Gainesville city employee attacked near City Hall

Handcuffed and flanked by police officers, 33-year-old Duan Freeman was hauled off to the Alachua County Jail.  He is accused of attacking a woman who works for the City of Gainesville, as she was walking into city hall Wednesday morning.  When asked why he attacked the employee, Freeman did not respond. 

A spokesman with the Gainesville Police Department said the victim was walking down the driveway, right behind City Hall, when Freeman grabbed her and tried to rip off her clothes.

"She was able to fight back, thankfully, and scream for help -- doing everything she possibly can in that situation, as right as she could," said Ben Tobias.

People nearby heard the screams, and ran to help. Police said the suspect took off.  It was a terrifying daytime attack that is putting women on alert.

"It is scary, especially as a woman myself," said Christina Jiron. 

"That is not ok, especially in the morning or anytime," said Liana Juarez, "but you're trying to get to work and this happens to you."

The city is speeding up security upgrades at City Hall, according to a spokesman, including enhancing key-card access, adding new outdoor lights and installing better cameras.
"Also, including adding a security guard to the City Hall complex area. You'll see that within the next week or so, I would imagine," said Bob Woods.
As for the victim, she is shaken but ok.