Clearwater Beach, Florida -- A Pasco County man has been charged with sexual battery on a minor girl hours before sunriseon Clearwater Beach.

Police say the victim was at the beach with friends Wednesday when she met the suspect, identified as Joseph Hartzog, 18, of New Port Richey.

"The victim and suspect walked around the beach getting to know each other," said public safety spokesperson Elizabeth Watts. "The suspect made an unwanted advance on the victim and then committed a sex act on her."

The incident occurred at 4:34 a.m., she said.

The girl screamed for help and a passerby came to her aid, she said, and Hartzog ran off.

An investigation led detectives to Hartzogin the Tarpon Springs area. Hisidentity, they say, was confirmed by the victim.

Hartzog has been charged with one count of sexual battery.He was taken to the Pinellas County jail and held on $10,000 bond.

Read or Share this story: