Riverside

Driver Rear-Ends Women's Cars, Attempts Sex Assault: Police

Riverside police are warning drivers to remain vigilant after two women reported their cars being purposely rear-ended by a male driver who then robbed and attempted to sexually assault them at knifepoint when they got out of their vehicles.

The latest incident took place about 4:15 a.m. Thursday along the 215 Freeway before the Blain Street exit, the Riverside Police Department said. The victim was rear-ended, then attacked with a knife after getting out of her car to exchange information. Bloodied from a cut to her hand while struggling to get away, she ran to a nearby Arco gas station for help.

"He put a knife to her throat and told her to take off her pants and he wanted her money," said Maria, a gas station clerk. "Somehow, some way she took off running."

Last Friday, investigators say another woman had a similar encounter after driving away from a gas station on University Avenue. That victim said a car began following her on the 215 Freeway and then rear-ended her car at the Central Avenue off-ramp.

"He gets out of the car, he produced a knife and attempted to sexually assault her," Riverside police Officer Ryan Railsback said. "He also robbed her of some personal property and got back into his car and left on the freeway."

Though both cases are similar, police say they have not determined whether the same man is responsible.

The man in last Friday's incident was described as a Hispanic 30- to 35-year-old man, about 5 feet 7 inches tall, with a skinny build. He had scruffy facial hair and was wearing a dark-color hooded sweatshirt. His vehicle was described as an older model, box-style, dark green SUV. The passenger side rear window may have been broken and appeared to be covered with cardboard.

There was no description available for the man or car in the second incident.

Riverside police advise drivers to pull over in a well-lit area or open business if they are involved in a crash, especially late at night. If something doesn't seem right, call 911.

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