Police arrest man accused in hotel attack

- Tampa Police arrested a registered sex offender early Saturday in connection with an attack on a hotel worker on Tuesday. A digital composite "sketch" was released to the public earlier this week.

Police believe the man in the sketch is 41-year-old John C. Eckhard.

On Tuesday, officers say a female employee at the Tampa Marriott on North Westshore Boulevard reported that a man followed her into the bathroom and threatened her with a knife. They struggled, and she screamed into her radio, at which point the man took off.  The victim sustained a cut on her hand but was otherwise not hurt.

Late Friday, Tampa Police encountered Eckhard, who they say resembled the man in the composite sketch released earlier in the week. Eckhard agreed to allow officers to look inside his backpack. There, the officers found a pair of gloves that resembled the victim's description of gloves the suspect wore in the attack on Tuesday.

In the backpack, police also found a knife similar to the one left at the scene of the crime after the suspect used it to threaten the victim. The victim also identified Eckhard from a set of photos. "It's very concerning but thankfully we were able to put him into jail really quickly and hopefully he'll stay in there for a long time," said Eddy Durkin, spokesman for Tampa police.

Eckhard has been arrested and charged with Aggravated Battery With a Deadly Weapon, and Kidnapping With the Intent to Harm or Terrorize.

 

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