US Marshals arrest St. Augustine man wanted in rape of teen

Hunter Buck, 25, was taken into custody on a warrant charging him with sexual battery on a minor

A 25-year-old St. Augustine man suspected in the rape of a 13-year-old girl was arrested Friday in Suwannee County, authorities said.

The U.S. Marshals Task Force and Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office took Hunter Dylan Jones Buck into custody after locating him in Live Oak, the St. Augustine Police Department tweeted Friday afternoon.

Buck was wanted on a felony charge of sexual battery on a minor stemming from a sexual assault that was reported Jan. 19 in St. Johns County. At last check Friday, he remained in custody at the Suwannee County jail, where he’s being held without bond.

Police previously told News4Jax the man had been contacting the girl on social media about a week before the attack.

News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson says social media is a common way for criminals to lure victims.

“They’ll pick up a conversation a lot of times to endure that particular person and make them feel that they can trust them and then the next thing you know, they’re at your doorstep,” Jefferson said.

According to a copy of the incident report, the teen was at home the morning of Jan. 19 when she heard a noise outside. She went outside to investigate, thinking her mother was the source of commotion, but instead saw a man driving around the area.

The victim said the man must have seen her and suspected she was alone. She said she went back inside and tried to barricade herself in her bedroom but was unable to lock the door. Then, she told police, the man barged in and sexually assaulted her.

The man, whom police have identified as Buck, took off when the teen’s mother got home.

The teen’s mother was able photograph the stranger’s vehicle as it drove away. Police on Monday issued a be-on-the-lookout notice for Buck. Detectives later found Buck’s vehicle but found no sign of him — until his arrest Friday.

A search of online court records found Buck has been in and out of jail in the past, including being adjudicated guilty of robbery in 2014.

About the Author:

Corley Peel is a Texas native and Texas Tech graduate who covered big stories in Joplin, Missouri, Tulsa, Oklahoma and Jacksonville, Florida before returning to the Lone Star State. When not reporting, Corley enjoys hot yoga, Tech Football, and finding the best tacos in town.