Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach Police Review Surveillance Video in Sex Assault Case

Detectives were combing through surveillance video and investigating a key piece of evidence Monday in a sexual assault case that has Manhattan Beach residents and visitors on edge.

The crime took place just after midnight Easter Sunday. An attacker, who is still at large, sexually assaulted a woman on the beach while her male companion was forced to lie face down in the sand.

Manhattan Beach Police Det. Paul Ford said investigators were able to locate a cellphone that was taken from one of the victims. It was found in a neighborhood about a mile away from where the assault took place.

The cellphone was being checked for fingerprints and any calls possibly made by the man.

Police said they have at least one piece of surveillance video turned over by a resident along the beachfront. They’re hoping it would reveal where the attacker crossed the strand over to the beach or when he crossed back.

Police said most of the cameras in the area were set up to capture burglaries and were not aimed at the beach, which would have been dark, even with a nearly full moon.

But the attacker may have been captured in and around the homes beforehand.

Residents were alerted by text message about the sex assault that has shattered their sense of tranquility.

“I would never expect that to happen, especially in such a safe community,” said Caroline Mundell, who was visiting Manhattan Beach.

The attacker was described 25 to 30 years old. He was 5 feet 7 seven inches tall with a slim build and thin mustache. He was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans.

Anyone with information was asked to contact Manhattan Beach police.

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