April 10 2013
– Police in Florida are on the hunt for a man who they say sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl after luring her into the woods in Port Salerno by asking her to help him find his dog.
The victim’s mother called 911 to report the disturbing incident just moments after her daughter told her that she was attacked by a stranger near Manatee Park Sunday.
‘My daughter just came home and said a man asked her to find his dog in the woods and then went to help him and he pulled her pants down,’ the unnamed parent could be heard telling a dispatcher on the recording released Tuesday.
Vile crime: Deputies in Port Salerno Fla., are searching for a man in his 20s (not pictured) who sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl after luring her into a wooded area near a park
The mother made the call on her way to the park where her child allegedly had been assaulted.
The incident happened at around 4.30pm while the 10-year-old girl and her two younger sisters, ages three and five, were playing in Manatee Park near Cove Road and Dixie Highway, TCPalm.com reported.
The child was approached by a man asking for her help in finding his lost pet. After the girl followed the stranger, police said he pulled down her pants and sexually assaulted her for three or four minutes.
The perpetrator let the girl go and fled the scene after she began struggling and screaming for help.
The suspected child molester is described as a while male in his 20s, about 5 feet 9 inches tall weighing around 150lbs with buzz-cut sandy blond hair.
He was last seen wearing a blue-and-white striped shirt and a brace or cast on one of his hands. HE ran away from the park heading northeast along the railroad tracks.
Crime scene: The girl was playing with her two younger sisters in Manatee Park across the street from their home when she was approached by a stranger
Familiar ruse: The man asked for the 10-year-old’s help in finding his lost dog and lured her into the woods behind the park
On the 911 call, the alleged victim’s mother explained to the operator that she let her daughter play outside unsupervised because she was in a neighborhood park located just across the street from their home.
On Tuesday, detectives worked with the little girl and an adult witness who saw the suspect leave the woods to complete a sketch.
‘The child has been a champion, she has been wonderful,’ said Christine Christofek Weiss, a spokeswoman for the Martin County Sheriff’s Office.
As part of an investigation into the sexual assault, deputies have been canvassing the Port Salerno neighborhood and interviewing sex offenders and people living in homeless camps in the area.
According to the sheriff’s office, about 15 of the county’s 152 registered sex offenders live in a one-mile radius around Manatee Park.
– Snejana Farberov