A 22-year-old jogger was attacked and sexual assaulted while she was running on a Florida trail Monday night — just weeks after Tennessee mother Eliza Fletcher was kidnapped and murdered by a stranger while out for a run.
The young woman was jogging in Wekiwa Springs near West Wekiva Trail and Harrogate Place around 8:40 p.m. on Monday night when 19-year-old William Paul Stamper allegedly approached her from behind and knocked her to the ground, police said.
“He was moving his body in a sexual motion. She had indicated that he was aroused,” Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma told WESH.
After Stamper tossed the woman to the ground, she screamed, “who are you? Get off of me!” according to the arrest report, obtained by the outlet.
Stamper coldly told her to “shut the [expletive] up, [expletive],” in response, the report says.
A person nearby heard the two struggling, and the victim told them to call 911, police said.
“They were screaming, and I said, are you okay? Are you okay? And they said no, please call 911,” a 911 caller told dispatchers, officials said.
Stamper fled before he was later taken into custody overnight Tuesday. He was identified as a person of interest in the case after police obtained surveillance footage of him from a 911 caller.
“It captures the guy following the woman, and it captures the guy hauling [expletive] afterwards,” the 911 caller told authorities, WESH reported.
At one point he was seen in the footage wearing a hat that led police to Stamper’s employers who identified him.
He was charged with sexual battery and booked at John E. Polk Correctional Facility. He is due to appear in court on Oct. 25, jail records show.
The attack has reportedly shaken the local community, with the memory of Fletcher’s brutal kidnapping and killing still fresh on the nation’s mind.
Fletcher was allegedly forced into a car by 38-year-old career criminal Cleotha Abston while she was out running in Memphis around 4 a.m. She was found dead days later behind a vacant building.
Linzie Arnett, a young mother who lives in the area, told WESH that she goes for runs in the middle of the day.
“On top of what happened in Tennessee, that’s terrifying to me, especially as a female,” Arnett said.