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Police Looking for Possible Skid Row Serial Rapist

By Eric Richardson
Published: Thursday, August 12, 2010, at 08:38AM
LAPD Tape Night File Photo / blogdowntown

As they continue to investigate what appears to be a serial rapist targeting women on Skid Row, Police sent out a warning today for the public to be on guard.

The man is believed to have been behind two rapes in two weeks, the last occurring after he picked up a woman on the evening of Monday, August 10, at 6th and Towne.

Two women were walking near the intersection when a man described as middle-aged and balding drove up to them in a brown Econoline-type van with horizontal stripes. One of them accepted his offer of a ride to get food.

The pair drove to the McDonald's at 7th and Alameda. After the woman refused the offer, the man pulled a knife on her, bound her legs, arms and mouth with duct tape and then drove to an Alhambra parking lot where he stripped and raped her, tossing her in a dumpster afterward. A nearby business owner heard the commotion and found the woman there.

The circumstances were similar on August 1, when police believe the same man picked up a 37-year-old transient woman at 6th and Stanford. He bound and raped her, leaving her three days later in Koreatown.

That case has proved tough for detectives to investigate because the woman was reluctant to talk to police. "It was difficult for officers to get any useful information from her, and since that night we’ve been unable to locate her,” said Lieutenant Paul Vernon, head of Central Division detectives.

“These types of stranger rapes and abductions are quite the exception, and we take them very seriously,” Lt. Vernon continued. The department hopes to release a composite sketch and possibly video footage of the suspect in the coming days.

Anyone with information on the attacks is urged to call Detective Josh Riggs, Central Sex Unit, at (213) 972-1235.

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