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Mekahlo Medina/Mike Tauber
Investigators released a surveillance photo of the man wanted in a brutal sexual assault on the Metro Purple Line in Koreatown last week. Mekahlo Medina reports from Whittier with the latest information from detectives for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 28, 2014.
Officials on Wednesday asked for the public's help to find a man who allegedly pushed a woman onto the floor of an empty Los Angeles Metro train and sexually assaulted her.
The woman boarded a Metro Purple Line Train on May 17 about 10:45 p.m. at the Wilshire/Western Station headed toward Union Station, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
The woman told police the man was masturbating over his clothing, and when she got up to try to find a panic button, he followed her, Los Angeles Sheriff's Sgt. Al Garcia said.
The attacker pushed the woman, forced her to fall to the ground and sexually assaulted her, he said.
The woman kicked him, and the man ran off the train at its next stop, the Wilshire/Normandie Station, Garcia said.
The victim stayed on the train after the attacker fled and reported the assault at the next stop, Garcia said. No witnesses were on the train.
The suspect (pictured) was captured on the train's surveillance video and is described as a black man about 35 to 45 years old with black hair and brown eyes, 5 feet 9 inches tall, between 180 and 200 pounds.
The man was being sought by sheriff's officials for assault with the intent to commit rape, the department said.
Anyone with information is urged to call the LASD Special Victim's Bureau at 877-710-LASD (5273).
Clarification: Police originally reported that the victim got off at the the Wilshire/Normandie Station after the attack, but they later clarified that the attacker got off at the Wilshire/Normandie Station and the victim stayed on the train.