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'Ear Gauge Stalker' attacks 2 women in Sylmar

December 11, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
A sexual assault suspect is on the loose, and police say his ear piercings set him apart.

The suspect has been dubbed the "Ear Gauge Stalker." Authorities said he targeted at least two women at a Sylmar apartment complex within an hour.

"I think it's very frightening because as a young mother like I am, I'm walking here with my kids. Sometimes I come late, and it's very scary," said Sylmar resident Jasmine Gonzalez.

Police are hoping the suspect's distinctive ear gauge piercings will help track him down. According to detectives, he attacked the women early Sunday morning at Mountain View Manor on Dronfield Avenue. In the first case, he groped the victim and then ran away when she screamed.

"In the first instance, it was much more subdued. In the next one though, within an hour, that one escalated, much more aggravated," said Lt. Paul Vernon with the Los Angeles Police Department.

The suspect dragged the second victim to a secluded area, where he tried to pull off her pants. He ran when two passersby intervened.

Police are working on a composite sketch of the suspect, who was described as a medium-build African American man in his mid-20s with those distinctive ear gauges.

Anyone with information about the suspect or the attacks was asked to contact police at (877) LAPD-24-7.