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DNA helps arrest man accused of attacking woman walking near bus transit center

Posted at 5:10 PM, Mar 31, 2017

Tampa Police arrested a man they say raped a complete stranger who was walking home from the Marion Transit Center after work.

Police say DNA found on the victim matched 25-year-old Quinton Alford, a convicted felon whose DNA was already in the system.

According to police, Alford walked up behind the victim on North Morgan Street near East Estelle Street and placed his hand over her mouth. He led her to a wooded lot where the attack continued. After a few minutes, he apologized and let the woman go. The attack happened on October 30th, around 10:45 p.m., a warrant for Alford's arrest was issued on March 22. He was arrested March 30.

People who work and travel down that stretch of Morgan Street say the area is not safe. It's dark at night, a haven for homeless and drug users.

"If you are going to do some evil stuff, this is where you would do it at," one man who works in the area, who wished to stay anonymous, said. "You could get away with almost anything here. There's no residential for a couple of blocks. No businesses for another couple of blocks. It's just a big open area."

He suggested more lights in the area and hopes the empty lots are developed soon.

"You can't expect police to sit here all day and night. But, if there was some more lighting around here or just some more development in the area. The biggest problem is that there's just a bunch of empty lots around," he said.

Police say there is no evidence that Alford has attacked other women, but are asking any other potential victims to come forward.