GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Gainesville police are trying to identify a man wanted in a sexual battery and home invasion robbery about a block east of the University of Florida campus early Sunday.
Police said a young woman answered a knock at her door on Southwest First Avenue about 4:30 a.m. thinking it could have been her boyfriend. Instead, she was met by a man armed with a knife, police said.
Police said the man robbed the woman of her cellphone, iPod and cash, and then ordered her to strip and raped her.
Police said the rapist forced the woman to shower before he left the home on foot.
"Just to think it happened so close to where I live, on this street, it's really scary," said Kristen Keely, a senior at UF. "I have pepper spray, but in the scheme of things, if I'm not even walking home, in my own house, it's really scary."
Since the crime, detectives have increased patrols and surveillance in the neighborhood, and they said they will continue to have a heavy police in the area until the rapist is caught.
"It's a horrible thing to have happen, even if you know the person," said Cpl. Tscharna Senn, of the Gainsville Police Department. "But when it's somebody that's completely a stranger to you, it makes our job a little harder. But that is something we're very dedicated to find out who did this."
The rapist is described as a college-age black man, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, with a slim build and short, cropped hair. He was wearing a black T-shirt, denim shorts and M&M boxer shorts.
If you have any information on the crime or the man's identity or whereabouts, call Gainesville police at 352-393-7610 or Crime Stoppers at 352-372-STOP (7867).