• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

UCLA sexual prowler caught in act by police

April 13, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Police arrested a man in connection with a series of sexual assaults in Westwood near the UCLA campus Monday, and they caught him in the act.The Bakersfield man was allegedly caught just as he was about to strike again and arrested Monday evening.

Students had been attacked over the last month on the UCLA campus or in nearby Westwood.

There were six attacks between the month of March 8 and April 7, and Monday would have been number seven. According to UCLA campus police, the suspect was caught in the act.

As word spread that an arrest had been made, some women expressed a sense of relief.

"It's just kind of scary," said UCLA student Stephanie Macias. "I pretty much don't walk in that area and so now I just -- I'm just glad that he got caught. It's amazing."

"We're safer, yes probably. It will scare of all the others who are thinking of doing it," said student Shelly Yeheda.

Calixto Marcellana Nitro, 63, was arrested Monday night on the UCLA campus. According to campus police, a special detail spotted Nitro in the Stein Plaza area of campus where most of the attacks occurred.

"Our officers observed the individual reach out and touch a person and our officers responded and took him in to custody without incident," said UCLA Police Lt. Russell McKinney.

According to UCLA Police, Nitro would approach women who were distracted, either on their mobile phones or reading a book or something else.

Nitro was booked on one misdemeanor account of sexual battery. He was released on his own recognizance.

Nitro was employed on campus by a contractor doing work for the university.

Some women said because of this they are now more aware of their surroundings.

"It definitely changes the way I am aware of my surroundings," said UCLA student Nicole Wong. "I live in a sorority house over on Hilgard and you never really think about it while you're walking home at night because it's Westwood, and it's just a safe community in general, but one of the attacks actually did happen in front of our house and so -- it kind of opens your eyes and makes you more aware of the situation."

"I'm usually pretty paranoid so I look around when I walk alone," said student Nadine Allan.

Nitro is due in court on May 12. Between now and then investigators will be working on connecting him to the six previous attacks.


Load Comments