City News Service

Man Arrested in Aliso Creek Hiking Trail Attacks

A 28-year-old woman was walking on the trial when she heard someone jogging behind her just before she was grabbed by the elbow.

A suspect has been arrested in connection with a series of attacks on the Aliso Creek Hiking Trail.

Christopher Lopez, 30, of Aliso Viejo has been booked on suspicion of misdemeanor child molestation or annoyance.

A 28-year-old woman and three young girls were attacked earlier this month while walking along the Aliso Creek Hiking Trail near Sheep Hills Park in Aliso Viejo. There were four such attacks over a nearly two-week period.

The woman who was attacked said she heard someone jogging behind her before she was grabbed by the elbow, according to Carrie Braun of the Orange County Sheriff's Department. She head-butted the man, who let her go and ran away, Braun said.

On Sept. 18 about 6:30 p.m., an 11-year-old girl was walking her dog along the Aliso Creek Trail in Laguna Hills near Via Lomas and Sheep Hills Park when a man grabbed her and tried to drag her toward some bushes, Braun said.

When the girl screamed for help, the suspect ran off. That suspect was described as a Latino man with short, dark hair who was wearing a red Angels sweatshirt, bluejeans and black shoes.

On Sept. 17 about 4 p.m. along the Aliso Creek Hiking Trail in Aliso Viejo, a 16-year-old girl was walking home from school when a suspect touched her, Braun said. That suspect was described as a Latino man in his 30s, with short, black hair, 5-foot-6 and weighing about 140 pounds.

About 9 a.m. on Sept. 12, a 12-year-old girl said a suspect touched her as she walked to school near Windsong and Aliso Creek Road. That suspect was described as a white man in his early 30s with blond hair, who wore sunglasses and was dressed in black clothing.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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