Photo by Alexander Nguyen
Photo by Alexander Nguyen

A man was in custody Friday for allegedly trying to sexually assault a housekeeper in Granada Hills.

Kevin William Lasz, 30, was arrested Thursday and booked on suspicion of assault with intent to commit rape during a burglary, police said. Lasz, whose home town was not known, was being held on $1 million bail.

The victim was attacked about 5:45 p.m. Wednesday at a residence in the 16800 block of San Jose Street, Los Angeles Police Officer Drake Madison said. The woman told officers she had been sexually assaulted and fought off her male assailant, police said.

The suspect knocked on the victim’s door and asked to speak with her about recent break-ins in the area, then forced his way inside, where he attempted to sexually assault the woman before fleeing, Madison said.

A man matching the description of the suspect had approached another woman a short time earlier on nearby Minnehaha Street and asked to use her phone, police said. The woman became suspicious and called 911 to report the encounter, Madison said.

LAPD Capt. William Hayes, who heads the department’s Robbery-Homicide Division, told reporters earlier the suspect may have specifically targeted both women with the intent of sexually assaulting them.

“They’re both middle-aged to elderly women,” he said.

Alice Gratias, who has lived at her home on San Jose Street for 51 years, said her housekeeper was alone when a man knocked on the front door and told her he was a neighbor named Kevin, then forced his way inside.

“He grabbed her, knocked her down, trying to get her over to the sofa, and then he got her cornered on the wall here and was trying to kiss her, did kiss her,” Gratias said.

“And then, when she was knocked down, she happened to just kick him really hard in his groin … and then he ran away.”

Gratias said the woman, who is in her 60s, was shaken up but otherwise OK.

“She was a fighter,” the homeowner said. “She had extra strength at that time.”

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