Crime - Sacto 911

Sacramento deputies seek suspect in three I-80 sexual assaults

Sacramento County sheriff’s detectives are seeking the public’s help in identifying a man suspected of raping three women in violent encounters along the Interstate 80 corridor in recent months.

The attacks occurred in September, December and last Wednesday near where I-80 intersects with Watt and Madison avenues.

In the most recent attack, the 30-year-old victim was kidnapped on Auburn Boulevard about 4:30 a.m. and driven to an area near I-80 and Madison Avenue where she was raped, said sheriff’s Sgt. Lisa Bowman. The man used a “straight-edge weapon” in the attack, and the victim suffered significant injuries, Bowman said. The victim was hospitalized but has been released.

That was the first attack in which a vehicle was used, Bowman said. It was described as an older, boxy four-door vehicle that is a shade of red.

In the Sept. 19 attack, the 23-year-old victim was assaulted near Watt Avenue and I-80. She was walking to work about 4:20 a.m. when she was shocked with a stun gun by the suspect and forced down a small embankment, out of view of passing motorists. She also was raped, Bowman said.

On Dec. 10, an 18-year-old woman was walking from a bus stop on Madison Avenue near I-80 when she was dragged down a freeway onramp embankment and raped, Bowman said. In that attack, the suspect physically and sexually assaulted the victim.

Bowman said detectives are concerned about an escalation in the man’s behavior, given the most recent kidnapping.

She said detectives are still waiting to see whether they have DNA evidence to link the three attacks, but they are confident the same man is responsible, given the similarities in the suspect descriptions provided by the victims and the “aggressive demands, both verbally and physically” they described.

The victims described the suspect to detectives as an African American man, 20 to 40 years old, with a shaved head or short “afro-style” haircut, clean shaven, with a large build. He wears rectangular glasses.

Based on the proximity of the three attacks and the fact that he was on foot for two of the three attacks, Bowman said detectives believe the suspect lives or works in the area.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s Sexual Assault Bureau at (916) 874-5115 or by calling (916) 874-8477.