A 48-year-old homeless man accused of viciously raping and beating a woman in a Vons parking lot in Glendale early Thursday morning led responding officers on a foot chase that ended in a boiler-room fight, authorities said.
Shortly before 4 a.m., Michael Zinzun, a registered sex offender, approached a stranger sleeping on a bus bench near Los Feliz Road and Central Avenue, and reportedly asked her if she wanted to smoke meth.
She said no.
After he continued to speak to her, she asked him to leave her alone.
Zinzun then allegedly began sexually assaulting the victim, threatening to harm her if she didn’t stop screaming, according to Glendale Police Sgt. Robert William.
After dragging her away from the bench, he reportedly pushed her over a 3-foot retaining wall that separates the sidewalk from the Vons supermarket parking lot.
There, he raped her, strangled her and punched her face repeatedly, William said.
A worker loading his truck at the grocery store saw the attack and called 911.
The first officer on scene saw Zinzun standing over the woman, who was lying on the ground half naked with visible injuries. As the witness told police what happened, Zinzun took off running, leading officers on a short pursuit into the boiler room at Dignity Health Glendale Memorial Hospital, where he fought with officers, William said.
As of Friday afternoon, the victim remained hospitalized in stable condition.
An officer involved in the fight, meanwhile, was taken to the hospital on Thursday with injuries to his hand.
Zinzun, whose sex-registrant status stems from an offense in Florida, was charged on Friday with one count each of rape, oral copulation by force, sexual penetration by means of force, kidnapping to commit rape and resisting an executive officer by the use of force or violence.
He is being held in lieu of more than $3 million bail and is due in court next week.
Police believe there could be other victims. Anyone with information about Zinzun is asked to call Glendale police at (818) 548-4911.
Alene Tchekmedyian, firstname.lastname@example.org