Balcony falls used to be a regular occurrence during Spring Break. But Panama City Beach police say the fall that happened early Tuesday morning, wasn’t the spring breaker’s fault. They say she was pushed after she was raped by a security guard.
Police are looking for a man suspected of raping an 18 year old Tuscaloosa Alabama Spring Breaker and then pushing her off a sixth floor balcony. It happened early this morning at the Sandpiper Beacon Motel just past Highway 79 on Front Beach Road.
Panama City Beach police have issued an arrest warrant for 29 year-old Shawn Wuertly. They say Wuertly is the man responsible for sexually battering an 18-year-old Spring Breaker from Tuscaloosa and then pushing her off the balcony around 1:00 Am Monday.
Police originally thought the girl fell but witnesses have now come forward and say she was pushed.
Police say Weurtly and the teenager did not know each other before she came to Panama City Beach but Weurtly apparently made contact with her several times. He works as a security guard at the Sandpiper Beacon and has been in town about 6 months.
Major David Humphreys of the Beach Police says Weurtly’s name came up right away.
"He was identified at the scene as a possible suspect. He was interviewed here at the Beach police department. There was not enough evidence to charge him at the time. When we gathered enough evidence we could not locate him. We had phone conversations with him and he indicated he was leaving the state"
Beach Police took this picture of Wuertly Monday morning, when they first questioned him about the incident.
They say he is 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs about 180 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black jacket with a yellow shirt and woodland camouflage pants. Weurtly also has two visible tattoos on his neck.
Humphreys says Weurtly does not have a car so he could possibly still be in the area although he told police he was going to visit family in Tennessee.
So investigators have issued warrants for Wuertly’s arrest. He’s charged with attempted murder, sexual battery and false imprisonment. If you have any information about Shaun Wuertly, please call the Panama City Beach Police Department immediately at 850-233-5000.
Wuertly is wanted on burglary charges in Indiana. In fact, he has several prior arrests in Indiana including an escape charge, burglary and intimidation.
Doctors say the 18-year-old Tuscaloosa Alabama woman is in an improving condition. Her injuries are now classified as non-life threatening. She hit two rooftops during her fall, which police say may have prevented her from suffering more serious injuries.