Man accused in sex attack to appear in court - FOX 13 News

Man accused in sex attack to appear in court

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

What police say happened inside an abandoned shed off Nebraska Avenue is something no child should ever go through.

Investigators say a 14-year old boy was lured into the shed, pinned down and raped. Fortunately, police say the boy was eventually able to fight his way out and flag down an officer.

Parents, neighbors and workers in a daycare that is steps away, are stunned.

"It's overwhelming to know that there's a Head Start right here. There's a school right down the street. There are schools everywhere," says Vannessa, a mother of 3 young children. Her son goes to Pre-K at the nearby Head Start center.

"That happened right around there? Wow." says Michael Reed, whose 4-year-old son attends the Head Start program.

"I have a 4-year-old daughter. I was pretty scared. I've walked this alley all my life. It's creepy. It could've happened to me," said Angie Blanco, who lives across the street.

Blanco says she no longer feels safe in the neighborhood.

"There's a lot of prostitution going on in this area anyway and there's nothing ever been done about it for years," Blanco said.

Right next door, Ysmara Escoto was throwing a birthday party for her 5-year-old son when it happened.

"Probably they just took advantage of that, you know. Took advantage of all the noise. Mainly all the kids were outside and we were here," Escoto said.

Police found the suspect still inside the broken down shed. They identified him as 47-year old Steven Taylor, a homeless man who spend three years in prison for burglary.

He also has arrests for theft and domestic violence.

Police arrested Taylor and charged him with kidnapping and sexual battery. He is set to appear in court Thursday.

"It's sad to say, when I was young, we were able to go outside. Nowadays, you gotta keep a close eye on your kids," Reed said.

Police and parents say they're just glad the boy had a chance to get away and the courage to run for help.

"As a mother, people worry. You do have to worry. I just hope that the guy stays in jail, because there's no recovering from that. He took a child's innocence away. That child is going to have to live with that," Vannessa said.

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