Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Investigative Operations Bureau
-Crimes Against Children Unit
Patrol Operations Bureau
-Strategic Enforcement Section (SES)
Dustin M. Kennedy (Arrested)
Address: 16432 US 19 North, Clearwater (Goodwill/Largo Residential Re-Entry Center) (The suspect was under DOC supervision at this facility)
Arrested for sexual battery, attempted felony murder, strong arm robbery and kidnapping.
Victim is a 17-year-old female, who is not known to the suspect. No further information will be released that would tend to identify the victim.
The suspect who viciously attacked and sexually battered a 17-year-old girl as she was headed to the school bus stop in the area of Whitney Road and Whitney Drive in unincorporated Clearwater during the early morning hours of December 18, 2012 – has been identified through DNA and has been arrested.
The suspect was identified on January 2, 2013 and subsequently arrested during the afternoon hours on the same day.
The suspect was arrested at the Goodwill located at 16432 U.S. 19 North in Clearwater. The suspect currently resides at this location which is a designated contract facility through DOC and is listed as the Largo Residential Re-Entry Center.
According to investigators, the Pinellas County Forensic Lab contacted detectives and notified them they had obtained a DNA match corresponding to 28-year-old Dustin M. Kennedy in the sexual battery case of the 17 year-old female.
Detectives determined that Kennedy had prior convictions for burglary and grand theft out of Hillsborough
County and was currently living at the Goodwill facility listed above.
Detectives from the Crimes Against Children Unit and S.E.S. set up a perimeter at the Goodwill location, made contact with Kennedy and took him into custody without further incident. Kennedy admitted to the crime.
Kennedy was arrested for sexual battery, attempted felony murder, strong arm robbery and kidnapping – after he grabbed the victim from behind as she was walking to the school bus stop, choked her, and drug her to a nearby ditch. Detectives say thereafter, Kennedy continued to choke her, rendering her unconscious and sexually battered her. The suspect also stole the victim’s two cellphones. (Original release is #12-299)
The cellphones were recovered from the suspect at the time of the arrest.
The investigation continues.