LAPD warns of possible serial rapist on skid row

By Richard Winton (Los Angeles Times)
August 13, 2010
Authorities say a possible serial rapist may be stalking women on skid row after what appears to be a second sexual blankault involving a van driver in as many weeks.

The suspect is believed to be a middle-age man who drives a Ford Econoline-style van.

The first attack occurred Aug. 1 when a 37-year-old transient woman accepted a ride near 6th Street and Stanford Avenue in skid row. The victim told detectives that the blankailant bound her with duct tape and raped her repeatedly over the next three days. The suspect eventually released her in Koreatown.

“The challenge for us in this case was the victim’s apprehension to cooperate,” said Los Angeles Police Lt. Paul Vernon, who heads the Central Detective Division. “It was difficult for officers to get any useful information from her, and since that night we’ve been unable to locate her.”

On Monday about 10 p.m., two women were walking near 6th Street and Towne Avenue, not far from where the first victim was picked up. They were approached by a middle-age, balding man in a brown van. He offered a ride to get food. Vernon said one of the women accepted and they drove to a McDonald’s restaurant at 7th and Alameda streets.

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