Police arrest man suspected of trying to rape woman outside her Van Nuys apartment as passersby ignored pleas for help

Los Angeles police arrested a 27-year-old man suspected of trying to sexually assault a woman outside her Van Nuys apartment last month as she fought and kicked for several minutes while no one came to her aid, authorities said.

Antonio Reyes was arrested Tuesday in Arleta, where he lives and works, on suspicion of attempted rape, said LAPD Officer Mike Lopez.

About 5:45 a.m. on Aug. 12, the woman was walking home when a man confronted her, speaking in Spanish, which she does not speak, police said.

Police said the attacker tried to remove her clothes and took her to the ground, where she tried to fight him off, screaming, “Fire, Fire,” to get someone’s attention.

A pedestrian walked by and cars slowed down, but no one called 911, police said. The woman eventually wrestled free and her attacker fled, police said.

The woman told police the man smelled of alcohol.

After the attack, police distributed a sketch of the attacker, which led to numerous tips from the public.

Acting on a tip Tuesday, the FBI-LAPD violent fugitive task force arrested Reyes in Arleta, where police said he was working as a laborer.

Anyone with information about the case is urged to call Los Angeles police at (818) 374-9500.

alene.tchekmedyian@latimes.com

Twitter: @AleneTchek

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