Police have person of interest in Haile attack

The attack was near the Hickory Walk and Lexington Farms neighborhoods when a woman was surprised by a man at about 9:48 p.m., said sheriff's office spokesman Lt. Steve Maynard. The description of the suspect in the incident was Asian or Hispanic man, 20 to 30-years-old, about 5-foot-9 with a slim build, and dark hair. He was wearing a light-colored T-shirt and light-colored pants.

Carlos Baez/Special to the Sun
Published: Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 11:12 p.m.

Investigators have a person of interest in the case of a 65-year-old woman who was attacked while walking in Haile Plantation on Sunday night, the Alachua County Sheriff's Office reported Tuesday.

The Sheriff's Office did not release any additional details about the individual or how the person was identified except that they developed leads through law enforcement details sent to the area after the attack, said sheriff's office spokesman Lt. Steve Maynard.

Because the case is ongoing, Maynard said the Sheriff's Office could not provide more information about the person.

The woman was attacked while she was walking in the 9900 block of SW 46th Boulevard shortly before 10 p.m. Sunday.

The woman told officers she was walking when a man stepped out of the shadows and struck her in the head. She fell but was able to get up, run away and yell for help. The man left without further harming the woman.

Officers have said they don't know the motive behind the attack.

The woman described the suspect as an Asian or Hispanic man in his late 30s to early 40s, the Sheriff's Office reported.

Maynard said the Sheriff's Office increased patrols in the area west of Tower Road after the incident.

Officers set up a perimeter around the location of the attack Sunday night but were unable to locate a suspect. The Sheriff's Office tried to contact residents in the Hickory Walk and Lexington Farms neighborhoods, which were within the perimeter, to notify them what was going on and to tell them to remain inside and keep doors locked.

Maynard said the Sheriff's Office has received at least a dozen calls from residents complaining they had not received the phone messages or that the calls were not made in a timely fashion.

"We have the best system that money can currently provide," Maynard said.

Common problems with not getting the messages in the past have included that cell phone numbers, which aren't automatically provided, weren't in the system. Complaints were being directed to the county's Combined Communications Center, where each was being reviewed, he said.

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