The Bay County Sheriff’s Office has arrested former Apalachicola resident Joseph Chad Zingarelli, 50, a transient, after warrants were issued for him for sexual battery, robbery by sudden snatching, and battery, his second offense.
On Oct. 22, Bay County deputies met with the victim who reported a sexual battery to the BCSO. The victim said she he had been on a boat with Zingarelli that day and that he had sexually battered her after taking her phone and forcing her to go out on the boat with him. She told deputies she was later able to get away from him when he fell asleep on the boat.
Zingarelli, realizing she was gone from the boat, went to the home of a family member of the victim and snatched a phone from the family member to try and find the victim.
Medical help was provided for the victim, investigators from criminal investigations began the investigation and warrants were issued for Zingarelli.
On Oct. 23, BCSO dispatch received information that a suspicious man, later identified as Zingarelli, was at a residence off Houston Street on Panama City Beach. Zingarelli, who had active warrants for robbery by sudden snatching, sexual battery and battery – second offense, fled the residence before BCSO deputies arrived.
A few hours later Bay County Sheriff’s Office dispatch received a call reporting a man matching Zingarelli’s description acting suspiciously outside a residence on Panama City Beach. The caller said when she confronted the man to ask what he was doing, he ran into a wooded area off Houston Street.
The BCSO Field Services Division and Warrants investigators responded and quickly set up a perimeter of the wooded area. Investigators entered the wooded area and flushed Zingarelli out of the woods towards Joan Avenue. Deputies took Zingarelli into custody without further incident.