Girl reportedly groped on way to school

Posted at 2:40 PM, Apr 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-28 06:26:07-04

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. -- Concerns are growing deeper over child safety in Collier County, as deputies are investigating yet another suspicious incident.

A Golden Gate teen reported that she was touched inappropriately by a strange man near the corner of 45th Street Southwest and 23rd Avenue Southwest, while she was walking to class at Golden Gate Middle School Wednesday morning. She said the ma rode up on his bicycle and touched her behind as he passed.

"We do see a bad element moving into the Golden Gate area," said resident Sharry Brewer.

The suspect is described as a stocky Hispanic male, about 5'5" with a gray goatee and shaggy gray hair. The girl told deputies that he wore a navy blue ball cap, a white shirt with paint splatter on it, and light blue jeans. He carried a black backpack, and rode a black bike.

This is the latest in a string of over a half dozen suspicious incidents in Collier County.

On Saturday, the Collier County Sheriff's Office says a 'suspicious person' walked up to a 7-year-old girl in a Golden Gate neighborhood Saturday and asked to pet her dog.

The previous Sunday, a teenager told deputies she was approached by a man in a tan minivan as she was walking in her Naples neighborhood.

The Wednesday before that, a child told deputies that she was approached by a man in a white truck as she walked on Cypress Way East in North Naples.

With all the bicycle and foot traffic in the area, Brewer said that someone on a bike inappropriately touching a girl is one more thing that residents in Golden Gate shouldn't have to worry about.

"I think we're going to be a lot more aware of who is walking around, and who is riding around," Brewer said.

The Collier County Sheriff's Office considers the incident a case of battery, but not an attempt to lure or entice the victim.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 239-252-9300, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS.