WILTON MANORS (CBSMiami) – Wilton Manors police are reviewing surveillance video and going door to door passing out flyers in hopes of developing information which will lead them to a man who sexually battered two teenage girls at a shelter for abused and neglected children.
Tuesday, investigators released a composite sketch of the man wanted for performing sex acts with two girls on the Kids In Distress property located at 819 NE 26th Street.
According to police, the man was walking by the shelter around 3:30 a.m. on January 7th when he heard noises coming from the other side of a fence.
“He engaged in conversation with some teenagers. After a brief conversation he went over the fence and assaulted two of the teenagers,” said Wilton Manors police Sgt. Charles Howard.
The assault came to light after four other teens who witnessed it came forward.
“What happened is unpresidented and a deeply disturbing event,” said Kids in Distress CEO Mark Dhooge.
Dhooge said when he heard about what had happened, he was upset that the girls were out of sight of the staff on duty that morning.
“The girls were checked on periodically however our staff did not provide continuous direct supervision,” said Dhooge.
Two employees were dismissed over the incident.
“At three o’clock in the morning they should have been monitoring those kids on a one on one basis, outside, consistently,” said Dhooge.
Don Ruiz lives across the street from Kids in Distress.
“The guy is probably a sociopath,” said Ruiz.
He said he rises early to walk his dog and often sees people hopping the fence from both directions. He said on several occasions the young people have knocked on doors asking to use someone’s phone.
“I get up at 3:30 in the morning, I see kids jump out of the fence. I don’t know what kind of security there is inside the fence — that could be causing a problem for (Kids in Distress). I’ve called called the cops, what two times now,” said Ruiz.
Neighbors say what makes it worse is that young people who come to Kids in Distress for emergency shelter are already the victims of abuse and neglect.
“It’s effected, it’s effected me deeply. I’ve been at Kids in Distress for 19 years and we’ve never had an incident like this. I’m angry. I’m appalled at the level of, the level of hurt that these girls have probably felt,” said Dhooge.
The two teens no longer live at the shelter and are back in foster care.
The suspect is described as a white man, 5’7” – 5’9”, between 150 – 175 pounds, blue or green eyes, with short brown hair with a military style cut.
He may have a tattoo on his left shoulder and has a gunshot scar on his right shoulder. Police said suspect was possibly in the military and stated he recently lost his wife.
People who live nearby say they feel safe here but want this guy captured.
“Hopefully they catch him,” said Ed Starkey. “I have faith in the police department.”
Anyone recognizing the suspect, or with information regarding his identity is encouraged to call Detective Fiacco at (9540 390-2165 or Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS.