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Gainesville Police arrest man accused of attacking hotel clerk

AnthonyWilliams.jpg

Gainesville Police have arrested a man accused of attacking and trying to sexually assault a hotel clerk early Monday morning.

Police on Tuesday arrested and charged 38-year-old Anthony Carl Williams with attempted sexual assault, false imprisonment and kidnapping.

An incident report released Tuesday says Williams walked into the Sleep Inn Suites on SW 40th Boulevard around 2 a.m. and sat next to the victim in the lobby. Here's what happened next, according to the report:

The victim asked if he was looking to rent a room. He responded by speaking very softly, mentioning something about a vehicle and Waffle House and his name, "Anthony." She told him they were out of rooms and asked him to leave. He ignored her and played on his cell phone. She asked him to leave again and he took out a Bible. He talked about Christianity and asked why he had to leave.

The report says the man went to the bathroom. When he came out the victim thought he was going to shake her hand and leave because he approached her with his hand extended. Instead, the man "extended his arms and grabbed her by her throat. She fought and tried to pull away while screaming for help.

The man dragged her into kitchen area of the dining room and started to pull off her sweater and unbutton her blouse. He kept telling the victim, "Just give me five minutes" as he pulled off her clothing. She kept screaming until Cheyenne Vasquez, a Marine who was in town for her father's funeral, followed the noise and saw him attacking her.

“She was in the doorway, trying to hold herself and the man had her, he had his hand around her neck and was trying to pull her into the kitchen," Vasquez told CBS4's Gabby Arzola. "I felt violated for her."

Vasquez told the man to leave. The report says he grabbed a few of his belongings but left his cellphone as he ran out of the hotel. The report says the victim had blood on her blouse and abrasions on her neck, stomach and forearm.

Officers went to the Waffle House the man had told the victim about and talked to a witness who remembered the man being there earlier that morning. The cellphone led them to Williams, who the witness picked out in a photo lineup, the report says. The victim picked out a different man, according to the report.

Police say Williams was wearing the same shorts he was wearing at the time of the attack when they arrested him Tuesday. They say he was unable to answer questions because he was under the influence of alcohol.


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