NATIONAL CITY, Calif. – San Diego County sheriff’s investigators are searching for a suspect who they say twice tackled a teenage girl and tried to sexually assault her Tuesday in National City.
The incident happened shortly before 3 p.m. near the 2900 block of Prospect Avenue by Sweetwater Road in the Lincoln Acres area, sheriff’s Lt. Kevin Ralph said in a news release. The 16-year-old girl told detectives she was walking on Prospect when the man approached and tackled her to the ground.
She fought him off and ran, according to Ralph, but the attacker soon caught up with her and tackled her again. The man then attempted to sexually assault her when he was interrupted by an onlooker.
“A Good Samaritan saw the attack and intervened, which caused the suspect to run away with the victim’s cell phone,” Ralph said.
The victim was not hurt in the attack, but investigators released information Wednesday in a bid to find the responsible party, last seen running eastbound toward a gas station on Sweetwater Road.
He was described as an 18-year-old Hispanic man, standing 5-foot-11 and weighing approximately 180 pounds with short, curly hair that touches his ears. He’d been wearing a tan shirt with a torn collar and khaki pants. No further information was immediately disclosed.
“It’s disturbing,” Ralph said. “The fact that he was brazen enough to tackle the victim twice and run away.”
A $1,000 reward was offered Wednesday by Crime Stoppers for information leading to his arrest.
Jacqueline Alvarez, a neighbor in the Lincoln Acres community, told FOX 5 Wednesday that she had a concerning encounter of her own four years ago. A man tried to follow her home from high school, she said, asking multiple times if she wanted a ride.
Alvarez was dismayed to hear of the 16-year-old’s attack.
“You should be able to feel safe, being able to walk to the store, to the corner to get something,” she said. “Now you can’t really walk anywhere by yourself. You have to be really careful of your surroundings.”
Those with tips on the attacker were asked to contact the sheriff’s Sexual Assault Unit at 858-285-6293 or the agency’s non-emergency line at 858-565-5200. Tips also can be phoned in anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 888-580-8477.