Authorities are searching for a 21-year-old man who allegedly sexually assaulted a 67-year-old woman in East Los Angeles over the weekend, one in what they say is a string of attacks.
Sergio Andrew Garcia approached the victim from behind, pulled her hair and threw her to the ground on Saturday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Garcia repeatedly punched the woman in the face, according to a news release.
Garcia was startled when a neighbor began to yell at him but continued to punch the woman two more times before he rode away on a bicycle, authorities said. He is described as being 5-foot-5 and 180 pounds.
The Sheriff’s Department told TV news station KTLA that Garcia attacked the woman while she was in her yard in the 1000 block of Fraser Avenue around 6:15 a.m. Garcia allegedly pulled down her pants and underwear during the attack, according to the Sheriff’s Department, which declined to say whether the case is being handled as a sexual assault.
The woman told the news station that she had pain all throughout her body, two black eyes and required a neck brace.
The LAPD said that in a separate incident on July 10, a suspect matching Garcia’s description followed a woman as she walked under the 110 Freeway near Olympic Boulevard and L.A. Live Way. The suspect tried to pull the woman’s clothes off during the assault.
The LAPD says Garcia is also suspected in an attack on July 11 near Chick Hearn Court and Georgia Street in downtown Los Angeles; two incidents on July 15, with one in the 1600 block of West 11th Street and another in the 1300 block of South Burlington Avenue; and an incident Sunday in the East Los Angeles area.
Garcia was previously arrested in Los Angeles County in July 2021 on suspicion of battery and cruel or inhuman corporal punishment against a child, according to court records.
Garcia is known to carry a satchel over his shoulder with the word “Gucci” spelled in red letters, according to authorities.
Anyone with information can contact the East Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station at (323) 264-4151.