FREMONT (CBS SF) — A man charged in two brutal sexual assaults has now been charged with a third count involving an elderly woman, police said Friday.
“It’s very scary,” said longtime Fremont resident Susan Bondur. “I just want our community safe.”READ MORE: California Gold Rush Town Typifies Labor-Shortage Plight Vexing Businesses
The suspect, 28-year-old Hayward unhoused resident Alexander Lomax, already faces multiple charges of sexual assault, elder abuse and battery in two sexual incidents that, police said, occurred Thursday morning.
At around 11 a.m. near Grimmer Blvd. and Blacow Rd., witnesses called 911 to report that a man was physically and sexually assaulting a woman in the front yard of a residence. The victim said the suspect punched her in the back of the head, then repeatedly hit her in the face before dragging her across a lawn.
Sgt. Ricardo Cortes said that when officers arrived they found Lomax still on top of the 67-year-old victim.
“When they arrived they were horrified to discover that they were actually interrupting a sexual assault,” Cortes said. “(The victim) did receive multiple broken bones, facial injuries and obviously, the emotional trauma of this incident.”
The incident led police to connect Lomax to an earlier sexual assault that morning, Cortes said.
At 9:47 a.m. in the area of Auto Mall Pkwy. and Fremont Blvd., a 57-year-old woman out on a walk reported being punched in the head and pushed to the ground before a man got on top of her. The victim fought back and bit the suspect in the arm. Police said a good samaritan interrupted the assault, which scared off the suspect.
On Friday, police announced they had connected Lomax to a third sexual assault incident that occurred around 6 p.m. on May 5 at a Safeway in the Hub Shopping Center.
“(He) pushed his pelvic area, clothed, into her buttocks area. She screamed, the suspect fled,” Cortes said.READ MORE: UPDATE: News Crew Security Guard Shot in Oakland Dies From Injuries; Photo of Suspect Vehicle Released
The victim later positively identified Lomax as her attacker, police said.
“I hope the woman or the women involved will be OK,” Bondur said. “I’m very heartbroken to hear this, it’s sad.”
Shewta Desai, who lives near one of the crime scenes, said she heard about Thursday’s sexual assaults and was shaken.
“I was concerned, mostly, because nobody saw it coming,” Desai said. “If the streets are not safe I don’t know what else could be.”
“I am deeply disturbed by the three sexual assault incidents that have recently occurred in our community,” said Fremont mayor Lily Mei in a prepared statement. “This act of violence is unacceptable and we must stand together united with zero tolerance for sexual harassment and violence in our community. I implore our district attorney to prioritize this case and see that the suspect is held accountable for these atrocious crimes.”
Lomax was booked at Santa Rita Jail on charges of rape, kidnapping with the intent to commit sodomy, assault with the intent to commit rape, sexual battery by restraint, false imprisonment and assault with a deadly weapon with great bodily injury.
“As a police chief and as a woman, I am completely horrified by this crime,” said Fremont police chief Kimberly Petersen in a statement. “My thoughts are with the victims during this incredibly difficult time. I can assure the public that this case is the Department’s highest priority and we are working diligently with the District Attorney to keep this offender in custody. I have also dedicated the necessary resources to investigate whether we have more victims in our community, and we will ensure that all will be provided with victim support services.”
The assault with intent to commit sodomy charge is no bail, which means Lomax will be held until arraignment.MORE NEWS: UPDATE: 2 Men Shot Outside South Bay High School Football Playoff Game
Any additional victims or witnesses are encouraged to contact Detective David Rodriguez at 510-790-6900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.