Firefighter arrested for sexual battery | News

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Firefighter arrested for sexual battery

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- An employee with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department has been arrested for sexual battery.

Around 2:45 a.m. Sunday morning, police were flagged down by a witness near the alleyway behind the apartments located at 11 East Forsyth Street in downtown Jacksonville. According to an arrest report from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, the witness said there was someone beating up a woman in the alley.

Officers said as they entered the alleyway, they could hear what "sounded like a belt buckle clinking."

RELATED: Crime in downtown Jacksonville: Perception worse than reality

When police approached, they saw a man, later identified as 30-year-old Daniel Evans, run through the alley. Evans jumped over a fence and fell onto the sidewalk on the north side of East Forsyth Street before continuing to run away, heading east on Forsyth Street.

While other officers in the area continued looking for Evans, other officers attended to the victim. Once rescue personnel had evaluated the victim, and determined she did not need to be transported to receive additional medical care, police interviewed the victim.

She said she had been at Dos Gatos Bar, located at 123 East Forsyth Street. The victim said she was walking to her car, which was parked along West Adams Street, according to the report.

As the victim was walking to her car, she told police she was talking on her cell phone when someone came up behind her and hit her in the side of her head, knocking her to the ground.

The victim told police Evans dragged her down the alley behind 11 East Forsyth and forced her onto the raised platform behind the building.

The victim told police she did not know what was happening at first and did not see her attacker. The victim said she was repeatedly hit as she was forced face down onto the ground.

The victim told police her pants and underwear were forcibly removed while she struggled.  Once she realized what was happening, according to the report, the victim said she "closed her eyes, stopped struggling and waited for the incident to end."

Evans was located a short time by additional officers. Police were able to locate him thanks to a witness who saw the attack. That witness is the same person who flagged down officers initially.

After the witness saw Evans jump the fence and run, he followed him for as long as he could, before losing sight of him. However the witness was able to point police in a direction of where he had gone and that proved to be enough.

Evans was found "low crawling" in a parking lot of a business located at 220 East Monroe Street, a half mile from where the attack originally took place. Officers who arrested Evans said he was not wearing pants at the time of his arrest, and they were located on the ground nearby. Police also said he appeared to be intoxicated, asking several times what was going on.

With Evans in custody, police showed Evans to the witness who said he was "absolutely" the same person he saw attacking the woman in the alley earlier.

Police later found the victim's phone, purse and keys a short distance from where the attack allegedly took place.

Also in the alley, police found other items that pertained specifically to the attack. One of these items was a black boot which matched a similar black boot that was found wrapped in Evans' discarded pants.

Police were not able to interview Evans at the time of his arrest because he was complaining of breathing problems. After being evaluated by rescue personnel, it was determined he did not need to be transported to a hospital. The arrest reports notes that Evans appeared to be heavily intoxicated and possibly "under the influence of other substances."

Evans was arrested and charged with sexual battery.

Evans is assigned to JFRD Fire Station #21, according to JFRD Public Information Officer Tom Francis. Fire Station #21 is located on Powers Avenue.

Francis said Evans has been placed on paid administrative leave, effective immediately.

Editor's Note: Due to the graphic nature of this story we have chosen to exclude certain details of the alleged attack. A copy of the redacted arrest report can be read here, but some may find it disturbing.





Downtown Jacksonville Deals

Downtown Jacksonville Businesses