NewsSarasota, Manatee County


Sarasota deputies investigate after woman attacked leaving gym

The attack happened on Tuesday morning
Posted at 9:48 PM, Mar 22, 2019

SARASOTA, Fla. — The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office is investigating a battery that occurred early on Tuesday morning.

Deputies said a 39-year-old woman was leaving a community fitness center when she was attacked.

"You never know who is around anywhere. This is a pretty nice area, you wouldn't know that somebody like that is around," said neighbor Paige Stevens.

Deputies said as the victim left the building, the man approached her from behind, grabbed onto her and pulled her back toward the facility. The victim resisted and the two fell down. The man ran away.

If you look at this surveillance video, you can see a man peeking through the center's window. Then you can see the woman and man fall to the ground as soon as she leaves.

"We just moved in here, a little surprised, we've been down here before to visit, it sort of caught us off guard," said neighbor Steve Maxim.

It happened on Tuesday just before 7:00 a.m. at the fitness center at Arium on Palmer Ranch Apartments in Sarasota.

"We have a younger daughter, we just want her to be aware of the situation," said Maxim.

Neighbors told ABC Action News they have received at least two emails from management about the incident.

The email read in part, "We take our residents safety very seriously and have taken immediate measures to combat this event. We have installed two new cameras and have added additional lightning at the fitness center."

"We see some grounds work, some extensive grounds work being done. They pretty much took out all the shrubbery and making it a lot more open and clear," said Stevens.

The victim sustained minor injures, according to deputies. She described the man as wearing a blue colored hoodie.

No similar incidents have been reported in the area.