• Alleged rape in Bartram Park shocks parents


    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Mothers are speaking out about an alleged rape that happened in Bartram Park.

    Officials released a sketch of the man a woman said a man raped her as she was leaving a grocery store with her toddler.

    Mothers told Action News Jax it’s disturbing to know a woman was raped behind a family-friendly, highly-trafficked shopping area.

    “I’m shocked about it. And it does make me feel a little bit more unsafe about the area,” said resident Darcie Hayes.

    Investigators spent hours Saturday combing through surveillance video to help identify the male suspect they believed to be mixed race with short, straight black hair.

    “I just hope that the person gets caught because that’s unimaginable," resident Zena Christian said.

    Police said the 20- to 30-year-old man is believed to have scratches on his face from the attack, which occurred shortly before 6 p.m. Friday on Old St. Augustine Road.

    The suspect is described as a light-skinned male, 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 9 inches tall with a muscular build.

    He has straight black hair and brown eyes, according to the woman. He was last seen wearing gray pants, and his vehicle is described as an older model gray four-door Honda with "damaged looking" tinted windows. 

    Parents said they’re heartbroken to know a mother was raped as her nearly 1-year-old child sat nearby in a stroller.

    “It brings tears to my eyes because I find it really, really upsetting. That child is scared honestly. That child already understands the distress that the mother felt,” said Kate Massey.

    Police are asking anyone with information about the assault or suspect 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.

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