THURSDAY UPDATE: The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said they have arrested the suspect accused of sexual battery and home invasion.
The incident occurred early Sunday morning at an apartment complex on Gate Parkway.
Gate Pkwy Home Invasion/Sexual Battery suspect has been arrested. More information forthcoming. We wanted to let the public know he is no longer roaming the streets of Jacksonville. https://t.co/TM53eDAkIf— Jax Sheriff's Office (@JSOPIO) May 17, 2018
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is currently searching for a man who sexually battered a female victim at an apartment on Gate Parkway early Sunday morning.
Police say the man was armed with a gun when he kicked in the front door, forced the father and daughter into a bedroom, sexually battered the daughter, and demanded money and a cell phone.
The victims provided officers with a description of the man. According to police, he appeared to be between 5’6” and 5’8” and 170 lbs., but his appearance was somewhat heavier. Police have released an official sketch.
He was wearing a yellow jacket (with a two-letter logo on the upper right chest area), light blue jeans, and a white or red hat. Police say he spoke a foreign language.
Surveillance video in the area shows the vehicle officers believe the man was driving. It shows the SUV entering the apartment complex at 11:20 p.m. and leaving at 1:53 a.m.
Action News Jax’s own Lindsey Nolen said she has always felt safe at the Terraces at Town Center Apartments.
That is, until Tuesday night, when she said an officer knocked on her door looking for information.
“He pointed down the hall to a neighbor’s apartment, and said that someone had broken in, kicked the door down and was asking if we had heard anything as a result of that, and we said no,” Nolen said.
Steps away, police said the man sexually assaulted a woman in her apartment, holding her and her father at gunpoint.
“It’s super scary,” Nolen said. “I’ve always felt pretty safe here. I just moved here from [Philadelphia], and I thought I kind of escaped all that, but it can happen anywhere.”
JSO provided photos of the suspect and his dark SUV, captured between 11 p.m. Saturday and just before 2 a.m. Sunday.
But police just alerted the public about the suspect Tuesday night.
We asked Action News Jax Crime and Safety Expert Ken Jefferson- who investigated sex crimes for JSO- why that may be.
“I don’t know if they had leads that they were following before they wanted to put this out, however, when you have an armed, violent offender, it is of the utmost importance that you get that information as soon as you can,” Jefferson said.
“With this delay in time, he could’ve struck again in the same complex,” Jefferson added.
Action News Jax asked the public information department at JSO about this Wednesday and they sent this statement:
"The information was disseminated by the PIO Unit as soon as we received it from the investigative unit. There are many moving parts with these types of investigations and are obviously traumatic for the victim. The sketch provided was completed with the assistance of the victim – and these sometimes cannot be completed right away for obvious reasons. We must take into account the victim’s state following the crime and their ability to recount all of the details for dissemination. When we release information, we must ensure the information is factual and as accurate as possible.
As with any information dissemination – this was delivered to the public as quickly as possible given the situation."
Anyone who knows the identity of this man, his location, or that of the vehicle, contact JSO at (904) 630 - 0500 or email them at JSOCrimeTips@JaxSheriff.org. To remain anonymous and receive a possible reward up to $3,000, please contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.
JUST IN: #JSO on why it took more than 2 days to alert public about violent attacker.— Russell Colburn (@RussellANjax) May 16, 2018
"As with any information dissemination – this was delivered to the public as quickly as possible given the situation."
See their full statement below. @ActionNewsJax https://t.co/9WLTnzbE4P pic.twitter.com/R4nOko5ELN
Gate Pkwy Home Invasion/Sexual Battery suspect sought. 5’6”-5’8”, 170 lbs, but appeared heavier. Yellow jacket (2 letter logo on upper right chest area), light blue jeans, & white or red hat. Suspect spoke a foreign language. 630-0500 or email: JSOCrimeTips@JaxSheriff.org. pic.twitter.com/Llgw77Nak9— Jax Sheriff's Office (@JSOPIO) May 16, 2018
I just spoke with a man who lives at the Terrace at Town Center Apts. He tells me officers knocked on his door this weekend & made everyone in the building come outside. Officers told them someone’s apt. got broken into over the weekend @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/hhjxRLLn9E— Danielle Avitable (@DanielleANjax) May 16, 2018
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