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Sheriff's office identifies, searches for man accused of attempted sexual battery

Anyone with information is asked to contact Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at 813-247-8200.
Credit: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
Stephen Smith

LAKE MAGDALENE, Fla. — The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says it needs the public's help in finding a man who it says attempted to sexually batter a woman.

According to the sheriff's office, at around 9 a.m. on Nov. 27, a woman was walking in the area of Celestial Oaks Drive and N. Central Avenue when she was approached by a man.

He has since been identified as 42-year-old Ron Smith, who also goes by the name Stephen Smith. He is reportedly known to be in the Ybor City area.

The sheriff's office says the man asked for money and cigarettes, and after giving him neither, he proceeded to shove the woman to the ground. Law enforcement says that's when he attempted to sexually batter her. 

"During the attack, the suspect state he had a knife, leaving the victim in fear for her life," Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement. "His behavior was clearly escalating during this entire encounter. We need people to take a close look at these photos and videos. If they know this man, call the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office."

Smith is wanted on charges of sexual battery with a deadly weapon, armed false imprisonment and robbery with a deadly weapon.

Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for any information that leads to the arrest of Smith.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at 813-247-8200 or Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay at 1-800-873-8477.