NEW PORT RICHEY — The 23-year-old man wanted in connection with sexually assaulting a 71-year-old woman on Monday left behind the clue that deputies said led them right to him: A fingerprint on a Gatorade bottle.
Deputies said that and other evidence led them to arrest Anton Dawkins on charges of sexual battery and armed burglary on Tuesday, about 30 hours after the attack was reported.
On Monday morning neighbor Iris Ramos said she came to the aid of the woman who was assaulted at 7437 Heather St., just four houses away. Ramos said she’s lived there for 18 years and called it a "good neighborhood."
But the attack left Ramos in fear: "I have my grandchildren here, so I’m scared."
Ramos said she was talking with a neighbor at about 9 a.m. Monday when she recognized a woman driving by. It was the 71-year-old woman who was attacked.
"She was nervous, she was real pale," Ramos said. "She didn’t have color in her face, she was shaking."
Ramos said she had seen the woman before, checking on pets at the home. The Sheriff’s Office said she works for a pet sitting business.
"Lady, what’s wrong?" Ramos said she asked the woman. The 71-year-old told her what happened. Ramos told her to pull into her driveway and helped her call law enforcement.
Deputies said the victim was checking on the house for the homeowner around 8:15 a.m. Monday, when an armed man carrying a gun with a red or orange tip entered the home.
Dawkins sexually assault the woman, according to his arrest report, and kept telling her his name was "Kevin."
Deputies said they found a fingerprint found on a bottle of Gatorade that was matched to Dawkins. They also received a tip about his identity and the 71-year-old woman identified two tattoos that he bore: "Dortha" and "Arline."
Dawkins, who knew deputies were looking for him, turned himself in to the Land O’Lakes Detention Center but declined to speak to deputies.
The identity of the 71-year-old woman was withheld because of the nature of the alleged crime. Dawkins’ address was listed as 8030 Cobb St., just a mile away from where the assault was reported.
Contact TyLisa C. Johnson at [email protected] Follow @tylisajohnson.