Palm Harbor man charged with rape attempt on teen

CLEARWATER - A Palm Harbor man has been charged with trying to rape a teenage girl he followed off a PSTA bus last month.

Isaac Randall Fredericks, 26, was arrested Friday on charges of kidnapping and sexual battery in the June 11 incident. He was being held Monday at the Pinellas County Jail, with bail set at $160,000.

Shortly before 10 p.m., Fredericks followed the girl into the woods near the 1800 block of McKinley Street and tried to rape her, but she fought him off and escaped, according to arrest reports.
he girl was able to give the detectives a description of her attacker and also provided Fredericks' first name, which he told her while talking to her on the PSTA bus.

Detectives pulled video from the bus and identified Fredericks as a suspect, according to Clearwater police.

Fredericks' arrest comes two months after another man, identified thanks to a PSTA video, was convicted of raping two elderly women in 2007, with one later dying as a result of the sexual assault.

Virgil DeBose, who picked his targets while riding the bus, was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences. In his case, the video was released to the media, and tipsters called in with DeBose's identity.

Video cameras both inside and outside the buses have helped law enforcement agencies solve crimes. In a handful of cases, bank robbers have used the buses as get-away vehicles, and the bus videos have helped investigators identify the culprits.

In other cases, police have asked for video from cameras mounted on the exterior of the buses to capture images of events occuring when the bus passed by, said PSTA spokesman Bob Lasher.
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