LAPD Searching for Suspect in Punching, Rape of Woman in East Hollywood

March 22, 2019 - 1:51 pm

Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Northeast Area are asking for the public’s help in finding a suspect who sexually assaulted a victim.    

On March 14 in the 1500 block of North Vermont, the victim asked the suspect for directions, according to the LAPD press release. 

The LAPD has put out a photo and a sketch of the man.

Police say he's suspected of committing a brutal sexual assault in the middle of the evening rush last Thursday at the Red Line station at Vermont and Sunset.

A spokesman says it took a while to review video and pick out the suspect.

Police say a woman in her 60s asked the man for directions.  He lured her into a "secluded" area, then strangled, punched and raped her.

Metro says that emergency exit stairwell is "patrolled regularly by security personnel."

Agency officials say - in a statement - they consider this "a serious incident" and are "working closely" with police to find the suspect. 

Here is Metro’s statement:

"This is a serious incident, and we are working closely with the Los Angeles Police Department to conduct a thorough investigation to apprehend the suspect in the March 14 sexual assault incident at the Vermont/Sunset Metro Station. Yesterday, the LAPD issued a community alert with additional details on the suspect.  Metro has shared this alert with all its law enforcement partners and transit operations staff. The LAPD Special Problems Unit assigned to Metro is taking the lead in searching for the suspect. The incident occurred in the station’s emergency exit stairwell that is required to remain open for public safety.  The stairwell is patrolled regularly by security personnel. Metro and LAPD are reviewing station video surveillance to aid in the investigation.

Metro extends its sincere condolences to the victim in this case. We have a zero-tolerance policy for sexual assault on the Metro system, and we will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to ensure the suspect is arrested for this crime.

We are asking our transit customers to help us identify the suspect as quickly as possible.  Riders can anonymously report any tips that could lead to an arrest by calling Transit Watch at 888-950-SAFE or 800-TIPS (8477)."

A bulletin has gone out to all its law enforcement partners and transit operations staff. 

The Metro said in a Tweet it was a stairwell, not a room, Friday:

The suspect is described as a male Black, brown eyes, stands between 5 feet and 7 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighs about 165 pounds to 180 pounds, shaved head, wears an earring on his right ear, has a 2- inch to 3- inch scar on his left forearm, wearing all dark clothing.     

Anyone with information is asked to contact Northeast Detective Rodriguez at (323) 561-3328.  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. 

All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts. 

-KNX 1070