Jogger fends off assailant in Van Nuys sex attack
By Sue Doyle, Staff Writer
Reprinted from the Contra Costa Times
Posted: 03/19/2009 08:30:11 PM PDT
Updated: 03/20/2009 12:57:56 AM PDT
This is a police sketch of the man who sexually assaulted a 32-year-old woman early Wednesday morning in Van Nuys. He is described as Latino and in his late 20s to mid-30s. He stands about 5 feet, 6 inches tall and has a thin build. He wore a tan baseball cap and navy blue hooded sweat shirt.
VAN NUYS — A 32-year-old woman was sexually assaulted during an early morning run by a man who shoved her into the bushes and groped her before she fought him off, police said Thursday.
Los Angeles police are searching for the clean-shaven man who attacked the jogger at 5:45 a.m. Wednesday in the 6200 block of Blucher Avenue, a residential street next to the Sepulveda Dam Recreation Area.
Police are asking for the public’s help to identify the man, described as Latino and in his late 20s to mid-30s. He stands about 5 feet, 6 inches tall and has a thin build. He wore a tan baseball cap and navy blue hooded sweat shirt.
The assault is the first of its kind in the area in the past year, said Detective Dennis Derr of the Los Angeles Police Department. “We don’t know if it’s a one-time occurrence, a random occurrence or the beginning of a series of occurrences,” Derr said.
The man fled after the woman punched him in the groin. She ran home and called 911. She was treated at a nearby emergency room for injuries, including a kick to her side. She was later released.
Derr said the woman was running on the sidewalk when she spotted the man standing across the street. He crossed the street and began running next to her and then attacked her.
He grabbed her bottom, shoved her down in the bushes and pinned her with his leg.
After being kicked and punched by the woman, the attacker ran south down Blucher Avenue, Derr
“When he pushed her down in the bushes, it was right in full view of many houses, in the middle of a residential neighborhood,” Derr said. “But because it was so early in the morning, it didn’t catch anyone’s attention.”
Anyone with information on the assault can call Derr at 818-374-1926.