Man arrested in realtor attack

A glance at Bruce Kotter's Facebook page shows he had an attachment to his truck. Manatee County deputies honed in on that truck.

"When they spotted that 2007 dark blue F-150 It led them to where he was staying," said sheriff spokesman Randy Warren.

Tuesday morning, deputies released photos of a dark blue truck leaving Whitfield Estates. They said it was the suspect's truck he drove to a meeting with a real estate agent Monday afternoon.

Deputies now identify that man as Kotter.

They said once he was inside the home, he tried to force himself on the 69-year-old female agent. She pushed him away and scared him off by saying the owners were nearby.

An hour later deputies said he tried again with another agent.

"She was feeling a little odd about going inside because he said he was coming with his wife," explained Warren.

When Kotter showed up, deputies said the second realtor stayed outside because she had a "creepy feeling." He went in, looked around and left. Minutes later, she got a call warning her that another realtor had almost been attacked.

Word of the attack spread quickly throughout the real estate community.

"Within a half-an-hour, we sent out a blast to all 5,500 realtors," said Stafford Starcher of the Realtors Association of Sarasota and Manatee. "She's our hero. She actually had presence of mind to think her way out of the situation and talk her way out of the situation to get him to flee."

It didn't take more than a day for deputies to connect the dots.

"The information connected well together, plus, that and a few other things we can't talk about led us to some good leads that led us to Sarasota," added Warren.

Investigators found Kotter Tuesday afternoon at Harvest House, a transitional center in Sarasota. His pickup truck was outside.

"It is always encouraging when you have a crime committed in this case something that could have been very tragic and you have the person who did it," Warren told FOX 13.

Kotter is charged with kidnapping and attempted sexual assault. He was a past record with drug charges and an aggravated assault charge. 


Erin Minor, the Executive Director of Harvest House could neither confirm nor deny that Kotter was staying there.

However, Minor did say, "The behavior he is accused of is a behavior that, as an organization, we find to be a heinous act, grotesque, foul, and something we do not see to be okay for anyone. Certainly, our condolences go out to realtor who suffered because of Bruce's acts. She is in our prayers."

The investigation on Kotter continues. Anyone with information related to similar incidents is asked to call Detective John Russell at 941-747-3011 Ext. 2212.