Man wanted for attacking female jogger in Palm Harbor

9:34 AM, Oct 17, 2012   |    comments
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Video: MORNING SHOW: Man wanted for attacking female jogger in Palm Harbor


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PALM HARBOR, Florida -- As the sun sets over the Tarpon Woods neighborhood, families are moving fast to wrap up their evening exercise and get their kids and pets inside. That's because sheriff's investigators say a man accused of attacking a woman remains on the loose.

Detectives went door to door Tuesday handing out fliers with a composite sketch of what the potential suspect might look like.

"It could have been my wife," said an angry Harry Roeth.  "Now she won't go outside to walk the dog."

The attack happened September 26. A 49-year-old woman told investigators she was grabbed from behind around 8:30 while jogging alone on Brian Road.

"It was complete shock," said a neighbor who asked not to be identified. She said it was her husband who scared off the attacker as the man attempted touching the victim.

"She said he came from behind, grabbed her neck, put her in a choke hold, and she started screaming. It wasn't until [my husband] drove around the corner and he saw his lights that he let her go realizing he was going to get caught or seen at that moment. And he started running," said the woman.

The victim told neighbors she'd run in this neighborhood without fear for years without incident. Now, what happened is changing how many in this quiet community live their lives.

"I will not walk my dogs at this time of night anymore. Even with a cell phone or anything ... I won't do it. Just because I don't know if it's going to happen again, if I'm going to be the next victim."

Harry Roeth says his wife feels the same way. "I'd like to see this guy caught. Put him where he belongs -- in the slammer."

Deputies say the man they're looking for is a white male, approximately 22 years old, last seen wearing light gray long cargo shorts, no shirt, black sneakers, and no socks.

Anyone with information on what happened is asked to contact Detective Jeff Capra of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Robbery Homicide unit at 727-582-6200.

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