HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA.com) — A suspect was in custody Thursday for allegedly sexually battering three women near a mall in Huntington Beach.
Mathew Andrew Linville, 19, was arrested around 4:40 p.m. Wednesday at his home in Westminster and booked for assault with intent to commit rape and sexual battery, Huntington Beach police said.
KNX 1070’s Mike Landa reports between Aug. 28 and Sept. 13, Linville allegedly approached three women near the Bella Terra Mall and groped their breasts and buttocks before running away.
An unidentified boyfriend of one the alleged victims, a 28-year-old jogger said, “He tore her shirt, threw her to the ground, grabbed her and assaulted her.”
Plain clothes officers were working in the area Wednesday when they saw a man fitting the description of the suspect enter a business at the mall. Police contacted the manager of the store and confirmed Linville was an employee there.
Evidence as well as statements connected Linville to the attacks in a follow-up investigation, police said.
Investigators say they also linked him to a similar attack reported in Westminster.
Linville was booked at the Huntington Beach City Jail, where he is being held on a $100,000 bail.
Police believe there may be more possible victims. Anyone with information about the alleged incidents or the suspect was asked to contact the Huntington Beach Police Information Hotline at (714)375-5066.