Gascón fails to file felony charge against man seen on video attacking woman on Long Beach sidewalk

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LONG BEACH, Calif. – A man experiencing homelessness who is accused of sexually assaulting a woman on a Long Beach sidewalk will not face a felony charge, officials have announced. 

The suspect, Miguel Angel Avila Figueroa, 30, is currently facing misdemeanor counts of sexual battery and vandalism in connection with the alleged Oct. 20 attack that happened on Linden Avenue and East Broadway.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Woman sexually assaulted by homeless man in broad daylight on Long Beach sidewalk

When officers arrived at the scene, they found a woman who said a man walked up to her from behind and assaulted her before running off. The entire thing was caught on surveillance footage.

In the video, a woman can be seen walking down the sidewalk in a dark dress. Soon after, a man walked up behind her and grabbed and lifted her dress before she fell to the ground. A witness nearby approached the man as he tried to leave, but the suspect ran away. He was gone before the cops got there.

FOX 11 got a chance to speak with the survivor of the attack. She called the incident "absolutely disgusting."

"When I turned around, I did notice he started picking up his pants," said Rebekah Pedersen. "If it wasn't in broad daylight, and that [good Samaritan] was sitting there, [the suspect] would have raped me."

Another surveillance camera captured the moments before the attack, as well as the alleged attacker's face.

Following Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón's decision, the Long Beach City Prosecutor sent a letter to the head deputy of the District Attorney's Office's Long Beach branch asking him to reconsider the decision.

According to a posting online about the case by the prosecutor's office, the city charter only allows misdemeanor charges to be filed by the city prosecutor's office.

"If felony charges are filed, the defendant could face increased incarceration, but it could also result in greater rehabilitation resources through Collaborative Court and the L.A. County Probation Department, which are not available for misdemeanor defendants," according to the city prosecutor's office. "At a minimum, bringing sexual assault charges at the felony level will more likely ensure the defendant has access to appropriate treatment, while exposing the defendant to additional jail or prison time, in an effort to better protect the public."

The Long Beach City Prosecutor has asked the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office to reconsider its decision not to file a felony case against a man accused of attacking a woman in Long Beach in a crime caught on surveillance video.

The District Attorney's office responded with a statement on Tuesday, saying that while the case was "carefully reviewed previously," another review of the evidence will take place based on "additional information" received.

Figueroa remains jailed in lieu of $75,000 bail while awaiting a pretrial hearing Nov. 8.

City News Service contributed to this report.