crime

Accused Serial Rapist Charged With Kidnapping and Running Down Women With Truck in Coachella Valley

One woman he allegedly struck with his truck was left in a ditch for days with a broken leg, the district attorney said.

A suspected serial rapist who has allegedly attacked at least six women in the Coachella Valley and hit two of them with his truck has been charged, Inland Empire officials announced Friday.

Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin along with Indio police and Sheriff's Department revealed details of the case at a morning news conference Friday.

Jose Manuel Martinez Garcia from Coachella was charged with 14 felony counts, including four attempted murder counts, four rape counts, kidnapping, attempted kidnapping, assault, sodomy, and oral copulation, Hestrin said.

Garcia is accused of physically or sexually assaulting six women from September 2020 to August 2021, but there are believed to be more potential victims.

He was arrested Oct. 5 and has been held without bail since, Hestrin said.

Hestrin alleged three victims were strangled to unconsciousness, and he was accused of striking two victims with his truck.

The suspect allegedly approached women on the street while in either of two white trucks -- one of which was a Chevy Silverado truck, the other a Dodge Ram.

NBCLA

"In terms of pattern, the approaching with a white truck is the main pattern," Hestrin said.

Indio police said the victims were often alone, in the middle of the night, on the street.

Hestrin said he couldn't comment further on any "pattern" the suspect had.

The man was charged with attempted murder after he allegedly tried to run one of his victims down with his truck, breaking her leg.

The suspect, a Mexican National, was accused of leaving her in a ditch for two and a half days, but she survived, Hestrin said.

A maintenance worker later found her. She was able to survive by drinking water running into the ditch, Hestrin said.

Hestrin thanked Indio police and the Riverside County Sheriff's Department Thermal Station for working to make an arrest in the heinous string of crimes.

Authorities would be asking for the public's help in identifying more potential victims as they worked with law enforcement in other areas.

Garcia previously lived in Bakersfield.

All victims were out of the hospital by Friday's news conference, and recovering.

The women attacked were relieved to hear of an arrest, Indio police said.

Garcia is set to appear in court Friday afternoon.

Contact Us