Officials with the Orange County Sheriff's Department said Carlos Godoy knocked down a woman as she was walking early in the morning. They said he pulled her into the bushes and was trying to rape her when a motorist drove by and scared him.
Officials said he stole the woman's cellphone and ran away. The driver, a supervisor with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, called 911.
"As she was struggling with him, I saw her leg kick," said Bernard Peters, who works with 911 dispatchers. "The suspect just jumped up, saw me and was a little startled."
Deputies set up a perimeter and caught Godoy, a resident of Stanton and an undocumented immigrant. He was being held for attempted rape without bail on an INS hold.
"I would hope anyone would do the same thing in the same situation," Peters said.
Investigators said there may be other victims. Anyone with information was asked to call Orange County Crime Stoppers at (855) TIP-OCCS.