NewsHillsborough County


Teenager claims man in 20s tried to flirt with his underage friends and attacked him at Gasparilla

Tampa Police is investigating the incident
Posted at 10:14 PM, Jan 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-28 07:24:35-05

TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Police said it is investigating after an 18-year-old said he was assaulted during Gasparilla on Saturday afternoon.

Ethan Shamblin said a man who appeared to be in his 20s started bothering his underage female friends.

He was watching the pirate invasion near the intersection of Bayshore Boulevard and South Howard Avenue.

"We were sitting on the curb, this guy came up to them and started talking to them and flirting with them," said Shamblin.

Shamblin said he told the man to stop and that his friends were only 16 years old.

"He started punching me in the back of my head. He tried to slam it into the concrete," said Shamblin.

Tampa Police responded to the intersection where the incident happened after Shamblin reported the battery the next day.

The incident happened between 4:10 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

"He obviously didn't do anything wrong. He's just trying to tell a grown man who appeared in his mid 20s to stay away from 16-year-old girls," said Ethan's mother, Rebecca Long.

"I'm grateful the guy didn't have a knife or a gun because you hear stories like this and sometimes the victim doesn't bode as well," she added.

The suspect is described as a white male with a beard. He was wearing a red-and-white striped shirt with black shorts.

"Someone finally pulled him off to stop hitting me and he walked the other way and the guy told me to walk the other way," said Shamblin.

Shamblin said he went to an urgent care to get checked out. He has complained of headaches after the attack.

"The doctor said probably a contusion, bruising under the scalp and that's to be expected when your brain gets rattled around by punches in the back of the head," said Long.

Long hopes someone comes forward with information on the attack or has video of the incident.

"I'm hoping the perpetrator is found or he will turn himself in and do the right thing," said Long.