Deputies: suspect threatened to rape woman waiting for tow truck - FOX 13 News

Deputies: suspect threatened to rape woman waiting for tow truck

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Hillsborough deputies have arrested a man they say confronted a woman in a parked car, exposed himself and threatened to sexually assault her.

Thomas E. Foss, 28, is in custody in the Hillsborough County Jail.

The incident happened just before 3 a.m. Tuesday.

Investigators say the victim was sitting in a disabled car waiting for a tow truck at Bloomingdale Avenue and Bell Shoals Road. They say Foss walked up, tried to open her door while threatening to rape her.

The panic in her voice on this 911 call is clear as day.

"Please help me, I'm at the corner of Bloomingdale and Bell Shoals," the victim, whose identity was not released, says on the recording.

She was waiting early Tuesday morning for a tow-truck in a Walgreens parking lot in Valrico.

"There's a pervert out here bothering me all night...I was just sitting here.  I knew he was a danger he sat there and stared at me."

Deputies say Foss had already exposed himself as he tried to get in.  Fortunately the woman had her doors locked and called 911.

Foss then took off, leaving in this red pickup, but he didn't go far.  A short distance away they spotted him at a Hess station.

They think he was trying to lure the lone female clerk there into a trap.

"We believe that was for illicit activity as well," said Larry McKinnon, spokesman with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators see a pattern forming here.  They're looking into four other recent cases that seem to match Foss's description, and the red pickup. One of those is a case at USF. 

Foss has multiple arrests in Hillsborough County, and the Tampa Police Department arrested him on charges of exposing himself to a woman last year.
"Typically, when someone's arrested for one crime, it's not their first day at the park," McKinnon said.
No one answered at a Thonotosassa home listed as his address, but his neighbors had plenty to say.
"The thought that I leave my door unlocked and he lives two trailers away it's very scary," said Delores Bodden.

"We don't need people like that on the street...what's he going to revert next?" asked Mark Landry.

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