Suspect arrested in kidnapping of UC Riverside student

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A man has been arrested in the alleged kidnapping of a female UC Riverside student from a campus parking structure. (KABC)

A suspect has been arrested in the kidnapping of a female UC Riverside student from a campus parking structure.

Donald Earl Rosenbek is accused in the June 8 kidnapping. Police say he grabbed the victim's throat, put a sheet over her head and tied her up before throwing her into a silver Nissan Sentra and driving off.

Police say his intent might have been sexual assault.

"Without getting into his mind and telling him us himself, my thought after doing this for almost 20 years, is that sexual assault is probably likely," said Riverside police Det. Rick Wheeler.

The victim was able to get away and helped police come up with a composite sketch.

A few months later, a fingerprint match from a prior domestic violence incident led authorities to Rosenbek.

Detectives described the alleged victim's reaction when she got the news of his arrest.

"Audible and extreme relief, she was very, very happy obviously, I think she will be able to sleep a little easier knowing that he is in custody," said Wheeler.

Of course, police say they wouldn't have nabbed the suspect without the help of the victim. Police said she was not only was a good witness, but she had the ability to talk the suspect into letting her go in the first place.

"Our victim, who is a psychology major at UCR, is a very, very sharp lady," said Wheeler. "She was able to humanize herself to the suspect, and basically talk him down from following through with whatever his plan was for her that day."

Rosenbek lived in Riverside and was a student at UCR from 2002 to 2006 before moving to the Coachella Valley, police said. He never graduated, but his familiarity with the area may have been why he chose the parking structure for the crime, according to police.

In addition to this kidnapping, police are looking to see if Rosenbek is also connected to two other attempted kidnapping incidents that happened earlier this year on the UC Riverside campus. The descriptions in those incidents do differ, however, with one suspect being described as white and the other as Asian. In both incidents, the suspect was seen driving a silver 4-door sedan.

Rosenbek was charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment and assault of a person by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury.

Rosenbek was expected to be arraigned Thursday in Riverside County Superior Court.


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kidnappingcollegeUC RiversidearrestRiverside
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