LAPD steps up search after sex assault in Van Nuys caught on camera

- Police on Tuesday released video and a sketch of a man who sexually assaulted a woman in Van Nuys while cars rolled by and pedestrians walked past and did nothing.

The woman, who is in her early 30s, fought the suspect off when she was assaulted after stepping out of a her apartment about 5:40 a.m. Saturday in the 14400 block of Vanowen Street, near Van Nuys Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles Police Department, which held a news conference at the Van Nuys Station
about the case.

Police said the woman "put on at least a two- to three-minute fight'' with the suspect as he pulled off her pants and underwear.

She was on the ground, kicking, scratching, biting and even yelling fire hoping someone would come over and help her. No one did, despite several passing cars and even a pedestrian walking by on the sidewalk. The woman, who knows martial arts, finally fought off the attacker. 

The suspect, who reeked of alcohol, spoke to the woman in Spanish, which she does not speak, she told police. "This individual is extremely dangerous and he needs to be taken off the streets,'' LAPD Capt. Lillian Carranza said.

Carranza said females in the area should not leave their homes alone in the early morning or late-night hours until the man is caught. 

The suspect is described as Hispanic, 40-50 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall, about 180 pounds with brown eyes and a bald head.

He wore a ball cap with an unknown logo on it and a three-or four-button polo-type shirt with some kind of detail on the left chest area and on the right sleeve.

Anyone with information about the suspect is urged to call police at (818) 374-0007.

After-hours and weekend calls should be directed to (877) LAPD-24-7. 

Anonymous tips can be submitted through Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.

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