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California

Two recent assaults on women in Goleta prompt sheriff to issue warning

Two attacks in Goleta
A map that shows the approximate locations of two recent attacks in Goleta.

Authorities believe that two women recently attacked in Goleta were assaulted by the same man, prompting the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office to put out a warning about the suspect.

A 22-year-old woman was jogging about 12:45 p.m. Saturday on a dirt path along a creek near Phelps Road and Ocean Walk Lane when a man grabbed her arm and spun her toward him.

The man grabbed her shoulder and attempted to pull her closer. The woman, who had her house keys in her hand, punched at the man, but he punched the jogger in the face before letting go of her, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The woman then ran to a nearby home where she called 911.

The suspect was described as a white man, between 40 and 50 years old, average height and weight, with a dirty brown and white beard, and who smelled like alcohol.

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About 10:30 p.m. Monday, an 18-year-old woman was waiting for her friends near her vehicle in the Haskell’s Beach parking area, about two miles from where the first woman was attacked, when she noticed a man sitting in a dark-colored vehicle in the parking lot.

The man got out of his car — described as an older model four-door compact, possibly gray, similar to a Chevy Volt — and asked if the woman was OK, placing his hand on her back as he spoke. He then reached under the front of her shirt and assaulted her, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The woman kicked the man in the groin, and the man ran to his vehicle, driving away, as the woman ran toward her friends to call for help.

The suspect was described as a white man, between 50 and 60, average height and weight, dark hair that covered his ears and forehead, and a white beard. He smelled like marijuana and dirt.

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Because of the similarities in the two reports, authorities believe the assaults were perpetuated by the same man.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that anyone who sees a man matching the suspect’s description in the areas where the women were attacked is encouraged to call 911.


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