NewsLocal News


Search continues for man who grabbed jogger in Naples Park

Naples park
Posted at 1:48 PM, Nov 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-18 16:17:54-05

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. — The Collier County Sheriff’s Office says four women have reported being approached by a man while walking or driving in the Naples Park area this week.

Here's the timeline of events from CCSO:


On Monday evening, between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m, a woman was walking her dog in the area of Vanderbilt Drive and 94th Avenue North. She was approached by a man in a gray/silver van who asked her to help him look for his lost dog. She told him "no," and he drove away.

On Tuesday, around 4:30 p.m., a woman was walking on the 700 block of 101st Avenue North when she was approached by a man driving a dark gray van who asked her to help him look for his friend’s dog. She also told him "no," and he drove away.

On Tuesday, around 6:30 p.m., a jogger was approached by what she described as a "gold-colored" minivan on the 500 block of 104th Avenue North. She says the man driving it asked her to help him and his children look for a lost dog. She didn't agree to help him.

On Tuesday, around 7:30 p.m., a jogger was running on 6th Street North between 98th Avenue North and 97th Avenue North when she says a man, driving an older gray van, grabbed her in a "bear hug" and held her in his van briefly. She was eventually able to break free and run away.

All four women reported these suspicious events to the Collier County Sheriff's Office.

Based on their accounts, CCSO says they're looking for a white man in his 30s with a buzz-cut and facial stubble. He is between 5 feet 9 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs between 190 and 210 pounds. He also has a noticeable mole on his face.

It's news that has folks who live in the area on edge.

"This is a well-traveled area so that means that these people are brazen and desperate and there's something wrong with them," said Kelly Williams Pfister.

FOX 4 spoke to the owner of Run Florida, John Rinkenbaugh, to share some safety tips for avid runner, joggers and walkers.

He says you should keep music low, workout with a buddy when you can and keep a light with you if it's dark.

Above all else, he says you've got to keep your eyes peeled, regardless of gender.

"I'm a man and I'm still looking around, looking to see who's around me," he said.

Deputies are conducting extra patrols of the areas. We have handed out flyers to local businesses, including the composite sketch of the man.

If you believe you have information on either incident, please call our non-emergency line at 239-252-9300. As always, you can also contact SWFL Crime Stoppers to remain anonymous and become eligible for a reward. That number is 1-800-780-TIPS.