SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — A 38-year-old man was arrested Tuesday after police say he broke into a Santa Ana apartment and sexually assaulted a woman as she was sleeping.
David Ceja, of Santa Ana, was treated at a hospital for a broken arm before being booked on suspicion of burglary and sexual assault. His arrest Wednesday comes just two days after being released from jail.
Police say Ceja broke into an apartment in the 1300 block of South Standard Avenue at about 6:20 a.m. and sexually assaulted a sleeping woman. When she woke up and discovered a man she did not know, she started screaming.
The woman’s brother, Josue Jasso, chased down her attacker and caught him. Jasso’s training in mixed-martial arts kicked in with his instincts to protect his sister, so he employed a chokehold he had just learned from his nephew.
“I tried it on him, but I saw he was about to pass out, so I just loosened the grip and held him there until the police got there,” Jasso said.
Investigators believe Ceja broke into the family’s condo after Jasso’s sister’s husband had left for work. Jasso said he recognized Ceja as living in his apartment complex and had said hello to him in passing, but had not seen him in a while. Santa Ana police say Ceja had not been seen because the documented gang member had just been released from jail.
“He’s a long-time local criminal,” Santa Ana police spokesman Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said. “Got out on early release, which is concerning for us because he got out of jail two days before this incident.”
Ceja is in custody, but Jasso says his sister is still traumatized by the attack.
“She’s like really scared, everything’s scaring her, she can’t even sleep with the lights off,” Jasso said.