Man pleads not guilty in attack

A San Bernardino man pleaded not guilty Friday afternoon to charges that he allegedly pushed a woman to the ground, covered her mouth, grabbed her by the leg and dragged her until bystanders intervened, officials said.

Derek Rawlins, 34, was arrested just after 9 a.m. Wednesday and booked on charges of kidnapping, assault and battery, according to police and the Orange County Superior Court website.

Rawlins allegedly approached a woman sitting in a car in the 3500 block of Harbor Boulevard in Costa Mesa on Wednesday morning, then pounded on the window. The woman drove away and called a security company, a Costa Mesa Police Department news release said.

Not long after that, a suspect police later identified as Rawlins came up behind a second woman as she was entering a secure building and asked her to let him in to use the bathroom.

The 44-year-old woman refused, and Rawlins allegedly pushed her into the building.

Police say the woman tried to escape and started screaming as she struggled with the suspect.

When employees working in the building came to the woman's aid, police said, the suspect fled.

Rawlins was arrested when a police officer saw him walking near Harbor and Warner Avenue in Santa Ana, the release said.

—Jill Cowan

Twitter: @jillcowan

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