Police need help to ID woman, man in Jacksonville Beach sex attack

Police release sketches, photo of suspect vehicle in reported sexual battery

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JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – Jacksonville Beach police are investigating a sexual battery reported to have happened in the early morning hours Sunday.

According to an incident report, the victim, a 23-year-old woman, went to the Jacksonville Beach Police Department about 8:45 p.m. Sunday to report the attack, which she said happened around 2:30 a.m. Sunday near the area where Beach Boulevard dead ends at the beaches.

She said a man and woman forced her into a black truck. Exactly what happened to her after that has been redacted from the report.

Police released sketches of a Hispanic woman and a black man and are asking for the public's help to identify them.

The woman is described as 5 feet 3 inches tall, with black shoulder length hair, green eyes, approximately 145 pounds and 25-30 years old.

The man is described as 6 feet 2 inches tall, 175 pounds, 25-30 years old with no facial hair.

The suspect’s vehicle is a black single cab truck, and police also released an image of the vehicle that they said was captured in surveillance video at Beach Boulevard and 1st Street South around 4 a.m. Sunday.

Anyone with information on the individuals or who can identify the truck is asked to contact Detective Corporal Watts at 904-270-1661.

Community on edge

The reported sexual attack is the latest in a recent string of violent crimes in Jacksonville Beach.

Last month, a man was shot and killed on First Street.

A lot of people said the reported crimes, including the sexual battery case, are making them more aware of their surroundings when they go out.

They said something needs to be done to make the community safer. 

“I don’t condone violence in any way," said Tara Atkins, a former Jacksonville Beach resident who was visiting the area Thursday. "I think that with the climate of the country right now and us as citizens not trusting each other when it comes to being a hater or crime in your immediate neighborhood, I think it’s going to take a village to fix that, and we have to find a fine line where we are not (resorting) to violence, but we have to make people accountable."

Others are taking precautions to be extra safe at night. 

“For us, we live in walking distance, so we have to be extra careful," resident Danielle Benson said. "When) it’s late at night, we are walking back, but we always go together.” 

Anyone who is currently or has been the victim of sexual violence is encouraged to contact the Women's Center of Jacksonville, where they can receive support, advocacy and counseling. Victims' privacy is protected. For more information or to seek help, call 904-722-3000 or the 24/7 Rape Crisis Hotline at 904-721-7273 or visit womenscenterofjax.org/rape-recovery-and-prevention.

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