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Woman sexually assaulted at CityPlace bar; employees helped stop attack

Posted at 4:45 PM, Oct 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-27 10:00:05-04

A Tennessee man is in a Palm Beach County jail after sexually assaulting a woman at a CityPlace bar, West Palm Beach police say.  

According to police, the assault happened just before 1:30 a.m. Thursday at Copper Blues.  

The victim was using the woman’s restroom when police say Joshua Sullins, 23, made his way into the stall. Investigators say that’s where Sullins assaulted the woman. 

Employees at Copper Blues saw the assault taking place and right away jumped into action, rescuing the victim.


Investigators say the employees chased away Sullins, called the police, and gave aid to the victim who was inebriated and incoherent. 

Police were able to catch Sullins outside the restaurant near Gardenia Street. 

"I want to commend them first of all for taking action,” said Nicole Bishop, with Palm Beach County Victim Services. “I think that it’s not only the right thing to do, but it’s also something that we would hope that anyone would do.”

Her team deals with hundreds of cases a year.  “We know that it’s happening every single day,” Bishop said. 

But she says bringing those numbers down starts with the age-old saying: If you see something, say something. 

“That could be your sister, your daughter, your loved one. And by preventing that one act of sexual violence, it can prevent numerous asked down the road,” Bishop added.

Sullins was charged with sexual battery and brought to the Palm Beach County Jail. 

During a Friday morning court hearing, Sullins' bond was set at $100,00. A judge also ordered that he cannot have contact with the victim or visit Copper Blues.

Statement from CityPlace: “The CityPlace security team assisted the employees of Copper Blues to respond to the incident last night. We are working closely with the West Palm Beach Police on their ongoing investigation as the safety and security of our patrons always comes first.”

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