Former neighbor arrested in Bradenton rape - WFLA News Channel 8

Former neighbor arrested in Bradenton rape

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SARASOTA COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

He's got a record in several states for crimes like domestic battery. But Manatee County deputies say Dominick Hawkins picked on someone 31 years younger than him.

They say on Monday afternoon, he lured a 5-year-old girl away from her home at the Wayside Glen mobile home park, to a nearby store where he bought her candy. Moments later, they say he choked and raped the girl in a vacant mobile home.

Deputies found him near "Resurrection House" in Sarasota where administrators were armed with surveillance pictures from the store and the bus he tried to board after the attack.

"So the plan was, if he should show up that we would allow him to register in for the day at which time we were to contact the police," said Resurrection House Executive Director David Proch.

A homeless client of "Resurrection House" spotted Hawkins and remembered the pictures. Cops swooped in and made the arrest.

Investigators said they felt relief after the arrest. 

"I was up early this morning around 4. Couldn't get back to sleep thinking about this little girl and what she went through," said Manatee Sheriff Brad Steube.

Deputies said Hawkins confessed to being with the girl in the store and trying to board the bus, but he demanded a lawyer when asked about the rape. Investigators said witnesses and physical evidence, possibly including DNA tied him to the crime.

Deputies said Hawkins used to live at a mobile home at Wayside Glen. People living there now don't know him but are glad he is behind bars. 

"It gets me very aggravated," said Celia Alaniz. "I don't see how a person like that can actually even sleep at night for even doing something like that."

Hawkins will be charged with kidnapping and capital sexual battery. He'll be in front of a judge Thursday. Deputies said they received more than 50 tips about him, and are crediting a "Crime Stoppers" tip for leading them to Hawkins at the homeless agency.

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