TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Police Department is asking for help identifying a man who kicked and beat a woman who was on her way to work on Thursday morning, and a $5,000 reward for information is now available.
According to police, the woman was walking on the 5100 block of N. Nebraska Ave. when she noticed a man in a dark-colored 2008 to 2012 Honda Accord coupe following her. She later told police she was scared of what he was going to do.
Police say the suspect approached her and tried to "proposition her." The woman told the man to leave her alone and tried to run away, but she tripped. The man caught up to her and began kicking and punching her around the head and upper body before getting into his car and fleeing the scene, according to police.
"It could be your mom or your grandma, who is just trying to get to work," said Eddy Durkin, a spokesperson for Tampa Police.
The suspect is described as a black male, possibly in his 30's, approximately 6 feet tall and 200 pounds. He was wearing a tight black polo shirt, tan shorts, and boots.
"This was a brutal attack. We want this guy off the street," said Durkin. "We want the help of the community to find out who he is."
Police say they are looking for more surveillance video, but what they have so far may yield valuable evidence.
"This is 100 percent valuable," Durkin said. "We are hoping it is going to lead somebody, or trigger something in somebody that they will recognize this criminal or his car, and we can put him in jail."
The victim, identified only as a woman in her mid-60s, was taken to a nearby hospital with serious injuries and multiple lacerations. She remains hospitalized and is being closely monitored for a possible cardiac injury stemming from a bruised heart as a result of the assault.
"She is aware we are sharing this video with the media," Durkin said. "She wants this person caught so nobody else is victimized."
Police say they have not seen a pattern of those kinds of attacks in the area, but they do want everyone to be alert.
Crime Stoppers is now offering a $5,000 reward for tips leading to an arrest. Anyone with any information is asked to call 1-800-873-TIPS (8477), report anonymously online at www.crimestopperstb.com, or send a mobile tip using the P3 Tips Mobile application.