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Santa Ana police arrest sexual assault suspect who followed woman off bus

A 23-year-old Santa Ana man accused of choking a woman and attempting to sexually assault her after they both exited an Orange County Transportation Bus on Thursday was arrested by detectives after he stepped off another bus on Friday, Sept. 9, authorities said.

Santa Ana police detectives conducted surveillance, which included checking local restaurants where he might have worked and following a bus route the suspect was believed to have taken before he attacked the 19-year-old woman, police said in a statement Saturday.

After finding surveillance video that showed the suspect entering an OCTA bus in the area of Sunflower Avenue and Harbor Boulevard before the early Thursday morning attack, at least one detective monitored the stop Friday to see if the suspect approached and boarded another bus, Sgt. Maria Lopez said.

The detective spotted a man matching the suspect’s description enter the bus, police said. One stop later, an undercover detective hopped onto the bus and confirmed the man was the same as the suspect they saw on surveillance video.

The suspect, identified as Eric Yiovani Oliveros-Chavez, was wearing a black baseball cap with a Raiders logo, the same hat seen in the video.

Oliveros-Chavez was taken into custody after he exited the bus in the 600 block of South Harbor Boulevard, police said.

“It is through our detectives’ diligent, persistent and traditional investigative efforts that this suspect was apprehended within 48 hours of this violent crime,” Santa Ana Polcie Chief David Valentin said in a statement.

The victim was walking home from work in the 3300 block of West McFadden Avenue just past 12:05 a.m. Thursday when Oliveros-Chavez attacked, police said. Police believed the suspect and victim were both on the same bus and the suspect followed her when she exited.

The suspect’s attack was thwarted when a passerby intervened, police said.

Following his arrest, police said additional evidence was obtained that pointed to Oliveros-Chavez as the suspect, but did not disclose what specifically was found.

Oliveros-Chavez was booked into jail on suspicion of attempted murder, kidnapping and assault with the intent to commit a sex act, police said. He was being on $1 million bail.

Source: Orange County Register

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