Miami-Dade Police said they are searching for a man who sexually assaulted a woman in an alley in Surfside Monday night. Police tell NBC 6 what happened.
Fliers with a sketch of a wanted rapist that were left on doorsteps in the oceanfront town of Surfside are making big waves this 4th of July holiday.
Miami-Dade Police said a 25-year-old woman left her hotel at 8 p.m. Monday for a walk along the 8900 block of Collins Avenue.
"And she kept feeling that someone was following her, and when she turned around she found the subject standing directly behind her. He at that point grabbed her by her waist, picked her up, put a rag in her mouth, and took her into an alleyway where he proceeded to sexually batter her,” Miami-Dade Police spokesman Detective Alvaro Zabaleta said.
The attack happened just a few doors down from where one tenant lives at the Mary Annette Villas.
"Here's safe. I never have trouble with anything. I don't even have to tie up my bike,” the tenant told NBC 6.
Police said the man was last seen wearing a white cutoff shirt, blue jeans and white sneakers. He's between 30 and 40 years old, 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighs 150 pounds, and has a long brown beard and sun spots on his hands.
"I think the sun spots is something unique that we're urging the community to look for,” Zabaleta said.
With so many drivers and beachgoers on Collins Avenue, police said they believe someone may have seen something unusual the night of the attack.
"Sometimes you think it's horseplay, someone's picking somebody up, maybe someone's just arguing, as you're driving by you notice it but you really don't pay too much attention to it,” Zabaleta said.
A group of young women on vacation here admitted to not paying much attention to their surroundings.
"We don't like think about oh we need to be safe, we kind of just do and go wherever we want, without even thinking what we're doing,” said Liana Melnik, a tourist from California.
But after seeing the sketch of the man police are after, her group had a few safety tips for other tourists – including to always carry your phone with you in case you need to call 911.