Southern California

Woman Sexually Assaulted in SoCal Mall Parking Lot

The attacker took his victim to a secluded area of the mall parking lot and sexually assaulted her, police said

A woman was sexually assaulted by a man armed with a screwdriver in a remote area of a San Bernardino mall parking lot, police said.

The victim had gotten off a bus near 4th and F streets about 6:18 p.m. Thursday and was walking alone in the Carousel Mall parking lot on her way to work when the man followed her off the bus and threatened to hurt her if she didn't do what he said, San Bernardino Police Department officials said.

The man took the 21-year-old woman to a remote area within the parking lot, where he assaulted her in the open, police said.

Before letting her go, police said he threatened her again and then ran off.

Lt. Rich Lawhead of the SBPD said a stretch along 4th Street where buses transfer passengers near the heart of downtown San Bernardino has seen a drop in serious crimes, but criminal activity is still a concern.

"This is an area where we have a lot of petty thefts, a lot of narcotics activity," he said.

The attacker was described as about 24-years-old, 5 foot 5 inches tall, weighing about 135 pounds. He had black hair, brown eyes and a goatee.

He was carrying a black backpack at the time of the attack and wore a T-shirt with unknown letters on it and a thumbs up style symbol. He also wore black shorts and an olive drab fabric belt.

Anyone with information was asked to call 909-384-56347.

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