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Teen suspect arrested for stabbing jogger in Rossmoor

James Rivas, 18, was arrested Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012, on suspicion of stabbing a female jogger in Rossmoor on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012. (Orange County Sheriff's Department)

October 26, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
An 18-year-old man was arrested Thursday night on suspicion of attacking and stabbing a female jogger in Rossmoor Tuesday night.

James Rivas was taken into custody around 7:45 p.m. Thursday by Orange County sheriff's detectives on the 12000 block of Davenport Road. Detectives saw Rivas leaving the house he lives in with his parents. Rivas then ran. Rivas was captured and arrested after a short foot pursuit.

A 28-year-old woman was attacked from behind at about 9 p.m. Tuesday on the 3200 block of Bostonian Drive. Deputies said the suspect stabbed the woman three times before she fought him off. A neighbor heard the woman's screams for help and came outside. The neighbor chased the suspect, who rode away on a BMX bicycle.

Investigators said Rivas lives less than a mile from where the attack took place. He was booked at Orange County Jail for attempted murder.

The victim suffered stab wounds to her face, arm and hand. She was treated at a hospital and was released Wednesday.

Authorities said they searched Rivas's house for evidence. Among the items they found were a BMX bike, several knives and gloves.

Investigators said Rivas was cooperating. A motive for the stabbing had not been determined. Officials said it doesn't appear that Rivas knew the victim.

No one answered the door when Eyewitness News knocked at the house Friday. Earlier in the day a man and woman left the house without talking to reporters.

Rivas graduated from Los Alamitos High School this year.

"People that know James, they're like, 'I can't believe he would do something like that.' I can't even believe he would do something like that. I mean, he was a friendly neighbor, friendly guy next door," said neighbor Carmen Hodgson.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department said members of the community helped lead deputies to the arrest.

"Between the media attention and then the community being a tight community, I think that eventually somebody just talked to somebody, who talked to somebody, who then came to us. It was just a case of everyone coming together," said Orange County Sheriff's Lt. Mike Gavin.