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Person of interest in custody in Anaheim, Garden Grove assaults

Law EnforcementCrime, Law and Justice

Police said they have a person of interest in custody in connection with separate assaults on five women that occurred on a single day in Garden Grove and Anaheim.

The man was taken into custody at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the 6100 block of Robin Way in Buena Park, said Garden Grove police Lt. Ben Stauffer.

But authorities will not officially name a suspect in the assaults until victims positively identify him, Stauffer said Saturday. They did release a composite sketch of the suspect.

"Investigators are working diligently to determine if this subject is the same subject that committed the assaults reported on Jan. 16," her said.

Earlier, officers searched for a man in his early 20s suspected in the attacks, which occurred between 5:28 p.m. until shortly after 10 p.m. Police said the locations of the crimes included Euclid Street, Clarissa Street and Lampson Avenue in Garden Grove as well as a motel in the 1000 block of Katella Avenue in Anaheim.

Police said it will take some time to reach all the victims and complete the identification process.

In the first assault, a man struck the victim on Euclid Street, dragged her, then escaped, according to Stauffer. In the second incident, a man burglarized a home and stabbed a resident three times before fleeing, he said.

The same individual is believed to have targeted two women inside a room at the Alamo Motel in Anaheim, beating both of them, according to Anaheim police Lt. Tim Schmidt.

A fifth victim in Garden Grove reported being struck several times before she could escape. Officers used bloodhounds to help track a suspect but his scent was lost in a parking lot at the corner of Euclid Street and Chapman Avenue, authorities said.

They said cameras captured images of the suspect, sporting tattoos on both arms and a possible piercing through his bottom lip, as he entered and exited the Anaheim motel. Police say he was last seen wearing a gray, short-sleeved shirt and blue jeans.

Authorities have set up a hotline for tips in the case: (714) 741-5070.

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anh.do@latimes.com

Twitter: @newsterrier

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