COSTA MESA ( — Police warned the public to be on the lookout Friday for a man suspected of sexually assaulting at least two female victims over the last few weeks in Costa Mesa.

The latest incident occurred around 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday after a man entered an apartment on Valencia Street near La Salle Avenue and sexually assaulted an 18-year-old victim at knife-point.

The knife believed used by the suspect in last night’s sexual assault was left at the location and recovered. It was described as a household steak knife, approximately 7” in overall length, according to Lt. Paul Dondero of the Costa Mesa Police Department.

On Jan. 27 at 1:00 a.m., a suspect entered an apartment on Mendoza Drive near Mission Drive through an unlocked sliding glass door and attempted to sexually assault a 32-year-old female before being scared off. The suspect fled on foot.

In both cases, the suspect was described as dark-skinned or black, 25 to 30 years old, with a thin build. The victim in Wednesday’s assault described the suspect as 5’5″, wearing a hooded shirt and a bandana that partially covered his face.

A crime scene investigator working in the area observed a man fitting the suspect’s description in a nearby alley. The male was described as black, approximately 5-foot, 9-inches tall, wearing a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt, baggy pants and sandals.

Police personnel and some residents gave chase, but were unable to catch the man.

Despite the attacks, at least one neighborhood woman said she has never felt threatened.

“I’m at here at 11:00 at night walking my dog, and I’ve done this at other times, and feel very safe in the neighborhood,” she said.

The Costa Mesa Police Department urges residents to be aware of their surroundings, watch out for their neighbors, lock doors and windows, and report any suspicious activity immediately to (714) 754-5252 or visit the Costa Mesa Police Department’s website.


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