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Buckman Springs

An Escondido mechanic was arrested Tuesday in the choking of a Texas woman near Buckman Springs, and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is exploring the possibility that the incident is linked to other assaults in remote East County.

Since February, about four similar assaults have been reported near Buckman Springs, Sheriff’s Lt. Alan Fulmer said. “We are not considering this a serial,” he said, “because there have only been a few incidences, but we just may have gotten another nut case off the streets.”

Ronald Elliot Porter, 41, of the 1100 block of North Escondido was booked into County Jail on suspicion of attempted murder. He is being held without bail pending arraignment, a jail clerk said.

On Tuesday at 9:20 p.m., Deputy Larry Daley noticed Porter as he drove out a dirt road intersection near Old Highway 80 and Old Buckman Springs Road, a sheriff’s spokeswoman said.

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He found Annette Denise Russell, 29, described as a transient, semiconscious on the ground. She had apparently been strangled and left for dead near Interstate 8 and the Pine Valley Bridge, the spokeswoman said.

Russell was taken by ambulance to Grossmont Hospital, where she was released Wednesday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Russell apparently had been picked up while hitchhiking and was driven to a remote area and attacked, Fulmer said. The East County chokings are definitely not connected to Seattle’s “Green River” murders, he added.

“This guy is choking victims,” he said of the East County assaults, “the Green River guy kills.”

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