Santa Ana

Good Samaritan Credited With Saving Woman From Rape

Taylor Lawrence O'Neill stepped in when he saw a man struggling with a woman inside a truck.

A good Samaritan is being credited with saving a woman from getting raped in Santa Ana.

Police say the alleged attack happened Monday on the 1600 block of east Palm Street after Jorge Cruz De Armas, 27, offered a woman a ride and then, when she accepted, drove her to an alley and tried to rape her when she refused his offer for sex.

Taylor Lawrence O'Neill said he was headed to work around 4 p.m. when he saw De Armas' car parked in the alley against his building. He initially thought the suspect and the victim were there to have sex, so he approached De Armas' white truck and tapped on the window, hoping they would leave.

However, in an instant, he knew the woman inside was in trouble.

"I saw him on top of her, her struggling," O'Neill said as he stood in the alley where the alleged attack happened. "You could tell nothing consensual was going on in that car."

He said the woman's mouth and nose were covered in duct tape. "I tried to open the door, but it was locked so I banged on windows."

O'Neill said De Armas jumped back behind the wheel as the woman escaped the vehicle. That's when O'Neill grabbed his cellphone to call for help.

"I'm not going anywhere; don't worry, ok," O'Neill can be heard saying to the woman in the 911 call.

As De Armas began driving away, O'Neill was able to take a photo of his license plate, which allowed police to trace him to his workplace in Costa Mesa.

There, police arrested De Armas, finding the duct tape still inside his car.

O'Neill said he still worries about what could have happened had he not been at the right place at the wrong time. "I think if I didn't open the door he probably would have pulled away with her."

Detectives from the Santa Ana Police Department think there may be more victims.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective E. Majors at 714-245-8378 or email him at People can also call Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.

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