DANIA BEACH (CBSMiami) – Investigators are looking for a man who drives around in a white truck, targeting girls, using violence to trap them.
Broward Sheriff’s Office Special Victims Unit detectives are searching for a middle-aged man they’re calling a “drive by predator” .READ MORE: Living Large: 1000 Museum Boasts Penthouse With South Florida's Only Helipad
On Wednesday morning, at 9:30, a man in a white Ford F-150 drove up alongside a young girl as she was walking near 43 Terrace and 50 Street in Dania Beach.
The girl, according to BSO, tried to get away but the man used his truck to trap the victim against a fence.
The man, BSO said, then pulled the girl closer and forced her to watch him masturbate.
The victim managed to run away from the truck when police say she used her keys to hit the suspect—forcing the man to let her go.READ MORE: 'To Police Well, You Have To Be Well Yourself:' Program Addresses Officer Mental Health
The victim was treated for minor injuries at Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue.
“I’m disgusted. It’s sickening,” said Tammy Lambert, who lives in the neighborhood. “I have a 14-year-old daughter and there are so many kids that are up and down this neighborhood and they walk by themselves, and it’s scary it’s really scary,” she added.
Kristy Whitehill says she’s seen a truck similar to the one used in the crime driving slowly around the neighborhood, “scoping out places enough to creep you out a little bit.”
Investigators say there may be more victims. “This was a really violent kind of aggressive act that happened to this young girl, so we doubt this is the first time this man has tried something like this,” explained Gina Carter with the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
Detectives are looking for a white or Hispanic male in his 40s with a tattoo on the left side of his neck that may resemble a triangle and roman numerals. The man is bald, or balding, with yellow teeth and was wearing tan work clothes. The suspect was driving a white Ford F-150 with landscaping equipment in the bed of the truck.MORE NEWS: Police: Glades Middle School Teacher Arrested After Pursuing Romantic Relationship With Former Student
Anyone with information is asked to contact BSO SVU Detective Ann Suter at 954-321-4689 or report anonymous tips to Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS or visit www.browardcrimestoppers.org