ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County deputies are searching for an armed man they said tried to rape a woman near an apartment complex.
Deputies said the attempted sexual battery happened around 6:40 a.m. Tuesday when the woman was walking to a bus stop near the intersection of Dean Road and Mission Bay Boulevard.
Investigators said the incident occurred behind one of the buildings in the Mission Bay Apartment complex. Deputies said the victim was walking toward a bus stop near Dean Road. Before she got there, she was approached by the man.
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She was able to fight back, and the suspect ran away.
Residents said the complex sent out an email letting residents know about the incident and that there may be additional security and police activity in and around the complex.
“It’s real scary because I’m on foot all the time and need to catch buses, and now I don’t even want to,” nearby resident Christina Kirk said.
Investigators have not specified what kind of weapon the suspect was armed with.
He is described as a 20- to 29-year-old man, around 5 feet, 10 inches tall with an average build and no visible tattoos, scars or piercings. Deputies said he was wearing a black hoodie, black basketball shorts and a gray bandanna on his head.
“This is a scary situation for anyone, so our number one goal is to make sure this person is no longer on the streets and we’ve identified them,” said Bailey Myers, a spokeswoman with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
Heather Hargrove, a neighbor, walked out of her apartment to find several deputies near her apartment.
“Everyone was just trying to figure out what was going on (because) we weren’t really being told anything,” Hargrove said.
Women in the area who spoke with Channel 9 said they’ll be keeping an extra eye out, especially since the attacker is still on the loose.
“It was pretty scary because I’ve never really been around that kind of thing,” neighbor Brooke Borgman said.
The Sheriff’s Office did not confirm if they believe the suspect lives in the apartment complex.
“We need to be brave about it, (not) be scared about (it), and we just need to protect ourselves.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Crimeline at 800-423-8477.
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