This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
Sexual Predator Behind Gropings, Public Masturbation, Has Been on the Loose in the Valley For Over a Year [UPDATED]
Authorities are warning women in the San Fernando Valley to be on alert for a sexual predator who may have been responsible for at least nine sexual assaults and two attempted kidnappings. The Los Angeles Police Department says the suspect has been groping, harassing, or assaulting women since January of last year.
The suspect is described as "a male Hispanic or Asian, short curly black hair with some gray, brown eyes, 5 feet 6 inches tall, 160-200 pounds, 25 years to 40 years of age, light complexion, and may have some facial hair," according to the LAPD. "He is believed to be driving a 2000-2010 red or white Honda, Toyota, or Nissan type vehicle with the license plate covered with some type of cloth. It is possible that there is a second suspect who drives the suspect around."
In many of the cases, the victims were walking when the suspect groped them from behind. He has even reportedly picked up one victim by the legs and attempted to lift her off the ground. But the suspect has also believed to have been spotted parked outside Arleta High School, where he was seen masturbating "while trying to attract and lure teenage girls to him."
Here is a rundown of where the crimes took place and when, via City News Service:
-- Beachy Avenue and Van Nuys Boulevard on Jan. 1, 2011, at 5 p.m.
-- Terra Bella Street and Beachy Avenue on Aug. 28, 5:50 p.m.
-- Beachy Avenue and Claretta Street, Sept. 20, 2011, 4 p.m.
-- Canterbury Avenue and Osborne Street, Jan. 22, 2012, 8 a.m.
-- Terra Bella Street and Beachy Avenue, Feb. 24, 2012, Feb. 24, 2012, 7:30 a.m.
-- Arleta Avenue and Terra Bella Street, Jan. 27, 2012, 7:10 a.m.
-- Van Nuys Boulevard and Woodman Avenue, Feb. 28, 2012, 9 p.m.
-- 1400 block of Van Nuys Boulevard, March 12, 2012, 9 p.m. and at
-- Beachy Avenue and Bromwich Street, March 29, 2012, 4:10 p.m.
Anyone with information about the suspect(s) is asked to contact the LAPD.
UPDATE April 4, 2012 8:35 AM: The LAPD has revised their original statement about the sexual predator suspect to clarify that only in some cases has he touched the victims. From the LAPD:
Other than the two attempt kidnaps this suspect has not physically touched any of the other victims. The other victim's witnessed him committing lewd acts in public and trying to lure them to himself. We apologize for the mistake and any inconvenience this may have caused.