PACOIMA (CBS) — Officers arrested a man who plowed his car into a wall when they realized that the driver matched the description of a sexual assault suspect being broadcast over the police scanners, police reported.
LAPD Foothill gang officers said at 11 p.m. on June 21, they first noticed that Sergio Serrano was driving erratically, racing down a commercial street in Pacoima, before crashing into a pole and a wall.
Soon after, officers said they heard emergency dispatchers discuss a sexual assault and noticed that the description of the suspect and the vehicle involved matched those of the 29-year-old driver and the vehicle in the crash.
Officers said they suspect Serrano had, two hours before the crash, kidnapped a 40-year-old woman from a supermarket parking lot. The Sylmar resident reportedly forced the victim, at knifepoint, to drive her car from a supermarket parking lot to a nearby parking lot where the suspect sexually assaulted her.
The victim was able to escape from the suspect and run for help. Police said Serrano then fled in the victim’s vehicle and ultimately crashed a few miles away, at Van Nuys Boulevard and Defoe Street.
Serrano was detained and arrested in connection with the sexual assault. He was being held for one count of alleged kidnapping and rape on $1 million bail.
Foothill investigators are working to confirm whether Serrano may be responsible for two separate assaults that occurred this past weekend.
On June 15, a 24-year-old woman told police she was sexually assaulted, at knifepoint, near railroad tracks close to San Fernando Road and Van Nuys Blvd. The next day a 14-year-old girl was walking near the 9900 block of San Fernando Road when a suspect struck up a conversation, before threatening her with a large rock and going on to sexually assault the victim in an alley.
Anyone with information about these crimes is asked to contact Detective Al Munoz or Lieutenant Kris Kenney, Foothill Detectives at 818-834-3115, or call 877-LAPD-24-7 (584-3247). Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).