Sean Williams arrest: Suspected Tennessee serial sex offender finally caught in Pinellas County, Florida

Sean Williams mugshot
Sean Williams had been on the run since October 18. Pic credit: Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office

Sean Williams, a Tennessee man accused of being a serial sex offender, is back in custody after spending over a month on the run. He was finally arrested in Pinellas County, Florida.

On October 18, the 52-year-old Williams was being brought from a detention center in Kentucky to Washington County, Tennessee, when he kicked out the back window of a prison transport van and ran off while the van passed through Greeneville, TN.

Williams is facing 20 counts of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor, three counts of child rape, and three counts of sexual battery stemming from three cases in Washington County.

The accused man was initially apprehended in April in North Carolina after the cops allegedly discovered video on an electronic device that appeared to show Williams raping 52 women. There were also reports of a thumb drive containing over 5,000 images of children.

The cops now suspect Williams may have spent four weeks hiding out in Greeneville before finally making his move on November 17, when he allegedly stole a 1999 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck.

The Greeneville PD and the US Marshals Service then entered a game of cat and mouse as Williams first fled to Sylva, North Carolina, and then to Pinellas County, Florida.

He reportedly sold a vehicle in North Carolina and stole another pickup truck before heading south.

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Sean Williams caught by a 7-Eleven store clerk in Largo, Florida

The alleged sex offender was finally brought down on Tuesday night by a 7-Eleven worker in Pinellas County, who alerted the cops after Williams entered their store.

The store clerk recognized the fugitive’s distinctive tattoo. They served Williams a hotdog and briefly followed them outside before he disappeared. A short time later, a K-9 unit tracked him down to a hiding spot near the store.

A bruised Sean Williams
Sean Williams was taken into custody in a wheelchair. Pic credit: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

An image of a bruised, battered, and bloody-looking Williams was later released as he was brought into custody in a wheelchair. His wrists were cuffed behind his back, and his ankles were shackled.

Tennessee cops and US Marshals pleased to capture Sean Williams

U.S. Marshal David Jolley told the press, “Everybody up here in Tennessee is certainly very relieved to have this guy back in custody. This guy is a real predator of human beings – real dangerous guy. Always happy to have guys like that back off the streets.”

Jolley also said it was his birthday on Thursday and that he’d previously told his wife that capturing Williams would be a great birthday gift.

Greeneville resident Kevin Hardy spoke to local Channel 11 about the arrest and expressed his surprise that Williams seemingly spent a month hiding in his community.

Hardy called the area a close-knit community with lots of children and said, “It was just shocking. We thought he probably had left by now because, like I said, nobody had seen any signs of him in this area.”

Williams will now head to Johnson City, Tennessee, to face his charges and is now looking at a sentence of up to life.

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