Tampa man out on bail for robbery named suspect in attempted sexual battery case, search underway

Hillsborough County

TAMPA (WFLA) – The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in locating a man who attempted to sexually batter a woman.

The department says on Nov. 27 around 9 a.m., a woman was walking in the area of Celestial Oaks Drive and Central Avenue North when she was approached by a man.

The suspect, who has been identified as 42-year-old Ron Smith, asked the woman for money and cigarettes when she gave him neither she continued walking.

Smith who also goes by the name Stephen D., approached the victim again near the intersection of Central Avenue North and 138th Avenue East and pushed her to the ground and attempted to sexually batter her.

“During the attack, the suspect state he had a knife, leaving the victim in fear for her life,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “His behavior was clearly escalating during this entire encounter. We need people to take a close look at these photos and videos. If they know this man, call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.”

Deputies say Smith, who is approximately 6 feet tall and weighs approximately 170-180 pounds, is homeless and known to be in the Ybor City area.

According to Tampa police, Smith was booked on Dec. 2 on an unrelated robbery charge and was released on Dec. 6.

Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the location and arrest of Ron Smith. Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is urged to contact the HCSO at 813-247-8200.

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