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Man sought in attacks on West Covina female joggers

April 7, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
There's a manhunt in West Covina for a man who attacked a woman jogger. Police say he could be the same man responsible for a series of attacks spanning several years.

The latest assault happened near the corner of Tuesday Drive and Missouri Street.

Nina Han says she's never walked alone around her West Covina neighborhood since a man demanded she get into his car while she was walking to school nearly a decade ago.

"I don't walk alone anymore," Han said. "I walk around with friends."

For Han, the fear of being approached became more real when she found out that just last week, about a block from her home, police say a man attacked a female jogger.

In last week's attack, police say no one was around when the victim was targeted.

Police say the 29-year-old woman was jogging in the 2300 block of Tuesday Drive about 3:30 p.m. when a man suddenly attacked her from behind and pulled her into some bushes. She managed to break free and run away.

"As she did, she managed to catch a glimpse of the suspect," said Cpl. Rudy Lopez of the West Covina Police Department. "The man was about 5-feet-7, 160 pounds, black hair and he did say some things that led her to believe he had a Spanish accent."

Police say the assault marks the fourth time since 2001 a suspect has targeted women out alone within a few blocks from the latest incident.

They said that while the woman and another victim managed to fight off the attack, two other victims were sexually assaulted. The youngest victim was 17.

Even though Han said she never reported her decade-old face off with a man, she plans to let police know what happened to her now.

Police say despite the time line of events in the four cases reported, they believe one suspect could possibly be linked to each attack.

"The fact that they all occurred in the same general area, the fact that the initial description of the suspect was a male Hispanic with similar height and weight, and then in the cases where he was able to speak, they were detecting a Spanish accent as well," Lopez said.

Anyone with information is asked to call West Covina police at (626) 939-8557.