Local Breaking News
Deputies seek suspect in Manatee child kidnapping, sexual battery
Manatee County deputies are searching for a man they say kidnapped and sexually battered a 5-year-old girl who then alerted family members. Deputies say the suspect approached the victim, who was playing with another child, Monday afternoon around 1 p.m. near the Aloha Estates Mobile Home Park on 5310 14th St. W. in Bradenton. Deputies say the suspect lured the victim to a convenience store, then to a vacant mobile home. Surveillance video shows the suspect buying the girl candy before leaving the store.The victim was held against their will, choked and sexually battered, deputies say. The child managed to escape, ran home and told a family member who then alerted authorities, deputies say. The suspect is seen on surveillance video attempting to board a Manatee County Area Transit bus to flee the area. The suspect is described as a black male, between 30 and 45 years old, around 5 feet 10 and 220 pounds. He has a muscular build with short hair, or balding, and was last seen wearing baggy blue jean shorts, no shirt and dark-colored tennis shoes. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Manatee County Sheriff's Office at (941) 747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at (866) 634-TIPS.
As mental health crisis deepens on Florida campuses, universities are left to find their own solutions