Woman attacked in a Key Largo Publix parking lot, police say

Dulin Nelson Ebanks
Dulin Nelson Ebanks

A Miami man reached up a woman’s skirt as she was packing her groceries into her car in a Key Largo Publix supermarket parking lot Tuesday night, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

Dulin Nelson Ebanks, 32, was arrested on one count of simple battery. He was booked into Plantation Key jail on a $25,000 bond.

According to a Sheriff’s Office arrest affidavit, the woman was loading groceries into the trunk of her car in the Tradewinds Plaza shopping center at mile marker 101.4 when she felt a hand go up her skirt and grab her buttocks. She turned around to see a man wearing a hat and a backpack with a skateboard attached to it run away. She then got into her car and tried to find the man and called 911.

Deputy Alexandria Palau saw a man matching the description the woman gave police sitting inside an Arby’s restaurant located next to the shopping center, according to her report. Palau asked the man, who was identified as Ebanks, if he was at Publix earlier. Ebanks, who was eating a Publix brand candy, said he was not.

Ebanks was wearing the same kind of hat and backpack with a skateboard attached to it that the woman described belonging to her attacker, Palau stated in her report.

Deputies arrested him and asked the woman if she would be willing to come to the sheriff’s office station on Plantation Key to identify the man who she saw grope her. After seeing Ebanks, the woman said she was “99.9 percent certain” he was the man who attacked her.

According to Monroe County clerk of the court records, Ebanks was arrested during a similar incident in 2015 on Big Coppitt Key in the Lower Keys. The May 5, 2016, arrest affidavit states Ebanks pinched a teenage girl on the buttocks as she walked toward her school bus.

Deputies arrested him on a simple battery charge, but the State Attorney’s Office ended up dropping the case after losing contact with the girl, according to court records.