PASADENA >> A man groped and tried to rob a woman in Pasadena late Thursday before she managed to fight him off by hitting him with her purse, officials said.
An Altadena woman in her 40s was waiting for a taxi about 10:25 p.m. in the area of Holly Street and Raymond Avenue when the attacker approached, according to Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado.
The man groped the woman, then demanded her wallet, he said.
“She defended herself by hitting him with her purse, which caused him to run away without any loss,” the lieutenant said.
He was last seen fleeing the area on foot.
Mercado said the suspect was described as a Latino man in his 20s, about 5 feet tall, of thin build, wearing a red hat, a white T-shirt, a black jacket and dark-colored jeans.
Anyone with information can reach Pasadena police at 626-744-4241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477
PASADENA >> A Pasadena man already on parole for robbery is accused of robbing and sexually battering a 19-year-old woman as she walked down a street in Pasadena early Saturday, officials said.
Tredon Marquis Thomas, 24, was arrested following the incident, which unfolded about 7:45 a.m. on Los Robles Avenue, just south of Walnut Street, according to Pasadena police and Los Angeles County booking records.
“The victim was walking from the Memorial Park Gold Line Station and was approached from behind by the suspect,” Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman said.
“The suspect asked to borrow the victim’s cell phone and then refused to return it to her,” he said. “During the crime, the suspect touched the victim in an inappropriate manner.”
The suspect, later identified as Thomas, ran off but was soon found and arrested by officer. Police recovered the woman’s cell phone.
Thomas was convicted of robbery in August of 2015 and sentenced to two years in state prison, Los Angeles County Superior Court records show. The crime took place on April 3, 2015.
He was since paroled, and remained on parole at the time of Saturday’s arrest, officials said.
According to county booking records, Thomas was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance.
MONTEREY PARK >> Police in Monterey Park are seeking a man who robbed and sexually battered a woman last week and may be responsible for a similar crime last month on the same block, officials said Thursday.
In both cases, a man approached and tried to rob women in the 800 block of West El Repetto Drive, according to Monterey Park police Sgt. Rick Munder.
The most recent crime occurred about 11:40 p.m. on Dec. 15, police said.
“A female was approached by the described suspect while seated in her vehicle,” Munder said in a written statement.
“He demanded money from the victim. When the victim told him she had no money, the suspect fondled the victim in her car,” he said.
The man fled on foot before police arrived and was not found. He was described as a Latino man of about 5 feet 10 inches tall and of medium build.
The victim was able to help police create a composite sketch of her attacker.
Police were looking into the possibility the crime was related to another incident reported on Nov. 17 at an apartment complex, however a concrete link had not been established, Munder said.
“A female was approached in the walkway of her apartment complex by the described suspect,” the sergeant said. “He demanded money from the victim and attempted to grab her, however, the victim fought back.”
The would-be robber, described as a Latino man of about 6 feet tall and of medium build, was not found.\
In both incidents, the suspect wore a hooded sweatshirt, police said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Monterey Park police detectives at 626-307-1487. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
ARCADIA >> Police are seeking a man who groped two women near two different school campuses in Arcadia Tuesday, officials said.
The incidents took place about 8:55 a.m. in front of Richard Henry Dana Middle School, 1401 S. First Ave., and about 11 a.m. in the parking lot of Arcadia high School, 180 Campus Drive, Arcadia police Lt. Roy Nakamura said.
“Each victim reported a male suspect came up from behind as they were either approaching or walking away from their vehicles and placed them in a ‘bear hug’ without saying a word,” Nakamura said. “While being held, the victims felt several pelvic thrusts from behind before being released,” he said.
The victim in the first case was a woman in her 20s who had just dropped her child off at the school, he said. The victim of the second battery was a woman in her 50s who had gone to the high school to help with a school program, the lieutenant said.
Detectives believed the same suspect was responsible for both attacks. He was described as an Asian man between 16 and 20 years old, 5 feet 7 inches tall, of ‘chubby’ build, with black hair and clean-shaven. He wore a black hooded sweat shirt and tan shorts during the crimes.
PASADENA >> Police are seeking a man who sexually battered a homeless woman as she slept early Saturday morning, officials said.
The crime took place about 2:50 a.m. in the 400 block of South Raymond Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
The woman awoke, “startled to find herself partially unclothed,” the lieutenant said. The suspect was asleep behind her, with his hands resting on her groin.
Once the woman stirred, the man got up and ran away, Mercado said.
Police described the attacker as a Latino man in his 40s between 5 feet and 5 feet, 4 inches tall. He weighed between 140 and 150 pounds, had short black hair and was clean-shaven. He wore a black hooded sweatshirt, charcoal gray pants, light-colored shoes and a blue or black sweater wrapped around his head. He was believed to be transient.
FULLERTON >> Police jailed a La Habra man Tuesday in connection with the sexual batteries of at least seven women in recent months near California State University, Fullerton, officials said.
Investigators arrested Jose Alfredo Gradilla-Cuevas, 21, when they caught him in the act of sexual battery after following him for several weeks, Fullerton police Sgt. Kathryn Hamel said in a written statement.
Gradilla-Cuevas was booked on suspicion of sexual battery and was being held in lieu of $500 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Thursday at the the Central Jail Court Branch of Orange County Superior Court, according to county booking records. His occupation was listed as “unemployed.”
Though they didn’t know his identity, investigators had been seeking the suspect since August, she said. “Detectives from the Fullerton Police Department, had been actively searching for a male suspect involved in at least seven reported incidents of sexual battery on females in the northeast area of Fullerton near California State University, Fullerton.”
The crimes took place between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m., police said.
“In each case, the suspect approached the victims from behind and sexually battered them by grabbing private parts of the bodies,” Hamel said. The serial groper immediately fled after each incident, and none of the victims were injured.
Detectives identified Gradilla-Cuevas as a suspect after finding him driving a vehicle similar to one captured on surveillance video in one of the alleged attacks, Hamel said.
Detective then began tailing the suspect for several weeks, the sergeant said. Gradilla-Cuevas was seen stalking dozens of potential victims in Fullerton, Placentia and La Habra, Hamel said.
Detectives watched shortly after 7 p.m. Tuesday as Gradilla-Cuevas parked his car and approached a lone woman walking on Nutwood Avenue, near Placentia Avenue, Hamel said.
“(Gradilla-Cuevas) then ran up behind the lone female victims and slapped her buttocks,” she said. The suspect fled, but was immediately detained and arrested.
Anyone with information, or anyone who has had a suspicious encounter with the suspect is asked to contact Detective Carin Wright at 714-738-6754.
PHOTO of Jose Alfredo Gradilla-Cuevas courtesy of the Fullerton Police Department.