EL MONTE (CBSLA.com) — El Monte police are looking for an 18-year-old man they say raped a college student at a convenience store over the weekend.
Authorities said the victim, who was working as the store’s cashier, was closing shop for the night Saturday in the 4100 block of Peck Road when she was confronted by a man, later identified as Joseph Leo Amaya.
The suspect reportedly blocked the exit and dragged the woman to the back of the store.
“She was working at the convenience store as a way to put herself through college, and this person, albeit we assume, had already staked out the location based on the timing of when it happened. She was actually closing up the shop when she was forced to the rear of the store and the act was committed,” said Sgt. Roger Cobian.
The victim was hospitalized and released.
Store surveillance video assisted police in identifying the suspect.
Amaya was described as Hispanic, 5 feet 5 inches tall, 160 pounds with short black hair and brown eyes.
He was last seen wearing a black-hooded sweatshirt, black pants and black slippers.
Amaya, who officials said is a gang member, has a tattoo on his right forearm that reads “EMF.” He may also have a tattoo on his neck.
“Our victim had never met this person before, which heightens our awareness in wanting to get the person into custody,” said Cobian.
Anyone with information on the suspect’s whereabouts was asked to call El Monte police Det. David Avalos at (626) 258-8842.