A Bay Area man is behind bars after being arrested for assaulting a 17 year old as she headed to her bus stop.
Authorities say the arrest should calm the fears of people who live in the Clearwater neighborhood where the attack occurred.
28 year old Dustin Kennedy appeared before a judge for the first time Thursday. Deputies arrested him for allegedly assaulting a teenage girl near a Clearwater bus stop two weeks ago.
He is charged with kidnapping, sexual battery and attempted felony murder.
Investigators say Kennedy grabbed the 17 year old from behind on Whitney Road as she walked to a bus stop on the morning of December 18.
Cecilia Barreda with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said, "He proceeds to drag her into this area where there is a ditch he strangles her to the point where she loses consciousness. We believe this was a vicious attack on this young lady."
Detectives say Kennedy sexually assaulted the teen, and investigators say it was D-N-A evidence that linked him to the crime. He was arrested Wednesday night at a re-entry facility... where he was staying after serving time for a non-violent crime. That pre-release facility also happens to be near the scene of the crime. He was allowed to leave to go to work during the day.
"It was an arrest that was made without incident the individual was apprehended he was interviewed.he admitted to the crime and was arrested and transported to the county Pinellas County Jail," said Cecilia Barreda, with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
When detectives arrested Kennedy, they also recovered two cell phones that were stolen from the victim.
Kennedy had already served time for burglary and grand theft but now he's being held on more serious charges.
The seventeen year old victim is still recovering. Investigators say she did not know her attacker.
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