Deputies seek public's help identifying sexual assault suspect

Assault Happened On NCTD Bus and Sprinter In Vista

VISTA, Calif. - Sheriff's deputies are seeking the public's help in identifying a man suspected of sexually assaulting a woman on a North County Transit District bus and Sprinter train.

Investigators said the man was riding a bus last Friday when he sexually assaulted a 20-year-old woman as the bus went from East Vista Way and Arcadia Avenue in Vista to the Vista Transit Station.

Deputies said he first sat next to his victim on the bus and tried to touch her inappropriately.  She told the man to stop, informed the bus driver and got off the bus.

The woman then got on a Sprinter train, where the man followed her and assaulted her again. To get away from him, the woman got off the train.

No weapon was used. The woman was not injured.

10News showed surveillance photos of the sexual assault suspect to people who ride public transportation in the North County every day.

"I think I have seen him quite a few times," said passenger Jaime Louden. "I'm constantly always on the 302, the 303, or the 305… I'm pretty sure he's rode at least two of those routes."

Dustin Fuller, another passenger, said he knows the victim.

"Makes me mad," he said. "That was a personal friend of mine that that happened to... my friend's little sister."

Maria Fernanda Sanchez told 10News, "I could be next. I kind of feel like I could be next… so that's kind of scary."

Carol MacDonald, though, said she feels safe. She said transit security and the sheriff's department are on top of it.

"Well, it's too bad," she said. "But I mean, that happens… but at least it's not New York. You get a lot of that in New York City. Here, it's not so bad. The police are good and the sheriff's really sweet."

The suspect was described as a Hispanic male who appears to be between 17 to 22 years old. He is 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighs 150 to 175 pounds and has brown eyes and black hair. He was last seen wearing a white t-shirt, black pants and sneakers.

Anyone who recognizes him or has any information about the incident is asked to call the San Diego County Sheriff's Department at (858) 565-5200 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

Print this article Back to Top