Concerned residents forming neighborhood watch following Northdale Lake Park trail attack

Posted at 8:57 PM, Feb 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-28 06:04:00-05

LUTZ, Fla. — Neighbors are taking proactive steps to take back their community as Hillsborough deputies search for the man responsible for a recent attack on a popular Tampa Bay trail. 

A woman was walking westbound Saturday on the Northdale Lake Park Trail when the unknown suspect attacked her from behind and threw her to the ground. 

Related: Deputies search for suspect after woman attacked on Northdale Lake Park trail

The victim told deputies the suspect removed her shorts then ran eastbound on the trail, holding the victim's shorts over his head. 

"It's very clear that people want to take a stand. People don't like this, they're very concerned," said Jim Salgado. 

Salgado is taking steps to form a neighborhood watch in the Northdale area. He's asking volunteers to walk the trail and keep an eye out for any suspicious behavior. 

"The whole idea is to raise the awareness," said Salgado. "We want safety to be one of our biggest concerns."

Salgado is deploying organizational skills he's acquired over his nearly three-decade career in the U.S. Air Force. 

"We just want to do what we can to help law enforcement get this individual out of our neighborhood."

Salgado tells ABC Action News, he's already received more than a dozen messages from concerned residents ready to join the watch. 

Deputies on Monday released a composite sketch of the suspect and surveillance photos in the area of the attack. 

He's described as a white male, 25 to 30 years old, approximately 5' 10" tall with brown hair. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at 813-247-8200.