Man charged in attack on hotel clerk rescued by guest

Woman assaulted in lobby of Gainesville hotel

Alachua County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Anthony Williams

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Following clues left by a man who assaulted a hotel desk clerk early Monday morning, Gainesville police have arrested a 38-year-old man on a charge of kidnapping and assisted sexual battery.

A hotel guest who heard a disturbance in the lobby of the Sleep Inn and Suites on SW 40th Boulevard about 2 a.m. came to the rescue of the victim and helped fight off her attacker, according to the Gainesville Police Department.

According to police, when the clerk asked the man to leave, he grabbed her by the neck and attempted to drag her to a secluded area and remove her clothes. She was left with abrasions on her neck, stomach and forearm.

The attacker left the hotel and ran north.

Gainesville officers noted that the attacker had mentioned Waffle House, and they found someone in the restaurant who matched the description of the man and surveillance video of him matched that from the hotel.

When Anthony Williams was arrested on an unrelated charge. When police noticed he was wearing the same shorts as he was wearing during the attack, he was also charged with the hotel attack.

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