Dropped Wallet Leads to Arrest in Rape Case

Times Staff Writer

A Norwalk man was arrested early Wednesday as a suspect in the kidnaping and rape of a 28-year-old Westminster woman who led police to him by hiding a wallet he dropped, authorities said.

"She picked (the wallet) up and stuck it in her boot without him knowing and . . . as soon as he freed her, she brought it in to us," said Garden Grove Police Sgt. Bruce Beauchamp.

William Eddy Novak, 43, was arrested at his 12632 Graystone Ave. home at 3:15 a.m. by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies.

Novak, who works at a Rosemead tire store, was being held on $25,000 bail at the Orange County Jail on suspicion of kidnaping, rape and forced oral copulation.

According to police, the woman's car had run out of gas and she was walking to a service station on Garden Grove Boulevard about 11 p.m. Tuesday when a man pulled alongside her and ordered her at gunpoint into his car.

The man drove her to Westminster, where he allegedly raped her, then drove with her into Los Angeles County, Beauchamp said.

Somewhere near the San Gabriel River Freeway, beneath a bridge or overpass north of Long Beach, the man allegedly raped the woman again, Beauchamp said.

Then he drove her back to Garden Grove, where he left her at the corner of Beach and Garden Grove boulevards.

With his wallet in hand, the woman arrived at the Garden Grove police station about 1 a.m. and reported the attack, Beauchamp said.

He said identification in the wallet showed a Norwalk address and Los Angeles County deputies went there to check for a car matching the vehicle the woman described.

Beauchamp said a car matching the description was found parked in the driveway of the Graystone Avenue home. Novak was found inside the house and arrested without incident, police said.

The woman was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange, where she was treated and released, Beauchamp said.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World