Bradenton, Florida- A tearful mother is thankful her five-year-old daughter is back home safe Tuesday night.
"I give thanks to God that this didn't end any worse than it did," said the mother who 10 News is not identifying because of her relationship to the victim. "I give thanks to God that she is alive because many have been killed."
It was midday Monday when she says her daughter was playing with a friend near the front entrance to the Wayside Glenn Mobile Home Park. Investigators believe when the friend briefly ran home, a stranger approached befriending the victim.
Photos: Search for man who attacked 5-year-old
"Sometimes it's a puppy or an animal or a dog, this time it appears it was candy and actually going into a convenience store and buying candy," said Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube. "It was text book."
The suspect was caught on store cameras leaving with the girl before dragging her by the arm down the street to an abandoned mobile home, where detectives say she was sexually battered.
"He said he was going to take me to a party," the 5-year-old victim told her mother in an exclusive interview with 10 News.
The Sheriff is calling the suspect an extreme danger to children.
"Pretty sad isn't it? That's why I call this guy a predator," said Sheriff Steube.
The 5 year-old managed to escape through a screen window running home across a busy intersection, where family members called EMS for help.
From there, the suspect also took off and was caught on camera again trying to board a county bus.
"The bus driver was reluctant to open the door and the fact that he was holding his shirt and pounding on the [door] and yelling," said Sheriff Steube.
Tonight the victim's mother is hopeful detectives are quick to make an arrest.
"If he were in front of me today, you think I'd sit here calmly? I would lunge at him and beat him," said the victim's tearful mother.
Sheriff Steube is calling this case one of the most alarming he's ever seen, saying detectives will not rest until the man responsible is in custody.
"We want him, we want him bad," said the Sheriff. "We're coming for you, we're hunting you!"
Follow 10 News Reporter Beau Zimmer on twitter @Zimm10
Beau Zimmer, 10 News