Police release video of suspect in Gainesville attack - FOX 13 News

Police release video of suspect in Gainesville attack

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(Still image from video provided by Gainesville P.D.) (Still image from video provided by Gainesville P.D.)

Gainesville Police say they're one step closer to cracking a string of unsolved attacks near the University of Florida campus. They released surveillance video on Thursday that shows a possible suspect for at least one of three different assaults on female students.

The video shows a man running through an apartment complex parking lot. Gainesville Police believe the same man earlier broke into a female UF student's home, and then robbed and sexually assaulted her at gunpoint.

LINK: You can see the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=P4uLJ-czIhM

"We're just hoping his mannerisms or his movements will strike a memory with someone...that they either know the suspect or they've seen him before," Gainesville Police Department Officer Ben Tobias said Thursday.

The victim's house is about two blocks from the University of Florida campus, and just down the road from the university's Sorority Row.

UF student Malaika Hollist, who is from Tampa, says the neighborhood is made up mostly of students and is a common cut-through around campus.

"A lot of students live in this area and they just walk home. Especially at night when they leave downtown or midtown, they just walk home," she said.

Gainesville Police are also investigating two other unsolved attacks on female UF students. One woman said she was attacked by an unknown man while she was playing racquetball in a Gainesville park.

Just this week, another UF student said she was attacked in her apartment complex parking lot. She said a masked man attacked her from behind and bound her mouth with a torn shirt while she went to get books from her car. She was able to get away by kicking the man in his groin.

Police are still investigating if the three crimes are related.

"We're definitely not going to rule it out, some of the M.O. is similar, but not enough for us to connect them yet," Tobias said Thursday.

GPD is increasing marked and unmarked patrols on and around UF's campus. Some students are also now marking homes with neighborhood watch signs.

"It's just about being careful all the time. Whenever I'm coming home at night I call my friends, they come out and watch me walk in," UF student Hanna Green said Thursday.

Police consider the suspect armed and dangerous. They're asking students to walk in pairs and to stay in well-lit areas as they continue to search for a suspect.

Anyone who recognizes the man in the video is asked to contact the Gainesville Police Department at 352-393-7657.


Police investigating attacks near Gainesville campus



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