Police: Teen girl's father fights off attempted rapist
A man tried to rape a teenager in a ground-level laundry room at Motel 6 early Saturday, but the teen's father fended off the attacker, police reported Sunday.
Police were called to motel off South Green Valley Road near Highway 1 about 2:30 a.m., Master Officer Jose Barrera said.
The victim and her father told police the suspect forced the teen into the laundry room and had pulled her shorts down to her knees when the father arrived and saw a man holding his daughter against the wall, Barrera said.
The father fended off the suspect and the father's knee was injured during the scuffle and he was treated by Watsonville firefighters and American Medical Response, he said.
The victim was not hurt, Barrera said.
Police searched the area but did not find the suspect. He was described as a Latino with a dark complexion who appeared to be in his 30s.
Sgt. Tony Magdayao said the teen girl was staying at the motel and had been walking from one family member's room to another family member's room when she was accosted.
Police issued a statement warning people to avoid walking alone at night and to maintain vigilance. They suggest walking in well-lit areas, avoiding vehicles that could conceal a person, such as a van or SUV, and telling someone where you are going and when you will return.
Officers ask anyone with information on the case to call the Watsonville Police Department Investigations Unit at 831-768-3352 or the crime tipline at 831-768-3544.
Police: Photo leads to arrest
A 42-year-old man was arrested recently after an officer recognized him from a photo in a camera the man left behind when he allegedly broke into two downtown businesses, Santa Cruz police said.
Early Thursday, the back doors of Khyber Pass restaurant and Santa Cruz Glass were forced open with cash stolen at one business and the other ransacked, Lt. Warren Barry said.
Police found a digital camera containing a photo of the suspect that was apparently left behind, Barry said.
The next day, officer Bill Azua responded to a call of suspicious circumstances on River Street and made contact with Richard Stipe, recognizing him from the photo, Barry said.
When Azua questioned him, Stipe confessed, Barry said. He was arrested on suspicion of two counts of burglary, Barry said.
Santa Cruz police ask anyone with information to call the anonymous tipline at 831-420-5995 or investigators at 831-420-5820.