Police searching for male suspect believed connected to sexual a - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Police searching for male suspect believed connected to sexual assault in Myrtle Beach

Source: MBPD Facebook page Source: MBPD Facebook page
Source: MBPD Facebook page Source: MBPD Facebook page
Source: MBPD Facebook page Source: MBPD Facebook page

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Myrtle Beach Police are trying to catch the man who sexually assaulted a woman near an elevator in the parking garage of the Sheraton Myrtle Beach Convention Center, according to a police report.

An officer with the MBPD responded around 10:25 p.m., Wednesday, to the call on Oak Street in reference to a sexually-related crime.

The victim told the officer they were approached in the elevator on the third floor of the parking garage and that the offender sexually assaulted them.

The P2C report states the victim was transported to Grand Strand Medical Center.

In a statement, representatives with the Sheraton said, “The safety of our guests and associates is one of our top priorities. As this is an ongoing investigation, the police department should be contacted directly for any additional comments.”

This may be alarming, but crisis counselor Karly Buckley says incidents like this can be common to our area.

“Sometimes the areas can be isolated, especially a parking garage and at night there's not a lot of people around you're more likely to probably be by yourself,” Rape Crisis Center Counselor Karly Buckley said.

Which is why she urges everyone to stay alert, avoid traveling alone, especially at night time, and be aware of your surroundings.

“Especially with holidays it could be a very prominent time for attacks to happen and be more susceptible to them,” Buckley said.

In 2014, crisis counselors at the Rape Crisis Center took 738 calls and saw 443 victims, and those numbers this year are on the rise, especially in August, according to Buckley.

In order to bring these numbers down, she says, awareness is key.

"Our services are here, we provide individual counseling, support group, just any crisis intervention,” Buckely said.” They need just to know that we are here for them and we're here to help them and they are not alone."

The center wants to reinforce reaching out to them for help, even if you choose not to contact authorities.

The case at the Sheraton remains under investigation by police, if you have any information, please call (843)-918-1382 and refer to case 15-022751.

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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