Suspect arrested in series of brutal attacks in East Los Angeles

Michelle Fisher Image
Thursday, July 27, 2023
Suspect arrested in series of brutal attacks in East Los Angeles
Authorities have arrested a man wanted in connection with multiple assaults in East Los Angeles and downtown.

EAST LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Authorities have arrested a suspect wanted in connection with multiple violent, sexual assaults in East Los Angeles and downtown.

City and county investigators believe the suspect, Sergio Andrew Garcia, 21, may be linked to eight or more assaults in the L.A. area, many of them violent and sexual in nature.

"He was a horrible deviant," Sheriff Robert Luna said at a Wednesday press conference. "I am absolutely amazed and impressed with the work that was done to capture this individual, because he needed to be off the streets."

They also believe there may be additional unreported attacks and they are asking potential victims and witnesses to come forward.

"We've likely only identified a small sampling of his activities," LAPD Chief Michel Moore said.

At least four of those assaults were reported in a span of just six days in July in downtown and East L.A., some coming just minutes apart.

Local investigators worked with federal marshals and tracked Garcia down to Tijuana, Mexico. With help from the Mexican government, he was arrested on Tuesday.

He was brought back to Los Angeles and booked in county jail. He was being held on $4 million bail.

One of the reported attacks was against 67-year-old Rosalina Martinez as she was cleaning her front yard early on the morning of July 15.

An elderly woman is recovering from a severe beating just steps outside her front door in East Los Angeles.

She was dragged to the ground and punched in the face multiple times. After hearing the victim's screams for help, neighbors were able to record video of the suspect, which helped investigators identify him. Martinez was hospitalized and remains recovering at home after suffering a broken nose, bruises, and scrapes to her face and knees.

"Hopefully, this individual is no longer able to do this to other individuals in the future," said Martinez's son, Jose Luis.

Sheriff Luna, Chief Moore discuss arrest of Sergio Garcia

Sheriff Robert Luna and LAPD Chief Michel Moore discuss the arrest of Sergio A. Garcia, 21, for a series of attacks in Los Angeles.

Other attacks allegedly linked to the suspect include:

July 10, around 8:35 a.m., a 31-year-old woman was followed on foot in the area of Olympic Boulevard and Albany, near the LA Live complex, according to Chief Moore. The woman felt uncomfortable with the man walking behind her and attempted to stop to let him pass. He bent down to pretend to tie his shoelaces, then grabbed her and threw her to the ground and tried to sexually assault her. She struggled and was able to escape and he fled the area.

July 11, on Chick Hearn Court also near LA Live, around 10:45 a.m. a 22-year-old woman was slapped on the back and then sexually assaulted before the suspect fled the area on a bicycle.

On July 15, two more attacks were reported just hours after the brutal assault against Rosalina Martinez. Around 9:20 a.m., a 51-year-old woman was attacked and robbed in the 1300 block of South Alvarado. The attack caused her to lose consciousness and suffer bruises and abrasions.

Just minutes later, Moore said, the same suspect approached a 58-year-old woman in the 1300 block of south Burlington and sexually assaulted her as well.