Winter Haven police are looking for a 52-year-old man who they say attacked a woman. On Sunday around 10:15 a.m. the victim was walking along US Highway 17 toward the Royal Inn, 3525 Lake Alfred Road, where she needed to get items from a room. John Reger pulled next to her in a gray Ford pickup truck and offered her a ride, police said.
When they arrived at the inn, the victim exited the truck. Reger waited several minutes and then followed the woman into a room, police said. The victim didn’t know he’d followed her until he “came up from behind her and began to strangle her with both arms around her neck,” police said.
The victim successfully freed herself and ran from the room. She took the tag from Reger’s truck. Reger then got into the vehicle and left.
Police said the victim had cuts and scrapes but wasn’t otherwise hurt. Reger’s last known address is in St. Cloud. He’s described as a white male, with gray hair, a mustache and a goatee. The tag is not attached to the truck, police said.
If you have information on Reger’s whereabouts, call Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS (8477). You can remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward. Or, call Detective Larry Brooks at 863-401-2256.