Serial sexual predator suspect arrested in connection with Westwood and UCLA attacks

Derrick Kim
(Los Angeles Police Department)

A serial sexual predator suspect believed to be responsible for nearly two dozen attacks on women around Westwood Plaza and UCLA was arrested after undercover LAPD detectives, who were keeping him under surveillance, said they saw him grope a woman on the street Tuesday.

Derrick Kim, 32, had become the focus of the joint investigation by the LAPD Robbery Homicide Division’s sex crimes unit and UCLA police. As part of that probe, LAPD undercover narcotics detectives began tracking his movements. When Kim approached a 50-year-old woman who was living on the streets and allegedly groped her breasts Tuesday, police said, detectives immediately took him into custody without incident. Kim was booked on suspicion of sexual battery and held in lieu of $575,000 bail.

Investigators said Kim, a Los Angeles resident, is suspected of being a sexual predator who has committed similar assaults dating to at least Oct. 23. There have been 23 sexual batteries in the West L.A. area by a suspect with a hooded sweatshirt and a surgical mask, police said. Investigators said in almost all of the reported crimes, the suspect approached lone females from behind, fondled their breasts or buttocks and quickly fled before anyone could apprehend them.

UCLA police had warned students and staff about the attacker. Detectives believe there are likely other victims out there and are appealing for them to come forward and report the crimes.