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Palmetto Bay residents scared, taking precautions after woman attacked at knifepoint

Palmetto Bay residents are shocked after a woman was sexually assaulted in broad daylight.
Palmetto Bay residents are shocked after a woman was sexually assaulted in broad daylight.

PALMETTO BAY, Fla. – Palmetto Bay residents say they are feeling nervous knowing an alleged attacker is still on the loose after a woman told police that a man approached her at knifepoint Wednesday morning and tried to rape her.

“It makes me nervous about the neighborhood,” Kelly Anderson said.

Detectives said the victim was passing a wooded area Wednesday morning when a man jumped out and grabbed her.

“As he was dragging the victim, he was trying to remove her shirt and obviously a physical altercation ensued and the victim was very fortunate that she was able to get away from that individual,” Miami-Dade police Detective Argemis Colome said.

Fortunately, the victim fought him off.

“You hear about it way too often,” said local resident Steve Richardson. “It’s scary. I am just glad she was able to fight him off.”

The incident occurred just after 10 a.m. Wednesday in the area of Southwest 91st Avenue and 168th Street.

A Local 10 News crew was at the scene as officers continued to canvass the area Thursday morning in search of the suspect. Detectives went door-to-door passing out flyers with hopes someone saw something.

The area is a popular spot for a walk, and one man told Local 10 News that he walks his dog there every morning.

“It’s my usual walk with my dog named Waffles,” Oscar Maradiaga said. “It’s crazy that I don’t feel protected walking my own dog anymore.”

Maradiaga showed Local 10 News the crow bar he decided to carry with him Thursday morning for protection.

“This made me (realize) I have to be aware of my surroundings. You never really know what could happen,” he said.

Residents in the area said they won’t feel safe until the alleged attacker is caught.

“I just feel so unsafe now,” Anderson said. “I feel like I have to be more cautious about everything.”

And law enforcement officials agree that the community should remain on high alert until the suspect is caught.

“We are talking about a person who committed an armed sex battery, so we do consider him armed and dangerous,” said Colome.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.

About the Authors:

Annaliese Garcia joined Local 10 News in January 2020. Born and raised in Miami, she graduated from the University of Miami, where she studied broadcast journalism. She began her career at Univision. Before arriving at Local 10, she was with NBC2 (WBBH-TV) covering Southwest Florida. She's glad to be back in Miami!

Roy Ramos joined the Local 10 News team in 2018. Roy is a South Florida native who grew up in Florida City. He attended Christopher Columbus High School, Homestead Senior High School and graduated from St. Thomas University.