Man Held in Attempt to Sexually Assault 2 Joggers

A 24-year-old Sylmar man who allegedly attempted to sexually assault two women joggers Friday morning in separate attacks five minutes apart was arrested about 11 a.m. at his grandmother's home in Pacoima, police said Friday.

Detectives at the Los Angeles Police Department's Foothill Division said Jose Diaz, 24, of Pacoima, was in custody. They encouraged any previous possible victims to contact police.

Det. Corrine Malinka said the suspect came up behind a 34-year-old woman about 7 a.m. as she was running near Eldridge Avenue and Sayre Street and tried to sexually assault her, but she escaped.

Five minutes later and two blocks away at Lexicon Avenue and Aztec Street, Malinka said, the same man ran up behind another jogger, a 37-year-old woman, and attacked her. The second victim also managed to flee, but that attack was witnessed by several people, who followed the suspect to a nearby house.

Officers surrounded the house after being summoned by a witness who had seen the attack from his car. After detectives interviewed witnesses and occupants of the house, they learned the suspect might be at his grandmother's house in Pacoima, police said. They arrested Diaz at a house in the 13800 block of Desmond Street.

He was being held on suspicion of attempted rape and for parole violation from a grand theft conviction, police said.

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