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Intruder Attacks Woman, Teen-Age Girl : Crime: Man breaks into two homes in early morning and assaults one woman; 14-year-old is able to fight him off, police say.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A rapist broke into two homes in quiet neighborhoods early Thursday and attacked a 21-year-old woman in one and a 14-year-old girl in the other as they slept.

But the teen-ager was able to fend off her attacker, authorities said.

In both assaults, the suspect, identified as a black man between 25 and 30 years old with short-cropped hair, entered the single-family homes through rear doors, said Los Angeles Police Detective Mel Arnold.

Arnold said investigators do not know whether the doors to the homes were locked.

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The first assault occurred about 3:45 a.m. on Nagle Avenue. The suspect entered the house and walked to a bedroom the woman shared with her 1-year-old daughter, Arnold said.

The victim was treated at a local hospital for minor abrasions and released. Her daughter was not harmed.

The second attack occurred about 6:30 a.m. on Morrison Street, about 6 miles west of the first location. The man entered and went to the bedroom of a 14-year-old girl, Arnold said.

But the girl was able to fight him off and he fled from the home, Arnold said. The girl was treated at a local hospital for superficial lacerations to her hands and released, he said.

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Investigators are checking the past criminal activities of recently released sex offenders as well as contacting law enforcement agencies across Southern California to determine whether there have been reports of similar assaults, Arnold said.

In the meantime, Arnold urged residents to take extra care to secure windows and doors at night to prevent break-ins, which usually increase in the summer, particularly on hot nights.

“It’s tempting to leave them open in the hot weather, but unfortunately sometimes you get more than a cool breeze through the windows,” Arnold said.

According to statistics compiled at the Police Department’s Valley Bureau, there have been 248 rapes in the San Fernando Valley in 1994. Of that number, 65 were in the area patrolled by the Van Nuys Division where the two attacks occurred Wednesday morning, said Detective Woodrow Parks.

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