West Hollywood

Arrest Made in Daylight Attacks on Women in West Hollywood

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A man accused of grabbing women forcefully and trying to get them alone before they managed to scream and escape has been arrested Thursday, police said.

The man accused of sexual assault was arrested Thursday at 1:30 p.m. in the 600 block of 5th Street in downtown LA, the LAPD said.

His identity was not yet released.

The man was arrested after two women were attacked Feb. 15.

Two women were followed and both managed to escape by screaming in West Hollywood after the man followed and tried to attack them.

In shocking surveillance video, a man can be seen with his arm around a young woman's neck, forcefully guiding her through an open gate and into someone's yard in the 800 block of N. Vista Street.

"There were three people home, and they did not hear her scream," Ana Benko said.


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Benko heads up "Melrose Action," a nonprofit neighborhood watch group that released the video after the LAPD and West Hollywood Sheriff's Department obtained it from the homeowner.

In the video, seconds after the woman gets out of the man's grasp, she is seen frantically running from him, even waving at passing cars for help.

And then, the man does something strange. He calmly picks up a bag he'd left on the sidewalk and strolls away.

Neighbor Alex Dumanov says that's the chilling part.

"He was waiting for a victim, you know? I mean…It's not a random attack," Dumanov said.

Investigators confirmed to NBCLA that they're comparing the North Vista attack with another one that happened just 20 minutes later in the 7600 block of Hampton Avenue in West Hollywood.

The man has the same description: a man in his 30s wearing dark clothing with a bag.

He pushed a woman into her apartment, then ran away when she screamed.

"We walk with whistle now. Even in the daytime," Benko said.

A woman was also stabbed on Melrose Avenue Wednesday afternoon, officials said.

This also comes weeks after two girls walking to school were robbed. The thieves pulled their hair and demanded their cellphones and access codes.

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