Police seek sexual assault suspect

A man who partially covered his face with a bandanna entered an apartment on Valencia Street in Costa Mesa, confronted an 18-year-old woman with a knife and then sexually assaulted her, police said Thursday.

The man, who told the victim to not make any noise, fled through an open window in the victim's apartment about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.

It was unclear how the assailant gained access to the unit in the first place, but there were no signs of forced entry, Costa Mesa police said.

A crime scene investigator saw a man generally matching the description of the assailant flee an alley near Mission Drive and La Salle Avenue, possibly toward a flood channel north of Mission, about four hours later. He was said to be wearing a blue or dark-colored hooded sweat shirt, baggy pants and sandals.

A resident attempted to chase the man after hearing the activity in the alley, police said.

On Jan. 27, a suspect who may have been the same man, tried to assault a 32-year-old woman in an apartment on Mendoza Drive near Mission but was scared off, police said.

Police described the suspect as thin, between 5 feet 5 and 5 feet 10 with dark skin, possibly African American, and in his 20s or 30s. He was said to be wearing a hooded sweat shirt over a possible white T-shirt Wednesday.

A composite of the suspect was not available.

Police urged residents to lock windows and doors. Anyone who sees suspicious activity is asked to call police at (714) 754-5252.

— Lauren Williams

Twitter: @lawilliams30

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