46-year-old El Monte man arrested on suspicion of assault with intent to commit rape
By Sam Catanzaro
Police have arrested a man for a series of sex crimes around the Venice Canals.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), in the early morning hours of July 2, a female resident in the 500 block of Rialto Avenue awakened to find a man reaching into her window and groping her.
“She screamed and fought him off, but he continued to lurk outside her window while indicating he wanted to sexually assault her. The victim called 911 and the suspect fled,” the LAPD said in a news release.
Detectives responded, began searching for video evidence and discovered a second victim who saw the suspect exposing himself outside her window several blocks away. Police then circulated a social media request for video footage and obtained photos of the suspect nearby.
According to the LAPD, as they continued to look for additional cameras, detectives observed the suspect a few blocks away and arrested him on suspicion of assault with the intent to commit rape during the commission of a residential burglary.
Neighbors later directed them to the suspect’s getaway vehicle, which he had left running near the original victim’s home.
The suspect was later identified as 46-year-old Arnoldo Cruz of El Monte.
According to the LAPD, investigators researched Cruz’s criminal history and discovered that he was a registered sex offender in Colorado, but that he never registered with any California law enforcement agency.
Cruz remains in LAPD custody on felony charges, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Inmate Information Center. The LAPD did not immediately respond to a request regarding if the department has presented the case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney for filing considerations.