A Southern California man was behind bars Wednesday after allegedly sexually assaulting two women in one day, authorities said.
Just before 6 a.m. Monday, someone driving near Baseline Road and Hellman Avenue in Rancho Cucamonga saw a woman run into the street, crying that a man was trying to rape her, Rancho Cucamonga police said. The driver said she pointed back toward the man, who was still in Lion's Park, police added.
The victim, 63, told the police she was sitting at a bus stop when the man allegedly placed a knife, later identified as a box cutter, to her throat and grabbed her arm.
The attacker moved the woman toward bushes and said he was going to rape her, Rancho Cucamonga police said.
According to authorities, when the victim fought back, he allegedly threatened to kill her, but she continued to fight back until he fled and ran toward his vehicle.
The woman and the witness described his vehicle as a black Chevrolet with a license plate ending in 802, Rancho Cucamonga police said. Authorities used surveillance footage to spot the man and the vehicle at a gas station, and later got the full license plate number.
Authorities on Monday evening tracked the license plate to the Rancho Cucamonga home of 24-year-old Jacob Latham, authorities said Tuesday.
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They detained and interviewed Latham, who officials say admitted to being intoxicated, to observing and to following the 63-year-old woman in Rancho Cucamonga, according to the Rancho Cucamonga Police Department.
The clothing described in that sex assault and another assault the same morning in Claremont was found at Latham's house, and Claremont police were notified, police said.
When Claremont detectives interviewed Latham on Tuesday, his statements linked him to the assault that happened about an hour later in Claremont on Monday.
The victim in Claremont, who asked to be identified only as Murphy, was jogging through Blaisdell Park in the 400 block of College Avenue around 7 a.m. when a man approached her from behind, according to the Claremont Police Department.
He pushed her to the ground, and sexually assaulted her, police said.
Murphy said she started screaming for help, and that she bit him as hard as she could when he allegedly tried to muffle her screams. She fought back so aggressively, he quickly got up and ran away, police said.
Investigators have deemed the attack a sexual assault because the man placed his hands on the victim, and slapped her buttocks at one point during the attack. Murphy added that her attacker started pulling down her pants.
"The whole time my mind was thinking, 'How do I get him away from me, how do I stop this from happening?'" Murphy said.
After she called 911 with her cellphone, police began their search for the attacker, who had reportedly wrapped his head with a flannel shirt, which matched the description of the attacker in Rancho Cucamonga.
"I only saw right between his eyebrows and his upper lip," Murphy said. "He was kind of smiling at me."
The victim suffered scratches during the attack, said Claremont Detective Bureau Lt. Mike Ciszek.
Latham was arrested and booked at the West Valley Detention Center on suspicion of assault to commit rape and assault with a deadly weapon, Rancho Cucamonga police said.
His video arraignment was scheduled for 7 a.m. Wednesday, San Bernardino Sheriff's spokeswoman Jodi Miller said.
It was not immediately clear if Latham has an attorney.
Anyone with additional information about the incidents should call the Rancho Cucamonga Police Department at 909-477-2800.