A man accused of robbing and attempting to sexually assault a 61-year-old clerk at a Moreno Valley store was charged Tuesday with attempted rape and other offenses.
Nathaniel Jose Colbert Chaves, 21, was arrested Thursday after the alleged attack in the 24000 block of Sunnymead Boulevard, near Heacock Street.
Along with the attempted rape count, Chaves was charged with kidnapping to commit rape, robbery and assault.
He made his initial court appearance before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Eric Keen, who appointed him an attorney and scheduled his arraignment for March 27 at the Riverside Hall of Justice.
Chaves is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.
According to sheriff’s Sgt. Gil Gabriel, the defendant went into the store around 8 a.m. Thursday and asked the victim whether she was hiring.
“As the woman spoke to Chaves, he assaulted and forced her to a back room while she attempted to fight back,” Gabriel said. “During the attack, Chaves attempted to sexually assault the victim (but) aborted the assault and took the victim’s purse and phone and left the store.”
The shopkeeper called 911 and deputies arrived within a few minutes, but the assailant was gone. Gabriel said the woman was taken to Riverside University Medical Center for treatment of unspecified non-life-threatening injuries.
According to the sergeant, the defendant allegedly used the woman’s credit cards at area stores to make purchases, and detectives were able to obtain security surveillance camera images, enabling them to identify Chaves and obtain his vehicle license plate.
A search warrant was secured, and deputies served it at the defendant’s residence on Cobblestone Lane, where evidence from the alleged robbery was seized, Gabriel said.
The defendant was arrested without a struggle. He has no documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County.