JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Police released a sketch Thursday morning of a man they believe is involved in attempted violence against two women in Jacksonville.
They said the man kidnapped a woman in the area of West Ashley Street between Pearl and Clay streets and threatened her with sexual violence. She was able to escape and contacted police.
News4Jax crews spotted a homeless camp set up in this area and spoke with a woman who lived there. She did not want to be identified for her safety but said she’s now on high alert.
“They need to go ahead and get him real fast before he gets someone else. It’s going to be real bad. They need to take him and lock him up,” she said.
Police said another woman reported a robbery and attempted sexual attack blocks away in the area of West 6th Street and Perry Street in the Springfield area.
Both women were homeless and gave similar descriptions of the suspect, police said.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office believes the incidents may be related and are asking for help to identify the man in the sketch.
News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said this man is preying on the most vulnerable.
“If you find yourself in a situation like this, God forbid, fight! Fight for survival. Fight to get away. Make a lot of noise to draw attention to yourself,” Jefferson said.
He also said don’t feel bad about contacting the police on someone you feel is the person that they’re looking for, no matter if it ends up being the suspect. It’s better to speak up.
The man is described as a lighter complexion black male with a slender build, approximately 6 feet tall and between 40 and 60 years old.
Jefferson said it’s best to get pepper spray or a noisemaker to defend and draw attention to yourself if you ever find yourself in a dangerous situation.
Anyone who has any information on the identity of the suspect is asked to contact the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous and receive a possible reward up to $3,000, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.