EXCLUSIVE: 15-year-old victim of assault speaks, refuses to let attack break her

Police continue to search for suspect
Posted at 6:24 PM, Jun 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-14 18:24:00-04

We are not showing her face, to protect her, but you can hear the bravery and conviction in her voice.

"I am determined to find this man," said the 15-year-old.

A man she described as well as she could in a composite sketch for St. Petersburg police. A man who in minutes took away her childhood.

"I started yelling for help," she said. "I was begging for him to stop."

We are also shielding her parents identity. Sitting between them for support the 15-year-old shared how she fought for her life.

It happened on May 27 she had left her home earlier in the evening.

"I just remember walking home and him touching on me, then me hitting him and then him just beating on me," said the teen.

But, her strength was no match to his.

"He was telling me he was going to kill me because I was screaming. So, I stopped screaming," she said.

She passed out after the first blow. Blows so severe, they broke her jaw in three places. She doesn't remember how long she laid there but by this time her mom had called police. And then around 4:26 a.m police got a call about an injured teenager walking on 22nd Avenue South near 12th Street.

They rushed her to the hospital, where she stayed for four days. Her parents not leaving her side.

Her dad said they are numb, but also grateful.

"She could have died. She is still here, She is not gone," he said.

Her mother said the attack was so severe she is now also worried about other kids.

"He really needs to be turned in before it happens to another child," she said.

Strangers echoed the message

"We are going to find this monster," said David Jackson. He is a resident of St. Petersburg and is a grandfather. He and a team of friends canvassed South St. Pete and passed out flyers of the suspect.

"I am just pissed off right now," said Jackson. "We are not going to let you hurt these babies out here."

The community's efforts are helping the teen heal.

"That makes me feel blessed. It makes me feel feel like people really care about me," she said.

And she wants people to know she refuses to let this break her. She still plans on going in to the Air Force and then becoming a doctor.

"My message to young women who this has happened to them is stay positive," said the teen.

Anyone with information regarding the case who wishes to remain anonymous and eligible for a $3,000 reward is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS or

Tipsters may also contact St. Petersburg Police at  893-7780 or text SPPD + your tip to TIP411. Case #2017-025408.