Search continues for a man who kidnapped and sexually battered a 5-year-old girl in Manatee County

Suspect last seen trying to board a MCTA bus


Sarasota Police has taken a suspect into custody and he is now being questioned.  According to Sarasota PD, they received a tip that the man was at a homeless facility in Sarasota.  

The Manatee County Sheriff's Office will hold a news conference at 5:00 p.m.

Watch it live on ABC Action News Now.   Live on Mobile:

-Original Story-

The search for a man Manatee County deputies say kidnapped and sexually battered a 5-year-old girl on Monday has entered its third day.

The attack occurred near the Aloha Estates Mobile Home Park located at the intersection of US 41 and State Road 70.

The Manatee County Sheriff's Office says around 1:00 p.m. on Monday the girl was playing with another child when an unknown man approached.

Authorities say the man lured the girl to a store and then to a vacant mobile home where she was choked and sexually battered. The 5-year-old was able to escape, run home and tell a family member about the attack.

Detectives obtained security video from inside the India Bazaar convenience store.  It shows the suspect and child together.

"He just came and bought the candy and he just left," said Mukesh Trivedi.

Trivedi was behind the counter.  He said he recognized the child and the man, but didn't think there wasn't anything wrong because he thought they were neighbors.

"I feel so bad, especially for the girl, 5-years-old, not supposed to happen like that."

In addition, investigators have obtained video of the suspect trying to board a Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) bus as he attempted to flee the area. 

The attacker is described as a muscularly built black man, around 5'10", weighing 220 lbs. with short or balding hair. Deputies say appears to be between 30 to 45 years old. He was last seen wearing baggy blue jean shorts, no shirt and dark colored tennis shoes.

The 5-year-old girl was treated and is back home with her family.

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to contact the Manatee County Sheriff's Office at (941) 747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at (866) 634-TIPS.

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