A transient who is a registered sex offender is in custody on suspicion of raping and repeatedly punching a homeless woman who was targeted while sleeping on a bus bench in Glendale, police said Friday.
A witness called 911 about 4 a.m. Thursday to report a sexual assault in progress in the 300 block of Los Feliz Road, according to Glendale police Sgt. Robert William.
“Officers arrived on scene within minutes and located both the suspect and the female victim, who was still lying on the ground half-nude and with visible injuries,” William said. “The suspect attempted to flee from officers but was taken into custody after a short foot pursuit.”
The 48-year-old suspect, Michael Zinzun, fought with police taking him into custody, and an officer sustained minor injuries, the sergeant said.
The 56-year-old victim, who is hospitalized in stable condition, was sleeping on a bus bench near the intersection of Los Feliz Road and Central Avenue and woke up when the suspect approached and tried to start a conversation, police said.
“After a short period of time, the suspect began sexually assaulting the victim and threatening to harm the victim if she did not stop screaming,” William alleged. “The suspect then dragged the victim away from the bus bench and pushed her over to the other side of a small retaining wall where they were hidden from public view.
“The suspect then raped and sexually assaulted the victim,” the sergeant alleged. “During this time, the victim also sustained trauma to her face due to repeatedly being punched by the suspect. A witness who observed the attack called 911.”
Zinzun is a registered sex offender “based out of the city of Pasadena and his original offense occurred in Florida,” according to William. He said the suspect, who investigators think was passing through Glendale, has not had prior run-ins with Glendale police.
Zinzun was booked on suspicion of rape by means of force and fear, William said.
He’s being held in lieu of $100,000 bail at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown Los Angeles and is due in court in Glendale on Monday, according to sheriff’s inmate records.
Detectives suspect Zinzun may be responsible for other sexual assaults and are urging anyone with information to call them at (818) 548-4911.
— City News Service