A 22-year-old Riverside man was behind bars Friday on suspicion of attempting to rape a woman jogging in a Laguna Niguel park.

Sean Salaber. Photo via Orange County Sheriff’s Department
Sean Salaber, who’s being held in lieu of $100,000 bail, was arrested Thursday night and booked on suspicion of attempted rape, false imprisonment and assault with a deadly weapon, according to Orange County sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Hallock.

The woman was attacked in a portion of Aliso and Wood Canyons Regional Park that is in unincorporated county land near Laguna Niguel about 6:40 p.m. Thursday, Hallock said.

The woman said she was running on the trails when her attacker tackled her from behind and held a weapon to her head and groped her, Hallock said. Investigators later recovered the weapon, which was an air gun, Hallock said.

As the woman shouted for help, her attacker held the gun to her head, Hallock said. At some point, the suspect was scared off by a bystander responding to the shouts for help, Hallock said.

Salaber was arrested about a quarter-mile from the park near Kite Hill Drive and Becard Drive, Hallock said.

His booking mug shot resembles a sketch of a suspect wanted for sexual assaults, including one involving a 14-year-old girl in Riverside, so sheriff’s investigators intend to contact authorities in Riverside to see if there’s a connection, Hallock said.

— City News Service

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