Sarasota

Ryan Mear couldn’t ignore the noise.
 
"It sounded like someone was being murdered,” Mear said. “We could tell someone was screaming for their life."
 
Sarasota Police Department says Mear and a friend heard a woman being attacked after she left a music festival and walked to her car.
 
Mear’s friend chased the man while Mear headed down a different route.
 
"The suspect approached her and asked to use her cell phone,” said Sarasota Police spokeswoman Genevieve Judge. “He told the victim that his sister was lost and he needed to get in touch with her."
 
After refusing and walking away, the suspect grabbed the women and dragged her into a dark alley near her work. 
 
Mear eventually came face to face with the man when he caught up with him just a few blocks away.
 
"I said ‘Hey what were you doing with that woman?’" Mear said.
 
The man responded by saying, “I don’t know anything about any white women,” Mear said.
 
The suspect fled through traffic and disappeared, but not before Mear got a close look at him. 
 
"They said that we prevented a likely rape and a possible murder,” said Mear, who says he was just doing what he felt was right. “This is not something that typically happens in Sarasota, but it’s a small town and people need to watch where they’re walking and beware of their surroundings."
 
Mear describes the suspect as a black man standing about 6 feet tall with short, braided hair. He says he must have been in his late 20s or early 30s.
 
If you have any information your asked to contact Sarasota Police Department at 941 -366-8000.
 
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