A man has been arrested after allegedly posing as a law enforcement officer to lure a girl into his car before sexually assaulting her.
He told the 15-year-old that he would give her a lift home after pulling her over on the 4000 block of Lancaster Boulevard in Lancaster Wednesday afternoon, a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman said. After she got into his vehicle he took her to some abandoned mobile classrooms near Lancaster Baptist School, where the sexual assault took place.
She managed to escape, running to Lancaster Baptist Church parking lot, where parishioners prevented the attacker from apprehending the girl.
"One of our mothers was picking up her kids from school and she sees the victim running across the street screaming for help, so she called the police," the church's youth pastor Larry Chappell said. "In the meantime some other parents ran (to provide) assistance and intervened between the victim and the suspect, who's trying to explain away it's not what it seemed like."
The suspect, who was driving a car with North Carolina license plates, ran away despite the efforts of the parishioners.
He ended up being caught after his vehicle got stuck when he attempted to escape across the desert, a Sheriff's Department spokesman said.
The teenager was taken to a local hospital for treatment, and there is no indication she knew her attacker.
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The suspect, who has an address in Lancaster, allegedly resisted arrest when he was caught by deputies. They used a stun gun to subdue him before taking him into custody.
CLARIFICATION: A previous version of this story did not indicate the classrooms, located across the street from Lancaster Baptist School, had been abandoned.