Police arrest possible rape suspect


A man who police said matches the description of an assailant who robbed and sexually assaulted a woman over the weekend was taken into custody Tuesday night, Aug. 16 when officers found him hiding in a canyon in La Jolla.

The 18-year-old man was booked by UC San Diego police on a charge of evading arrest. Investigators on Wednesday were trying to determine whether he is a suspect in the assault case.

A woman was robbed, beaten and sexually assaulted her University City apartment Saturday night, Aug. 13. On Tuesday, a campus police officer spotted a man who fit the assailant’s description, police said. The officer approached the man about 7 p.m. and he ran off.

San Diego police officers, aided by dogs and a helicopter, set up a perimeter around the ravine east of Gilman Drive off Via Alicante.

As officers scoured the area, the police helicopter made announcements over a loud speaker to inform people in the area that police were looking for a black man wearing a white T-shirt and black jeans, and carrying a backpack and skateboard, nearby residents said.

About 8:30 p.m., the helicopter crew directed officers to heavy brush where the man was found hiding. He was taken into custody without a struggle, police said.

Police investigators placed a skateboard and dark backpack into a police car.

San Diego police said the victim on Saturday was followed through a well-lit parking structure at the Venetian Apartments on Nobel Drive near Regents Road about 10:30 p.m. When she got to her apartment door, the assailant knocked her to the ground, pulled out a black handgun and demanded money.

After she complied, the man choked the woman and forced her into her apartment, where he sexually assaulted her, San Diego police Lt. Paul Phillips said.

The woman, in her 20s, was hospitalized with facial fractures and other injuries. —The San Diego Union Tribune reports