Man attempted to sexually assault woman in Van Nuys while witnesses did nothing, police say
Los Angles Times
12 August 2017
The Los Angeles
Police Department has released this sketch of a man suspected of
attacking a woman in Van Nuys on Aug. 12. (LAPD)
Los Angeles police are searching for a man who tried to sexually
assault a woman outside her Van Nuys apartment while people walked by
and cars slowed down without intervening, authorities said.
At about 5:45 a.m. Saturday, the woman was walking to her apartment in
the 14000 block of Vanowen Street when she was confronted by a man
trying to speak to her in Spanish, which she does not speak,
authorities said. She told police he smelled of alcohol.
The man stepped in front of her and grabbed her, trying to take her pants and underwear off, according to the LAPD.
The man dragged her to the ground, where she fought him for several minutes and was finally able to wrestle free.
The woman kept the struggle in full view of security cameras, which captured the attack, authorities said.
Surveillance video shows another woman walking by and cars slowing
down, but police said no one responded to the attack or called 911. As
she tried to fight off her attacker, the woman screamed, “Fire! Fire!”
to try to get people’s attention.
LAPD Capt. Lillian Carranza said that, watching the video, “at one
point, you will ... see a lady walking down the street, looking back
disturbed by what she’s seeing, but at no time did anybody stop to
help,” CBS Los Angeles reported.
“Even if people don’t feel comfortable, necessarily, getting involved
physically, there’s nothing wrong with standing to the side, dialing
911 to at least make that phone call, and that’s all we’re asking,”
LAPD Det. Eric Rose said at a news conference Tuesday.
The suspect is described as a 40- to 45-year-old bald Latino man, with
brown eyes, standing about 5-foot-9, according to the LAPD.
Surveillance video showed him walking away after the attack.
“A woman should be able to go and get a cup of coffee in the morning
before the sun comes up without being sexually assaulted,” LAPD Det.
Karen Widman said at the news conference.