Suspect in clubbing of two women near Venice canals arrested in San Diego

 Police officials walk away from a brick building.
LAPD Cmdr. Jay Mastick, left, LAPD Deputy Chief Alan Hamilton, center left, LAPD Pacific Division Capt. Michael Applegate and Los Angeles City Councilmember Traci Park, right, conclude a news conference announcing the arrest of a suspect in the Venice canal-area attacks at the LAPD Pacific Division in Los Angeles on Friday.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Police arrested a man in San Diego suspected of clubbing two women from behind in separate incidences near the Venice canals Saturday night.

The arrest of Anthony Jones, 29, for the assault of the two women was announced Friday in front of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Pacific Division Station. Los Angeles City Councilmember Traci Park, whose district includes Venice, took part in announcing the arrest.

The attacks had a “sexual element” to them, said police commander Steven Lurie, who declined to provide further information.


The police have not released the identity of the victims.

But one of the victims spoke to The Times from a hospital where she was recovering from at least eight fractures to her jaw, a large laceration to the back of the head and contusions on her face and neck.

She told The Times that after work on Saturday night she went for a walk to reach her daily 10,000-steps goal when she was struck from behind. The Times does not identify victims of sexual assault

“It’s usually a very safe neighborhood, nice neighborhood and there are typically people around,” the woman said.

The victim said she plans to arm herself with pepper spray or maybe get a dog as an added layer of protection.

She expressed her gratitude to the police.

The first attack took place at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, when a woman walking in the 2700 block of Strongs Drive was approached from behind and struck with a hard object, knocking her unconscious.

About an hour later, police believe the same person attacked another woman in a similar way as she was walking near the Sherman Canal, less than a mile away.

A woman speaks as a man in a police uniform stand with hands clasped.
Los Angeles City Councilmember Traci Park, with LAPD Pacific Division Capt. Michael Applegate, during the news conference Friday announcing the arrest of a suspect.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

The assailant ran off, leaving evidence that police declined to describe.

According to a police report, both victims sustained significant injuries.

Lurie said the department identified Jones two days ago and discovered he was in San Diego. Jones was apprehended Thursday night, returned to the Los Angeles area and taken into custody.

To avoid compromising the investigation, the LAPD is releasing only limited information on the attacks but said more details will come forward from the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office at a later date.

Lurie said the department’s partnership with the community was crucial and aided in this investigation.

Park thanked the residents and businesses who worked closely with the Police Department by “providing information to make this arrest possible.”


“On a personal level, I have been absolutely horrified and heartbroken by what happened to these women,” Park said. “I can only imagine the pain and the grief and the anger that these victims and their families must feel.”

People in Los Angeles are tired of feeling unsafe, “businesses are being pushed to the brink” and Angelenos are suffering, Park said.

“This time, it was two innocent women minding their own business, just walking through the canals,” she said. “It could have been any one of us, your neighbor, your colleagues, your friends, your sister, your wife.”