Man arrested in series of San Diego State gropings

Posted at 5:01 PM, Sep 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-01 20:01:13-04

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A 19-year-old man arrested on suspicion of groping four San Diego State University students this week also was arrested on the UC Riverside campus earlier this year, police confirmed Thursday.

Officers from the SDSU Police Department arrested Minda Shewangizaw early Tuesday on campus after four women reported a man had groped them, according to a campus police crime log and Lt. Matthew Conlon.

Two students called police just after 12:30 a.m. from near the Aztec Corner Apartments on Montezuma Road and reported the assailant had groped them over their clothing, Conlon said. The man touched one of the women from behind and one on her chest area before fleeing into the alley behind the apartments.

"At that point, we weren't able to find the suspect," Conlon said. "But about 45 minutes to an hour later we received reports of a similar type of thing, of a man groping two women over their clothing."

Campus officers responded to that assault on the Aztec Student Union pedestrian bridge at 1:15 a.m., Conlon said. While interviewing victims and witnesses, officers spotted a man matching the suspect description and detained him.

Shewangizaw, who is not an SDSU student, was arrested and booked into the San Diego Central Jail on suspicion of sexual battery, touching a person intimately and annoying a child under 18. Court records show Shewangizaw was no longer in custody Thursday.

Tuesday's arrest wasn't the first time Shewangizaw has been arrested on a college campus this year. A UC Riverside police officer confirmed Shewangizaw was arrested on the campus May 22 and booked into a Riverside County jail on assault and false imprisonment charges. Further details of the arrest were not available.

Riverside District Attorney's Office Public Information Officer John Hall said there was no criminal case in his office against Shewangizaw. Hall said UC Riverside police may not have forwarded their case for prosecution.

SDSU police detectives were aware of Shewangizaw's May arrest on the Riverside campus and are "looking into it," Conlon said.

"They've been in contact with Riverside authorities to see what the circumstances were," Conlon said.