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Screams Bring Arrest of Rape Suspect

Two off-duty policemen, investigating screams near the Civic Center in Santa Ana, arrested a 50-year-old man early Tuesday on suspicion of raping a homeless woman.

Police said the victim was a bag lady who frequents the downtown Civic Center area and who gave officers a Santa Ana post office box as her address. She did not require hospitalization, officers said.

Officers Danny Armenderez and Jay Miller, walking toward their cars parked outside Santa Ana police headquarters after their shifts ended about midnight, heard a woman screaming for help a few yards away, a watch commander said.

Sgt. James Bailey said the officers ran in the direction of the screams, near the state government building west of the police station, and “interrupted a rape in progress.”

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Jose Rodriguez, who told officers he is an unemployed transient, was arrested on suspicion of rape and booked into County Jail, Bailey said.

Bailey said that he did not recall another similar incident and that such assaults among the homeless--if they do occur--are rarely reported.


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