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Driver Accused of Rape, Hitting 3 Cars

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

A 31-year-old man who allegedly raped a woman after ramming her car and causing it to overturn on Los Angeles Avenue near Camarillo, was in Sheriff’s Department custody Friday night, authorities said.

The man allegedly terrorized three women in three incidents Thursday night by ramming his truck into their vehicles in the area between Moorpark and Camarillo, according to Ventura County Sheriff’s Capt. Mark Ball.

According to Ball, the suspect is accused of hitting a 24-year-old woman’s car and trying to assault her after she got out to check the damage. The suspect is also accused of bumping the car of an 18-year-old woman, which caused it to overturn, and then raping the woman after pulling her from the wreckage. The man is also suspected of ramming a third vehicle on the same stretch of road.

The suspect’s name was not released Friday night because of the ongoing investigation, according to Ball.

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Authorities say that at 12:47 a.m. Friday a woman called sheriff’s deputies to meet her at the Ventura Police Department storefront on Ventura Avenue, where she reported that her car had been bumped by a man in a pickup truck in the vicinity of Mesa School Road near Camarillo. After the woman and the suspect stopped to inspect the damage, the man assaulted the 24-year-old woman, Ball said.

The woman fought the man off and drove away. But the man allegedly chased her at high speeds and attempted to run her off the road several times, Ball said, adding that the suspect eventually turned off the road and the woman made her way tothe Ventura Avenue station.

While investigating the incident, deputies learned of a reported rape which occurred earlier in the evening close to Center School Road near Camarillo. They contacted the 18-year-old victim and the story she told sounded similar to that of the earlier assault victim: A man in a pickup truck bumped the rear of her car and then continued to chase her.

The woman then lost control of her vehicle and it overturned. The man helped the woman out of her overturned vehicle and then raped her, according to Ball.

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Both women were treated at local hospitals and released.

Also Thursday evening, the California Highway Patrol took a hit-and-run report from a 47-year-old woman who said a man in a pickup truck tried to run her off the road while she drove on Los Angeles Avenue.

She gave authorities the license plate number of the truck and CHP investigators, along with sheriff’s deputies, went to the address of the driver of the truck. He was arrested Friday morning while walking from his house to the truck, Ball said.

Deputies were still questioning the suspect Friday night and would likely be booking him into County Jail on numerous charges, including rape, kidnapping, attempted rape and kidnapping, and assault with a deadly weapon, Ball said.

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