Man charged in two sexual assaults in L.A. and West Hollywood, other victims sought
A man accused of sexually assaulting two women within half an hour in Los Angeles and West Hollywood last week was arrested and charged with kidnapping, assault and other charges, police said Friday.
The assaults took place between 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. on Feb. 15, according to the Los Angeles Police Department, and detectives are investigating whether there were other victims.
Gabriel Hodges, 27, originally from New York, was arrested Feb. 17, and the L.A. County district attorney’s office on Tuesday charged him with aggravated kidnapping, residential burglary with intent to commit a sexual assault, and assault with intent to commit rape.
Hodges was being held on $2.1-million bail.
The first incident was reported in the 800 block of Vista Street in the Fairfax district of Los Angeles, and the second was reported in the 7600 block of Hampton Avenue in West Hollywood, police said.
Under proposed new rules, Los Angeles police officers who fail to explain why they escalate mundane stops into criminal investigations will be forced to undergo training and then face increasingly severe punishments.
Investigators with the LAPD and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department used home security cameras to identify the suspect, and the footage was circulated by a neighborhood watch group.
Video of the first incident shows a man forcing a woman down the sidewalk in the 800 block of Vista Street and then entering a parking garage. Investigators said he attempted to rape the woman, who escaped.
In the second incident, the suspect attempted to force his way into a woman’s apartment on Hampton Avenue after reportedly following her home. The suspect fled after the struggle attracted the attention of neighbors, authorities said.
Two days later, a librarian at the Los Angeles Central Library downtown saw the suspect inside the facility and told security, who called the LAPD. Hodges was arrested on suspicion of aggravated kidnapping.
Deputy Chief Blake Chow, commanding officer of Operations-West Bureau, noted the work of the community in the arrest.
“They were our eyes and ears on every block, and they didn’t rest until we had what we needed to catch a very dangerous man,” Chow said in a release.
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