POLK COUNTY, FL (WFLA) – A man who tried to kidnap and sexually batter a woman jogging around Lake Hollingsworth has been arrested, Lakeland Police officers confirmed.
William McGee, 37, is in jail on charges of attempted sexual battery and kidnapping. According to LPD, McGee followed a jogger near the lake and took her to the ground trying to sexually batter her.
It happened May 19 about 11 p.m. The victim told the detectives she was jogging late because she usually works late in the evening. She was driving home from work when she decided to go on a run near the lake. She parked her car near the Lakeland Yacht Club and went around the lake.
She told police, she had noticed somebody running behind her. She sped up for a while but then got tired and paced slower and the man got close to her. She went to the side of the trail trying to let him pass but he wrapped his arm around her neck and covered her mouth, according to the LPD affidavit.
The man pulled her to the ground and they rolled on the concrete. The victim tried to fight and scream but he was strong, she told police. They rolled off the path and to a wooded area. He tried to pull her shorts off but she crossed her legs as hard as she could, She had hit her head on the pavement and was a little dazed, she told police.
According to the affidavit, he said, “Why are you running by yourself this late at night, you deserve this!” He also kept saying “Shhh!”
The victim knew she wouldn’t be able to fight him so she tried to calmly talk to him. She told him about her mom, who needed her and other things about her life. Eventually he let go of her, and they walked back to the trail.
When they got back on the running path, she took off and ran as fast as she could to her car. The woman got in, locked her doors and called 911.
McGee was questioned in connection with a lewd exposure incident that happened soon after the attack. Detectives managed to get a DNA swab from him when they questioned him in the incident. DNA and the victim’s testimony helped them arrest McGee.
He was booked to the Polk County jail.
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