Gainesville police investigating attempted rapes

Man tries to sexually batter 2 women in Gainesville on Saturday

By Ashley Harding - Reporter , Jason Mealey - Producer/assignment editor

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Officers with the University of Florida and Gainesville police are searching for a man who they say attempted to rape two women this weekend.

At 2 a.m. Saturday, university police responded to a call about a woman being dragged from the sidewalk into the woods along the edge of campus. Police say the suspect description matched  another incident that happened at 2:40 a.m. Saturday. A witness told police they saw a man ask for a ride to the ABC Motel on SW 13th Street. Police and a K-9 unite responded and knocked on all the hotel doors but were unsuccessful in finding the suspect.

Then at 11:20 p.m Saturday, Gainesville police responded to a report of a woman screaming on NW 2nd  Avenue. Police say a 21-year-old woman had been punched in the face by a person who ripped some of her clothes off and tried to rape her. Authorities say he was unsuccessful in the rape and disappeared into the crowd of hundreds of fans leaving the stadium after the season opening football game was canceled by lightning.

The suspect is described as a white man about 6 foot to 6 foot 5 inches, heavy build, with close-cut brown hair and a close-cut beard. Police said he was wearing a blue Gator shirt.

Gainesville police say they will have increased patrols in the area. If you have any information you can call 352-955-1818. You can also text an anonymous tip by  texting keyword GPDFL plus your tip to 274637.

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