Possible suspect in Blaisdell Park attack arrested in Rancho Cucamonga

On Monday, July 27 at about 6 p.m., deputies from the Rancho Cucamonga Police Department were called to Base Line Road and Hellman Avenue. The individual who called police was driving near the area when a female victim in her early 60s ran into the street crying, “He’s trying to rape me.” The reporting party told dispatch that the victim pointed toward Lion’s Park at the suspect, who was still at the scene. The suspect was described as a tall black male in his 20s with a thin build.

A deputy from the Rancho Cucamonga Police Department interviewed the victim who said she was seated at the bus stop when the suspect, later identified as 24-year-old Jacob Latham of Rancho Cucamonga, placed a knife to her throat and grabbed her arm. Mr. Latham told the victim he was going to rape her and moved her toward some bushes in the area, according to Rancho Cucamonga police. After the victim fought back, Mr. Latham then said he was going to kill her. The victim continued to fight him off, at which point, Mr. Latham ran to his vehicle and drove away. The weapon, which was later found to be a box cutter, was recovered at the scene.

The victim and a witness described the vehicle as a black-colored Chevy with a partial license plate ending in “802.” Video surveillance and a vehicle matching the description were found at a nearby gas station. The video showed Mr. Latham’s vehicle at the gas station while the victim was inside the store. Deputies identified a vehicle matching the description along with a complete license plate and then located the vehicle at the registered owner’s address.

Mr. Latham was seen getting into the Chevy and matched the description given by the victim and witnesses. After interviewing Mr. Latham, he told Rancho Cucamonga police officers that he was intoxicated and was observing and following the victim. Mr. Latham tried to conceal his identity by wrapping a shirt around his head, similar to what was described by the victim at the Blaisdell Park attack. He said he decided to assault the victim because he thought he would not be caught by law enforcement.

On Monday, July 27 at 7 a.m., a female victim was jogging through Blaisdell Park, located at 440 S. College Ave., when a male approached her from behind. The suspect pushed the victim to the ground and sexually assaulted her. The victim was able to fight off the suspect and the suspect fled on foot.

“The suspect tackled her and slapped her on the buttocks. But she was able to fight him off,” Lt. Mike Cizsek of the Claremont Police Department said.

The suspect in the Claremont attack was described as a 20-to-30-year-old Hispanic male, standing 6 feet tall, weighing 200 pounds with brown hair, brown eyes and a light mustache. At the time of the attack, the suspect was wearing tan pants, a red and white baseball type shirt. He had a flannel shirt wrapped around his head, which partially covered his face.

The assault in Claremont was reported to have been about an hour after the incident in Rancho Cucamonga, according to a release put out by the Rancho Cucamonga Police Department. The clothing and description of the suspect was consistent in both attacks. A search warrant was secured by the Rancho Cucamong police and the clothing worn by Mr. Latham during the assault was recovered. Claremont police were notified.

Mr. Latham was booked at West Valley Detention Center for assault to commit rape and assault with a deadly weapon for the Rancho Cucamonga attack.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact the Rancho Cucamonga Police Department (909) 477-2800. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may contact the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78CRIME (27463) or leave information on the We-Tip website at www.wetip.com. For those with information about the Claremont incident, call the Claremont Police Department at (909) 399-5411.

—Kathryn Dunn

editor@claremont-courier.com

 

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