East Los Angeles

Man arrested in brutal beatings, sex assaults of several women around LA

“The suspect is violent and he takes property from his victims, and unfortunately he seems to prey on women,” LAPD Officer J. Chavez said last week

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Police Wednesday announced the arrest of a man suspected of attacking more than a half-dozen women in the Los Angeles area, beating and raping or attempting to rape at least some of his victims.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Los Angeles Police Department worked with the U.S. Marshals Service to arrest 21-year-old Sergio Andrew Garcia. Garcia was arrested Tuesday in Tijuana, Mexico and extradited back to the U.S., where he faces charges of attempted murder, robbery, assault with intent to commit rape and penetration with a foreign object, Sheriff Robert Luna said. His bail was set at $4,060,000.

His latest victim, a 67-year-old woman, was left in a neck brace, her eyes swollen shut, after surviving the attack and attempted rape right in front of her East LA home.

“Although I thought of many other adjectives to describe the suspect, I’m just going to say he was a horrible deviant,” Luna said during a Wednesday press conference alongside LAPD Chief Michel Moore and U.S. Marshals Service Assistant Chief Inspector Frankie Sanchez.

Police believe four of Garcia’s alleged crimes happened between July 10 and 16, over an 8-mile stretch everywhere from downtown LA to East LA. Four of the crimes are being handled by the LASD, while the other four are being handled by the LAPD.

The time and locations of the attacks are as follows, according to Luna and Moore:

  • July 10: A 55-year-old woman was attacked in East LA around 6:45 a.m.
  • July 10: A 31-year-old woman was walking on Olympic Boulevard and LA Live Way in downtown LA around 8:35 a.m. when she noticed Garcia walking behind her. She stopped to allow him to walk by, but he instead faked tying his shoe, got close, grabbed her, took her to the ground and tried to sexually assault her. She fought back and escaped, and he fled.
  • July 11: A woman was walking in the area of Chick Hearn Court and Georgia Street in downtown LA around 8:25 a.m. when Garcia slapped her on the lower back and sexually assaulted her. He fled on a bike.
  • July 15: Around 6 a.m., Garcia carjacked a 33-year-old woman on the 5000 block of Whittier Boulevard in East LA. He drove short distance and fled, and committed an assault on Via Corona.
  • July 15: Garcia attacked a 67-year-old woman on the 1000 block of Frazier Avenue in East LA around 6:13 a.m.
  • July 15: Garcia assaulted an 84-year-old woman and took her car keys on the 5200 block of Via Corona Street in East LA around 6:50 a.m. He returned the next day around 3:45 a.m., stole her car and crashed it around 8:50 a.m. near the 10 Freeway and Western Avenue.
  • July 15: Garcia attacked and robbed a 51-year-old woman on the 1300 block of South Alvarado Street, just north of downtown LA, around 9:20 a.m. The woman lost consciousness and suffered cuts and bruises.
  • July 15: Minutes later, on 1300 of South Burlington Avenue, Garcia approached 58-year-old woman and sexually assaulted her.

Police said Garcia’s alleged victims range in age from 22 to 84.

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With the help of the Mexican government, Garcia was arrested Tuesday and deported back to the U.S., Sanchez said.

Garcia has seven arrests for felony assault, attempted murder, child cruelty and burglary, though he was never convicted on the charges, Luna said. He was convicted of misdemeanor burglary, the sheriff added.

Moore said police believe there may be “many more” victims of Garcia’s alleged crimes. Both he and Luna encouraged victims to come forward by calling 1-800-222-8477.

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