YBOR CITY, Fla. (WFLA) – A 51-year old man is behind bars on charges he threatened, kidnapped and sexually assaulted a young female in Ybor City early Sunday morning.
According to officials, around 2:30 a.m., Barry Eugene Lineberger, of Tampa, threatened and assaulted the 22-year old female victim in Ybor City before kidnapping her and bringing her to his residence on Terra Ceia Drive in Tampa.
At some point, the victim was able to access her cellular phone and notify law enforcement, the release from Hillsborough County stated.
“As they were driving, she was able to text a few of her friends to say that she was in distress, that she was being abducted. Those friends then notified some of our officers who were in that area because we have officers that are there in Ybor. We tried to track her phone, that was unsuccessful but at one point after they arrived at a residence she tried to use her Uber app. We were actually able to track it and find the address that way,” said Steve Hegarty with Tampa Police.
Deputies arrived at the residence, heard a female yelling for help and made forced entry. Once inside, deputies observed the suspect fully naked and took him into custody. Lineberger is a registered sexual offender.
Lineberger is a 6’4, 250lb former boxer. He was convicted in 2007 of a similar crime in New York City earning him the label of sex offender. According to the affidavit, while Lineberger didn’t have a weapon, he threatened the victim and she was found with bruises on her arms.
Hillsborough County officials said the suspect and the victim did not know each other. Lineberger is facing charges, including Sexual Battery, False Imprisonment and Kidnapping
“He did give an interview and try to say that the sex was consensual but the victim’s injuries are consistent with her version of the story,” said Cristal Bermudez Nunez with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office.