TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tampa police said a third victim has come forward in the case of a man accused of sexually assaulting women while pretending to be an officer. The suspect is identified as Sonny Gonzales, Jr, 42.
“The reality is that people who impersonate law enforcement officers have a reason to do so, and it’s never a good one,” said Randy Sutton, retired police lieutenant.
According to a search warrant that identifies her as a victim, a third woman came forward and told police Gonzalez was standing in the stairwell inside the Marriott Tampa Westshore on Westshore Boulevard when he flashed a badge and asked her to come speak with him. They agreed to meet in the lobby and when she got there, Gonzalez had left.
“Unfortunately, we believe there may possibly be more victims in our community,” said Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw.
In May, police said a woman told them Gonzalez flashed a police badge and pulled her into the stairwell of the Hilton Inn on Lois Avenue and sexually battered her.
Investigators linked Gonzalez to a similar incident in February at the Ramada Inn on North Westshore Boulevard.
“He’s also accused of impersonating an officer in exposing himself to another,” said Chief Bercaw.
Authorities believe there could be more victims, and they’re urging women to follow their gut if they suspect someone is not who they say they are.
“I’m going to verify who you are look closely at the identification what department or agency is that individual reported reporting to be from,” said Sutton.