Local

Kidnapping, Sexual Assault Reported Near Lake Merritt

View of downtown Oakland from Lake Merritt (Wikipedia)

View of downtown Oakland from Lake Merritt (Wikipedia)

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Police are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a man who kidnapped a woman near Lake Merritt in Oakland and then sexually assaulted her early Sunday morning.

Police said the victim, a 34-year-old woman, told them that as she was leaving a home in the 2800 block of Lakeshore Avenue around 3 a.m., a car pulled up alongside her and the driver told her to get inside.

The woman continued to walk, but the driver, whom she did not know, stopped his car, got out and approached her on foot, according to police. He grabbed her and forced her to get inside, police said.

The man then drove the woman to an undisclosed area in Oakland and sexually assaulted her in his car, police said.

Afterward, the suspect pushed the woman out of the car and drove off, according to police. They said the suspect was “physically violent” toward the woman during the incident.

Police described the suspect as a black man in his early 20s and said he was driving a four-door dark-colored sedan.

Oakland police said anyone with information about the case should call their Youth and Family Services Division at (510) 238-3641 or their tip line at (510) 637-0298.

Police said that as a safety reminder, they advise residents to always be aware of their surroundings and not to be distracted by cellphones or other electronic devices.

Residents should stay in well-lit and populated area and be especially alert when getting into or out of their cars, police said.

Editor’s Note: Police initially said the incident occurred early Monday morning, but later clarified that it happened on Sunday.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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