Sexual battery suspect arrested following release of police sketch

UPDATE | February 18, 2021 11:21 AM ET

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The man wanted for a brutal attack earlier this month has been identified.

Police have arrested Willie Hooker, 43, following a sketch released Feb. 12.

Hooker has been charged with Armed Sexual Battery and Armed Robbery.

ORIGINAL STORY: Jacksonville police are on the lookout for a man wanted for sexually attacking a person on the Westside.

Friday, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office released a sketch of what the victim told police the attacker looks like.

The attack happened on Feb. 5 along San Juan Avenue sometime around 2 a.m.

Police said the victim was walking home from Overtime Sports Bar when they were ambushed from behind by the suspect.

The police report said the suspect used a knife during the attack.

Thomas Jones owns Shut Em Down Authentic Southern Restaurant near where the sexual assault took place.

“It’s upsetting to me,” Jones said.

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He said the safety of his employees is his top priority.

“That’s why every night when we leave, we all leave as a group,” Jones said.

He said police stopped by the restaurant to review the surveillance videos to see if it caught the suspect.

“They didn’t tell us if they found anything,” Jones said.

Action News Jax stopped by several businesses in the area and showed people the sketch of the suspect.

Most people said they didn’t recognize the man, but two said he looked familiar. They didn’t want to go on camera.

Police said the victim was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Jones is warning everyone to be vigilant, regardless of where you live.

“It don’t matter what side of town you’re on,” Jones said. “This can happen anywhere.”

Action News Jax reached out to JSO to see if there’s an age, height or weight description for the suspect.

If you recognize the man, you are asked to call police at 904-630-0500 or CrimeStoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

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Samantha Mathers

Samantha Mathers, Action News Jax

Samantha Mathers is a digital reporter and content creator.