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Man Arrested on Suspicion of Assaulting Woman in Anaheim

Man arrested in connection with an assault in Anaheim is also suspected of attacking a woman at the Westfield MainPlace Mall.

Photo credit, Google Maps.
Photo credit, Google Maps.

Anaheim police today detained a suspect in a sexual assault of a woman this morning outside a church at Brookhurst Street and La Palma Avenue.

Santa Ana police believe the suspect is also responsible for a sexual assault at Westfield's MainPlace Mall on Wednesday, according to Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

At about 6:30 a.m., the victim called Anaheim police saying a man robbed and sexually assaulted her as she was walking to her car from a Korean church, according to Anaheim police Lt. Bob Dunn.

The woman, who is in her 20s, managed to get free from her attacker and run across the street to a gas station, where she called police, Dunn said.

When police returned to the scene the woman's car was missing, presumably stolen by her attacker, Dunn said.

Police spotted the stolen car about 11 a.m. at Sycamore and Pauline streets and a chase ensued when the driver refused to pull over, Dunn said. The chase ended at Olive and Sycamore streets when the car crashed, Dunn added.

Three of the four occupants in the car remained at the scene, and one man ran away but was caught, according to Dunn. The occupants who stayed at the scene were two adults and a juvenile, interim Anaheim police chief Raul Quezada said.

Police were setting up lineups to see if the chase suspect was the same person who attacked the victim earlier, Dunn said. Anaheim investigators were also huddling with Santa Ana police to see if the suspect in custody was also the same person who sexually assaulted a woman in a parking garage at Westfield's MainPlace Mall on Wednesday, Dunn said.

Santa Ana's investigation led officers to Anaheim this morning, Santa Ana police Chief Carlos Rojas told reporters.

"We have someone who's very dangerous and obviously a threat not only to Santa Ana, but anyone here in Orange County, and we're very thankful to take him into custody this afternoon," Rojas said.

-- City News Service

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