Sheriff Steube: We feel Dominick Jerome Hawkins is the man who kidnapped, sexually battered young girl

11:22 PM, Jul 17, 2013   |    comments
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Video: Manatee Sheriff: We feel we have the right person

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Manatee County, Florida- "We feel we have the right person," said Manatee Sheriff Brad Steube about the arrest of 36-year-old Dominick Jerome Hawkins. 

According to Steube, Hawkins is the man who kidnapped, choked and sexually battered a five-year-old girl Monday afternoon. 

Hawkins, who is believed to be living as a homless man near the Resurrection House, was arrested in Sarasota Wednesday and charged with kidnapping and capital sexual battery. 

According to the sheriff, two pieces of surveillance video released Tuesday helped generate more than 50 tips. One video shows Hawkins in the India Bazaar convenience store around 12:30 p.m. with the five-year-old girl buying her candy. The second piece of video was from a county bus 15 minutes later. 

In the footage, Hawkins can be seen trying get on board, and the child can be seen running in the background. 

It was a certain tip to Crime Stoppers, however, that set deputies on the right track.

According to Steube, the tipster told deputies that earlier this year, Hawkins lived at the Wayside Glen Mobile Home Park for several months in unit #116. 

Wayside Glen is the same park where the victim lives, and where deputies have said Hawkins lured her from on Monday.

See Also: Tearful mom thankful daughter is alive after abduction

A Sarasota police officer spotted Hawkins around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon and brought him in for questioning. 

Manatee County deputies said Hawkins never confessed to the crimes, but did admit he had bought a young girl candy and tried getting on a county bus headed for Sarasota. Hawkins refused to answer any more questions and asked for an attorney.

Manatee deputies revealed that Hawkins has a criminal record. He's been arrested in states as far as California and North Carolina, and he was arrested locally last month after twin 4-year-old boys were found wandering alone in a Bradenton street.

Hawkins is being held at the Sarasota County Jail and will be brought to Manatee County. 

The investigation is not over; the sheriff has said they will continue to build a strong case against Hawkins.

Follow 10 News Reporter Isabel Mascarenas on twitter @IzzyMascarenas

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